PULLMAN – Senior Brandon Arconado, Washington State’s leader in receiving yards heading into Saturday’s game left in the first quarter with a wrist injury and didn’t return until the fourth quarter.
But in the meantime, Renard Bell made up for his production.
Bell finished with season-highs in yards (108), receptions (eight) and touchdowns (two) in Washington State’s 54-53 comeback victory over Oregon State.
“Yeah, Renard does an unbelievable job, does everything we ask him to do with a smile on his face, whether it’s ‘H’ or ‘Y,’ (or) if he’s our empty guy,” quarterback Anthony Gordon said. “Renard’s really smart, real savvy and he understands our whole offense. If we needed him to play outside receiver I’m sure he could.”
Arconado, the team’s starting “Y” receiver, came in with at least 100 yards receiving in four consecutive games, and he had scored at least once in each of those games.
Before he left the game Saturday he had one catch for 25 yards, and he added two receptions for 14 more yards in the fourth quarter. He now has 908 yards and 63 catches on the season.
Arconado missed two-plus games earlier with a lower-body injury that he sustained during Washington State’s 67-63 loss to UCLA. He missed losses against Utah (38-13) and Arizona State (34-28).
Bell slipped over from the “H” receiver to “Y” some in those games as well and had a combined 12 catches for 115 yards against the Utes and Sun Devils.
Against the Beavers, though, Bell got into the end zone, twice. He caught a 10-yard touchdown in the second quarter on a crossing route. And then, in the third, he added another 10-yard score on a corner route that gave the Cougars a 35-24 lead.
“I felt more comfortable at the Y position,” Bell said. “I was getting more used to it in the beginning of the season when we missed Arconado, but (we were) not missing a beat this game, doing what we normally do like if he was still there at the Y position. Just (continuing) to play our game and do our job.”
Coach Mike Leach said after the game Arconado is fine heading into Friday’s game against the Washington Huskies.
“He’s full go and healthy as a horse and biting at the bit,” Leach said.
Senior Easop Winston Jr. leads the Cougars with 914 yards and 77 receptions, the seventh-most by a WSU receiver in a single season.
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