This game was a must-win for both programs struggling to achieve bowl eligibility, and the Washington State Cougars (5-5, 2-5) came out on top against the Stanford Cardinal (4-6, 3-5) by a score of 49-22. After another month on the road, the Cougars dominated in a sold out crowd during Dad’s weekend in Pullman. CSN photographer Jack Ellis was in Martin Stadium capturing the game’s biggest moments and plays.
Offensive Line Coach Mason Miller has produced one of the strongest units of the entire WSU team; his unit is 4th in the nation for sacks allowed per passing attempt at 2.37%.
WR Easop Winston Jr. (8) went for over 100 receiving yards for the 5th time this season, increasing his season total to 826. Winston Jr. led the receivers with 2 TD’s, placing him tied for 7th best in WSU single-season history for TD receptions at 11. WSU legend Gabe Marks holds the record with 15, but with two to three games remaining, the senior may make a late push to dethrone Marks.
In a season where many of WSU’s win streaks have come to an end, the Cougars continued their dominance against a Stanford team that is now on the brink of missing the postseason for the first time since 2008.
WR Tay Matin (1) brushes off Stanford CB Obi Eboh en route to his first score since the Colorado game in October. Here is a fun but likely meaningless stat: The Cougs are 3-1 in games when Martin scores a TD, and 2-4 in games when he doesn’t.
Senior WR Dezmon Patmon (12) tries to shake off a Stanford defender after the catch. Patmon is third among the WSU receivers with 614 yards in 2019, but has yet to surpass 100 yards in a game since the season opener against NMSU.
WSU K Blake Mazza’s (40) perfect streak unfortunately came to an end against Stanford, but not due to lack of skill on his part. His first PAT on the opening drive was blocked, the second was perfect, but the third was mishandled by the holder and Mazza attempted a last minute chip shot that fell short. Seen on the left is Mazza waiting for the bobbled snap to be placed, a situation no kicker ever wants to be in.
After Anthony Gordon’s sole interception of the game pitted Stanford inside their own one yard line, the pressure was on the Cardinal to avoid a safety. On 3rd and 9, with all Coug fans on their feet, Davis Mills hit receiver Connor Wedington in stride for a 43-yard completion to get out of immediate danger. The Cardinal would march down the field and top off the 99-yard with a TD that cut WSU’s lead to just 5.
DL Misiona-Aiolupotea Pei (90) recorded the first sack of the game for the Cougar defense, his first full sack of the season. WSU tallied two sacks against an elite Stanford offensive line that made the backup QB’s job a little easier in a tough road environment.
WR Tay Martin (1) finally had his coming out game, going for a season high 76 yards and a TD against Stanford. Martin’s role in the Air Raid has diminshed in 2019, which may simply be a product of the plethora of options available to QB Anthony Gordon.
Stanford’s running game never seemed to get going against the Cougars, tallying a measly 6 yards on 10 carries. Cameron Scarlett (22) led the running backs with 4 carries but only added 3 yards. While the rushing game wasn’t necessary against a questionable WSU secondary, the days of Toby Gerhart, Bryce Love and Christian McCaffrey are clearing behind the Cardinal.
Stanford WR Michael Wilson (4) runs to the edge on a screen pass, with Armani Marsh (35) hot in pursuit. Wilson had a career night, going for 114 yards on just 5 receptions, scoring in the final minutes of the second quarter on a 23-yard pass from QB Davis Mills.
After winning the starting job in August, I wondered which passing record senior QB Anthony Gordon (18) could claim. As it turns out, he may set virtually every single-season record at WSU, and the PAC 12 for that matter. Gordon set the WSU record for single-season passing TD’s against the Cardinal (39) and is only 465 yards away from the WSU (and PAC 12) passing yards record set by Gardner Minshew II last year with 4,312 through just 10 games. Oh, and he also set the PAC 12 record against UCLA with 9 TD passes in a single game. With hopefully three more games to go, Gordon’s 2019 campaign will go down as one of the most prolific performances in college football history.
Filling in for the injured K.J. Costello, Stanford QB Davis Mills (15) performed admirably, throwing for an outrageous 504 yards on just 33 completions (15.3 yards/completion). Mills threw two costly interceptions on consecutive drives in the second half, both leading to WSU touchdowns.
WR Brandon Arconado (19) poses for the Crimzone as he finds paydirt with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter. The drive took all of 2 plays and 10 yards, initiated by the electric 83-yard return by Travell Harris. The Cougs led by just 3 at the time, but went on to score 24 straight points to secure the win.
Justus Rogers (37) runs to celebrate with Jahad Woods (13) after a sack on 3rd and 15 that forced Stanford to punt. Woods eclipsed 100 tackles on the season with the sack, the first WSU player to accomplish the feat since Peyton Pelluer in 2015.
Sophomore Max Borghi (21) accumulated 145 yards from scrimmage (111 rushing, 34 receiving) against the team that recruited him hard and tried to steal him away from WSU. Borghi’s 696 rushing yards through 10 games is the most by a WSU running back since Jerome Harrison in 2005.
Freshman Ron Stone Jr. (10) got his second start as a Cougar recording 5 tackles, 2 of which were solo tackles. It has been promising watching young players like Stone Jr., Travion Brown, Tyrese Ross, and others make an impact so early in their crimson careers.
Just a week after setting a career high in receiving yards against California (130), WR Brandon Arconado (19) went for 148 yards on 9 receptions and one TD. Arconado leads the WSU receiving corps with 869 yards, and is poised to be the first Cougar to break the 1,000 receiving yard mark since Gabe Marks and Dom Williams in 2015.
Fans were delighted when their Borghi chants were met with a 4-yard TD run in the final minutes of the matchup, ending the scoring onslaught that did not include a single punt in 60 minutes. Borghi (21) now has 16 rushing TD’s to his name, placing him one away from cracking top 10 in WSU history, behind Tim Harris in 1979-82 (17).
Final Thoughts: A rejuvenated offense and toughened defense is what Cougar fans saw Saturday evening against the Cardinal, as is exactly what they need the rest of the season to finish on a high note. 5-5 feels sooo much better than 4-6, and with Oregon State coming to Pullman next weekend, postseason play is starting to become a realistic expectation. However, Oregon State is 3-1 on the road in 2019 and is also on the hunt for their first postseason appearance since 2013. The Cougars are 4-1 at home, and coming off a dominant performance against Stanford, they seem to be trending in the right direction. Go Cougs!
Want more Sights from the Field? Check out my previous posts!
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football @ California Bears Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football @ Oregon Ducks Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football vs Colorado Buffaloes Edition
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football @ Utah Utes Edition
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