SEATTLE – One of the most exclusive clubs in college football welcomed a new member Friday during the first quarter of the 112th Apple Cup.
Anthony Gordon came into the rivalry game needing just 80 yards to become the 13th quarterback to pass for 5,000 in a single season. It was a small amount for the nation’s leading passer, averaging 447.2 per game, and Gordon didn’t waste too much time eclipsing 5,000 against Washington at Husky Stadium.
The redshirt senior quarterback completed 9-of-10 passes for 74 yards on WSU’s opening drive – capped by a 1-yard touchdown from Max Borghi – then hit Borghi for three yards on the next possession and finally crossed the 5,000-yard marker with a four-yard pass to Tay Martin.
Before Gordon’s feat on Friday, a total of 12 quarterbacks had reached 5,000 yards a total of 15 times, and the Pacifica, California, native became the fourth Mike Leach quarterback to do it. Graham Harrell, a former Texas Tech QB who’s now the offensive coordinator at USC, had 5,705 yards in 2007 and 5,111 in 2008, Kliff Kingsbury had 5,017 in 2002 and B.J. Symons, the NCAA record-holder, had 5,833 yards in 2003.
“Obviously those stats speak for themselves,” said Max Borghi, WSU’s sophomore running back who also rooms with Gordon. “He’s a solid player, he’s unreal. That record, yeah that’s pretty cool. He’s an excellent quarterback and he’s definitely a good leader for this team and I think, we’ve got another one and we’ve got to focus on the next game and I think he’s just right there with me.”
The rest of the list includes Houston’s Case Keenum (5,671 in 2009; 5631 in 20011; 5,020 in 2008), Hawaii’s Colt Brennan (5,549 in 2006), BYU’s Ty Detmer (5,188 in 1990), Houston’s David Klinger (5,140 in 1990), Tulsa’s Paul Smith (5,065 in 2007), Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty (5,055 in 2015) and Hawaii’s Bryant Moniz (5,040 in 2010).
In a 31-13 loss to Washington in Seattle, Gordon still managed to throw for 308 yards, which puts him at 5,228 for the season and catapults him up to sixth all-time. He’d need 443 yards in WSU’s bowl game to move into the top-three and 606 to pass Symons for the top spot. Gordon’s thrown for more than 600 yards once this season and had at least 500 yards on two other occasions.
Gordon, who broke former teammate Gardner Minshew’s single-season conference passing yards record, also becomes the first player in Pac-12 history to throw for more than 5,000 yards. Minshew threw for 4,779 yards in 2018.
Last week, Gordon broke the conference record for most passing touchdowns in a single season when he threw for six against Oregon State. Cal’s Jared Goff and UW’s Jake Browning previously held the record with 44 TDs. Gordon came into Friday’s Apple Cup with 45.
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