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With the Pac-12 North on the line, No. 16 Washington (8-3, 6-2) travels across the Evergreen State to take on No. 7 Washington State (10-1, 7-1) in the 111th Apple Cup.
An early interception by Washington State’s Marcus Strong allowed Gardner Minshew and company to drive down to give the Cougars a 14-point lead midway through the first quarter en route to the 69-28 thrashing of Arizona.
It’s been a season of milestones for Washington State in 2018, and the Cougars were eyeballing another one Saturday night, trying to become the sixth team in program history to nail down 10 wins in a single season, and the first one to do it since 2003.
Difference makers from Washington State’s 69-28 victory over Arizona at Martin Stadium in Pullman
The distance Washington State has traveled this year is in some ways analogous to the distance head coach Mike Leach travels many days from his home to his office.
Although Arizona had plenty of problems stopping Washington State in the first half, the blowout-in-the-making on Saturday included two bizarre plays that made Cougar fans scream.
It's hard enough to play No. 8 Washington State in its own back yard, but Arizona made it even tougher on Saturday with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that helped extend the Cougar's first drive that ended with a James Williams touchdown.
Last week in a 31-7 win at Colorado, Pelluer tied the previous mark of 51 games, held by wide receiver Gabe Marks and defensive lineman Daniel Ekuale. The sixth-year middle linebacker broke the record Saturday against the Wildcats when the Cougars came out for the game’s first defensive series.
Gardner Minshew should have plenty of chances to boost his Heisman Trophy resume against a mediocre Arizona pass defense and the Cougars should cruise into the Apple Cup on a seven-game win streak.
Keys to a potential victory for Washington State against Arizona Saturday at Martin Stadium.
WSU players probably don’t need anyone jogging their memories, but they’re still only about 400 days removed from the 2017 debacle in Tucson, when the Wildcats rushed for 328 yards, passed for 275 more and scored more points on the Cougars than any opponent had since 2014.
Imagine the 2012 college football season without Johnny Manziel’s gridiron wizardry and bombastic swagger, or the 2011 campaign without Case Keenum and his rocket right arm.
Washington State launched the marketing campaign on Thursday with the ‘MinshewForHeisman’ Twitter account.
WSU is getting more production out of the QB position than it did last year. The offensive line is allowing fewer than a sack a game. The receivers are a year older and better. The defensive numbers haven’t dipped, either, and many of them have done the opposite. But the most important part of the formula – cliché or not – could be team chemistry.
A former University of Arizona football player accused of domestic violence will serve five years in prison. A Tucson judge sentenced Orlando Bradford on Monday and also ordered him to pay $22,000 in restitution.
The Washington State method for winning football games is neither pretty nor safe. But darn if it isn’t effective.
To get ready for Arizona’s offense, which leads the Pac-12 in scoring average at 41.7 points per game, the Washington State defense is preparing for the entire Wildcats offense, plus a little extra.
Washington State at Arizona: First Look
PULLMAN – For anyone who has ever wondered what would happen if one of college football’s best offenses matched up against the backups of a banged-up defense Saturday’s game must have been an enlightening experience. And experience is about the only positive the Cougars can draw from a 59-37 loss that was competitive right up until an Arizona player touched the football.
3: Arizona was the more focused, energetic and therefore dominant team the first quarter. The first five Wildcats drives all ended in scores and four of those were touchdowns. Washington State punted on its first three drives, turned the ball over on downs on the fourth drive and threw an interception on the fifth.