A Senior Night for the ages saw several PAC 12 records broken, 48 forth quarter points, and a postseason promise fulfilled as the Washington State Cougars (6-5, 3-5) came back to defeat the surging Oregon State Beavers (5-6, 4-4) by a score of 54-53. CSN photographer Jack Ellis was in Martin Stadium capturing the game’s biggest moments and plays.
In a fitting and touching way, the 2019 senior class walked out together and greeted the parents of the late WSU QB Tyler Hilinski.
By only looking at the numbers, Sophomore Max Borghi (21) had a relatively mild night, only putting up 44 yards on the ground on 10 carries. And yet, he was the star of the show in Pullman as the Cougars became bowl eligible for the fifth consecutive year.
Sophomore RB Jermar Jefferson (22) lit up the Speed D for the second straight year, recording 132 yards and 2 TDs. As a freshman in 2018, Jefferson ran for 138 yards and 4 TDs against the Cougars in Corvallis.
Junior WR Tay Martin (1) dives for a pass from Gordon late in the first quarter. Martin had another productive outing, putting up 61 receiving yards on 5 catches, upping his career yardage to 1,449 receiving yards on 139 catches.
WR Dezmon Patmon (12) scored twice against the Beavers, increasing his season total to seven, a career high for the senior. Seen above, Patmon reaches for the pylon and sneaks into the endzone to open the scoring spree for the Cougars.
Oregon State QB Jake Luton (6) was elusive on Saturday night, throwing for 5 TDs for just the second time as a Beaver, matchup his career-high against UCLA earlier this season. It has become par for the course for opposing QBs to have career nights against the Cougar D, but opportunistic playmaking gave WSU just enough to edge out the victory on Senior Night.
Senior QB Anthony Gordon (18) threw for a career-high 606 yards to match his 6 TD passes on 70(!) attempts against Oregon State. Gordon is averaging 447.3 YPP, and is 913 short of the FBS single-season record of 5,833 held by Texas Tech’s BJ Symons in 2003. Gordon may fall just short, but with two games remaining, anything is possible.
WR Easop Winston Jr. (8) had a quietly productive night, tallying 88 yards on 7 receptions. Easop’s biggest catch of the game was on the final drive, where he took a hammer of a hit in the OSU redzone, but held on for the catch to give WSU a first-and-goal with 17 seconds remaining and set up the win.
Junior WR Renard Bell (9) led the Cougar WR corps against the Beavers in receptions (8), yards (108), and tied with Dezmon Patmon for TD receptions (2). Bell recorded his forth 100+ yard game, his first since 2017. Expect Bell to play a larger role in the WSU offense in 2020.
Cougar CB George Hicks III (18) drags down a Beaver RB for a minimal gain in the second quarter. Clean tackling was once again an issue for the Cougars, as a large part of Oregon State’s 193 rushing yards came after contact.
Sophomore RB Deon McIntosh (16) exploded onto the scene during the final game in Martin Stadium in 2019, recording a season high 93 yards on 6 receptions. McIntosh’s biggest play came with 4:51 remaining in the first half when a shovel pass went for 33 yards and put WSU up 21-14.
Senior WR Calvin Jackson Jr. (85) sprints towards the endzone for his first TD in 2019. Jackson Jr. averaged 19.0 YPC, leading the WSU receivers on Saturday night.
WRs Travell Harris (5) and Calvin Jackson Jr. (85) celebrate after Jackson’s 36-yard house call early in the third quarter, putting WSU ahead 28-24.
Full credit to Oregon State for their efforts in breaking a 5-year losing streak to the Cougars, who seemingly had the game secured after scoring 21 consecutive points with less than 4 minutes in the final quarter to play. While the Beavers put on a valiant effort, a Civil War matchup next week at 5-6 likely means that they will miss the postseason for sixth consecutive year.
Calvin Jackson Jr. (85) dives for the pylon, but comes up a yard short with the Cougs up 35-32. Not to worry, as superstar Max Borghi would find the endzone on the very next play to put WSU up by 10.
After a 21-point rally by OSU that put WSU down 11 with less than five minutes to play, it was up to the offense to put up some points — and fast. Senior Dezmon Patmon (12) runs towards the endzone and, after a hard collision at the goal line, scores his second TD of the night on a 12-yard pass from Gordon.
With just two seconds remaining and two yards away from bowl eligibility, who else can you trust but RB Max Borghi (21) to put the team on his back and win the game. Leading up to the matchup, Max guaranteed Coug nation that they would emerge victorious over the Beavers, and boy did he deliver.
The moment that Coug fans finally exhaled after a seemingly endless sequence of frantic lateral passes on OSU’s desperation kickoff return effort fell short after the clocks hit 0:00. After the win, WSU rose to 6-5 on the season and has their first winning streak since beating Houston back in September.
Final Thoughts: While this may not have been the season that many hoped for coming into 2019, bowl eligibility for a school record fifth straight year is tangible evidence that the program is trending in a positive direction. With considerable youth in key aspects of the Cougar defense and frankly too much talent to distribute on offense, WSU looks poised to finish the season strong and give PAC 12 opponents fits for years to come. Up next is a suddenly beatable Washington team with an identical record of 6-5, 3-5. Will this FINALLY be the year the Apple Cup comes back to Pullman? I’ll believe it when I see it. Go Cougs!
Want more Sights from the Field? Check out my previous posts!
2019 Sights from the Field: WSU Football vs Stanford Cardinal Edition
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