PHOENIX – A historic season for Brandon Arconado culminated with a historic effort against Air Force in the Cheez-It Bowl.
The former walk-on became Anthony Gordon’s primary target early on Friday night and Arconado, on his third reception in the game, reached 1,000 receiving yards for the season to become the first Washington State player to reach the milestone since Gabe Marks did it in 2015.
Arconado, a redshirt senior, then tied another school record in the third quarter, becoming the second player in program history with seven 100-yard receiving performances in a single season. Mike Levenseller was the only other Cougar to accomplish that feat, doing so 43 years ago.
The slot receiver had 11 catches for 167 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s game. His 28-yard catch-and-run was the one that broke that 1,000-yard barrier early in the second quarter.
There have been just 13 other 1,000-yard receiving seasons in school history.
Arconado, a “Y” slot receiver who became WSU’s full-time starter at the position when Jamire Calvin suffered a long-term injury before spring camp, had just four receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore but failed to crack the rotation as a junior and didn’t have a single reception.
The Chino Hills, California, native broke out in his final college season, catching eight passes for 127 yards and a touchdown in WSU’s second game of the season. Despite missing two full games and parts of three others due to injury, he still managed to catch 67 passes for 942 yards and six touchdowns during the regular season.
Arconado went over 100 yards on a 30-yard reception in the third quarter. He also hit triple digits in games against Northern Colorado (127), Houston (115), Colorado (109), Oregon (130), Cal (130) and Stanford (148).
Air Force Falcons defensive back Zane Lewis (6) breaks up a pass intended for Washington State Cougars wide receiver Dezmon Patmon (12) during the second half of the Cheez-It Bowl on Friday, December 27, 2019, at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. Air Force won the game 31-21. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
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