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Sports >  WSU football

Recap and highlights: Washington State crushes Arizona on senior night to earn bowl eligibility

Nov. 19, 2021 Updated Sat., Nov. 20, 2021 at 12:03 a.m.

Washington State made a statement with a 44-18 win over Arizona Friday night.

All six Cougar touchdowns came from seniors during their last game on the Palouse.

Now with bowl eligibility now secure, the senior class that has endured plenty of adversity will have something to prove for its resilience.

There’s just one more box to check – bringing home the Apple Cup for the first time since 2012.

If the Cougars play like they did against the Wildcats, there’s no doubt they’ll come out of Seattle with a win.

Max Borghi was electric, carrying the ball 16 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Jayden de Laura showed why he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the conference, lighting up the UA defense for 259 yards and four touchdowns, including beautiful deep strikes to Travell Harris and Calvin Jackson Jr.

Jackson Jr. caught four passes for 133 yards, while Harris caught six passes for 95 – both with two touchdowns apiece.

The Cougars will play Washington next Friday at 5 p.m. on FS1.

First quarter

14:52 - WSU 0, UA 0: Max Borghi takes the first play off the game up the middle for a two yard gain.

13:39 - WSU 0, UA 0: Jayden de Laura’s pass falls incomplete on third down and the Cougs punt to the Wildcat 23.

10:39 - WSU 0, UA 0: The Cougars are set up with good field position after the defense comes up with a big stop on fourth down at the WSU 45.

7:11 - WSU 7, UA 0: Max Borghi cuts up the middle, bounces off the ref, throws a stiff-arm and storms through a teammate and Wildcat defender for a 26-yard touchdown.

Could be the play of the year for the highly touted running back, who is playing his last game on the Palouse tonight.

WSU is feeding Borghi early, with six carries for 53 yards.

1:41 - WSU 7, UA 0: Lucas Havrisik’s 50-yard field goal attempt is no good. Cougars start again on their own 40.

4:23 - WSU 7, UA 0: Wildcats push into WSU territory on a 6-play 43 yard drive that was sparked by a 20-yard gain on a screen pass on third-and-14 from its own 11. 

0:00 - WSU 7, UA 0: Jayden de Laura scampers out of bounds two yards short of the line to gain with one defender to beat on third down and the Cougars will likely opt to punt to start the second quarter.

Second quarter

13:07 - WSU 7, UA 0: The Cougars force a punt that goes into the endzone for a touchback. WSU starts on its own 20.

9:31 - WSU 7, UA 0: Both teams trade punts to start the second half. The Wildcats start again on their own 19.

8:25 - WSU 7, UA 0: The Cougar defense forces Stevie Rocker Jr. to fumble – something they’ve done often this season – but the Wildcats recover.

7:30 - WSU 7, UA 0: Arizona’s punt is blocked but still picks up some solid yardage to the WSU 31.

4:28 - WSU 14, UA 0: Jayden de Laura completes an 8-yard touchdown to Travell Harris in the back left corner of the endzone.

The score capped a 7-play 69 yard drive sparked by a 16 yard run from Max Borghi and another 32-yard connection between de Laura and Harris.

4:07 - WSU 14, UA 0: Drake Anderson shows some life for the Wildcats on the first play of the drive with a 71-yard dash up the middle of the Cougar defense. 

2:22 - WSU 14, UA 7: Will Plummer lofts up a prayer on fourth-and-2 that is answered by Boobie Curry in the back of the endzone for an 11-yard touchdown.

Plummer is 6 of 12 for 68 yards in the game.

1:26 - WSU 21, UA 7: Cougs come right back at the Wildcats with a three play 75-yard drive.

Jayden de Laura throws a beautiful 43-yard strike to Calvin Jackson Jr., who catches it in stride and goes into the endzone.

De Laura is 7 of 11 for 110 yards and two touchdowns in the half.


Washington State leads Arizona at halftime, closing out the second quarter strong with two touchdown passes from Jayden de Laura.

Max Borghi, playing his final game as a Cougar, sparked the offense early with a galloping 26-yard touchdown, breaking multiple tackles – including one from the ref.

The Cougars stagnated with two straight punts, but ended the half firing. De Laura completed an 8-yard touchdown to Travell Harris, who has three catches for 49 yards, and then a 43-yard bomb to Calvin Jackson Jr.

WSU is now two quarters away from earning bowl eligibility.

Impact performance

Third quarter

12:43 - WSU 21, UA 7: The Cougar defense forces another punt to start the second half. The Wildcats have punted on four of its last five possessions. WSU starts on its own 31.

10:07 - WSU 28, UA 7: Max Borghi takes an option pitch from Jayden de Laura into the endzone for a 2-yard touchdown.

Borghi handled four of the touches on the five play drive, including a 43-yard run. He is up to 130 rushing yards in the game.

8:54 - WSU 30, UA 7: Joey Hobert blocks the Arizona punt, which goes out of the endzone for a safety. That is the second blocked punt in the game for the Cougars.

7:10 - WSU 37, UA 7: Cougs are pouring it on. Jayden de Laura completes a 30-yard touchdown to Travell Harris – his second TD grab of the game. 

2:39 - WSU 37, UA 10: Arizona converts on a 41-yard field goal.

Fourth quarter

12:16 - WSU 37, UA 18: Will Plummer completes a 27-yard touchdown to Michael Wiley and the 2-point conversion is good on a pass from Plummer to Dorian Singer.

Barring anything crazy, the Cougars will win this one. The rushing combination of Max Borghi and Deon McIntosh has been unstoppable, averaging a combined 9.7 yards a carry.

8:37 - WSU 44, UA 18: Nevermind the fog … when it rains, it pours. Jayden de Laura completes a pass over the middle and Calvin Jackson Jr. does the rest for a 78-yard touchdown.

Jackson Jr. has four catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns.


Washington State has two more chances to earn bowl eligibility, first tonight against lowly Arizona who has one win in the last 21 games, then against arch-rival Washington in a post-Thanksgiving game for all the apples.

The Cougars (5-5, 4-3 Pac-12) host the Wildcats (1-9, 1-6) for senior night at 6 p.m. on Pac-12 Network.

Despite another disappointing season for UA, that included a 21-19 loss to FCS Northern Arizona, the Wildcats have posed a threat the past four weeks. They beat California 10-3 on Nov. 6 for their first win, played UW and USC to one score games and trailed Utah by two points in the fourth quarter during a 38-29 loss last week.

WSU has rallied for a 4-2 record after its 1-3 start, playing No. 4 Oregon to a one score game in the fourth quarter last week before losing 38-24. A win against Arizona on senior night to clinch a bowl berth would symbolize the never-quit attitude of the players that have been through deaths of their teammates and multiple coaching changes.

Not in Arizona anymore

In Pullman tonight there is a 30% chance of snow up to 7 p.m. with a steady temperature of around 34 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Fog is also in the forecast. Meanwhile in Tucson it was 80 degrees and clear today.

Series history

Arizona holds a 27-17 series lead over WSU, but have not played since 2018 when the Cougars won 69-28 in Pullman.

WSU won the first meeting in 1962 with a baseball score of 7-2 in Spokane.

The Wildcats won 7 of 8 meetings between the teams from 1993-2000, with the Cougars’ lone win 35-34 OT in 1997, where UA lost on a failed 2-pt attempt.

WSU's Kevin McKenzie goes into the crowd after scoring a touchdown during a 35-34 OT win over Arizona on Oct. 25, 1997 in Pullman.
WSU’s Kevin McKenzie goes into the crowd after scoring a touchdown during a 35-34 OT win over Arizona on Oct. 25, 1997 in Pullman.

Team stats

Scoring WSU UA
Points Per Game 25.7 17.3
Points Allowed Per Game 26 29.5
Total Yards 374.6 350.2
     Yards Passing 261.4 216.4
     Yards Rushing 113.2 133.8
Yards Allowed 397.4 367.4
     Pass Yards Allowed 221.3 193.6
     Rush Yards Allowed 113.2 173.8

Individual leaders

PASSING Att.-Comp. Yards TD Int.
Jayden de Laura (WSU) 287-180 2,247 19 9
Will Plummer (UA) 187-104 1,058 3 7
RUSHING Carries Yards TD
Max Borghi (WSU) 612 612 8
Michael Wiley (UA) 79 251 2
RECEIVING Receptions Yards TD
Calvin Jackson Jr. (WSU) 53 754 5
Stanley Berryhill III (UA) 68 595 1

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