While the expected thunderstorms more or less subsided in Salt Lake City, UT, the #19 ranked Utah Utes (4-1, 1-1) brought their own form of lightning as they dominated the Washington State Cougars (3-2, 0-2) by a score of 38-13. CSN photographer Jack Ellis was in Rice-Eccles Stadium capturing the games biggest moments and plays.
The Cougars 4 game winning streak against the Utes came to a disappointing end in Salt Lake, and is the first time the Cougs has lost two straight games since the end of the 2017 season (@UW, Holiday Bowl v MSU).
Freshman WR Rodrick Fisher (88) finished the night with 5 receptions, tied for second on the team with Dez Patmon. Fisher recorded his second career start against the Utes.
When the Offensive line wasn’t committing a false start or holding penalty, they managed to keep QB Anthony Gordon (18) relatively untouched as Gordon was only sacked once on the night. Utah has an elite Defensive line, so that statistic is very impressive.
New faces, same result. After the shocking loss to UCLA last week, Leach said that there would be changes and that new players would get their opportunities to shine. However, similar problems continued to plague both sides of the ball, namely tackling on the defense. Tyrese Ross (left) attempts to trip up QB Tyler Huntley (right) on a designed run play.
Without Utah RB Zach Moss, the Utes relied on RB Devonta’e Henry-Cole to lead to run game. Lead it he did, picking up 79 hashes on 15 carries in addition to an 11-yard TD reception shown above. Nine Utah players recorded a carry against the Cougs.
The absence of WR Brandon Arconado gave Junior Renard Bell (9) increased played time, and he proved to be a solid target, putting up 44 yards on 4 receptions. Bell has averaged 9.0 YPR or higher in every game in 2019.
The lone Cougar touchdown came in the waning seconds of the first quarter with a RB Deon McIntosh (16) reception to tie the match at 7-7. McIntosh recorded his second score in the crimson and gray, while his attempts are limited behind star RB Max Borghi.
Utah QB Tyler Huntley (1) was responsible for 4 TD’s on the night, 2 on the ground and 2 through the air. Huntley completed 70% of his passes (21/30) for 334 yards.
Coming off a career night against UCLA that included a school-record 4 TD’s and over 100 receiving yards, WR Easop Winston Jr. (8) recorded just 2 completions for 30 yards against Utah. Both catches went for first downs, as Winston Jr. continues to prove that he is one of the most reliable players on the roster.
Workhorse Max Borghi (21) led the Cougar offense in the following major categories: Rushing attempts (8), rushing yards (51), rushing average (6.4), receptions (9), and receiving yards (70).
One highlight in an otherwise dreary night was the performance of K Blake Mazza, who was responsible for over half of WSU’s scoring and nailed a career long 51-yard field goal in the second quarter. Mazza is still 100% on the year, and we won’t stop talking about it.
WR Travell Harris (5) is yet to take a kickoff to the house, but he has consistently made opposing players miss in open space and turn an open lane into favorable field position. Harris took several kicks past the 25 yard line, a general indicator of a positive return.
So it turns out QB Anthony Gordon (18) is human. Gordon failed to throw for 400 yards for the first time in his starting career, completing just 61% of his passes and throwing 2 interceptions to 1 touchdown. Utah has a strong secondary, but Gordon was unable to move the chains like previous weeks this season.
Soft tackling continues to be a major issue for the Cougar defense, seen above is LB Justus Rogers (37) overrunning the Utah QB and turning a potential sack into a big gain. Hopefully a bye week can give the Cougs time to correct an ongoing issue in 2019.
Final Thoughts: As the Cougars limp into the first bye week at 0-2 in conference play, the road ahead seems all the more treacherous. What once looked like a team destined for another shot at the division now is in full emergency mode, with a trending Arizona State program upcoming in two weeks. One can only hope the time away from the football field will do this team, and its fans, some good. Go Cougs.
Want more Sights from the Field? Check out my previous posts!
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football vs UCLA Bruins Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: Advocare Texas Kickoff Special Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football vs UNC Bears Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football vs NMSU Aggies Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: Crimson and Gray Spring Game Edition
2018 Sights from the Field: Valero Alamo Bowl Special Edition