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CougCenter Player of the Week: Gardner Minshew

Back to the well!

NCAA Football: Washington State at Oregon State Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Dateline - my house? That’s right! Great job, Germany! Only took six weeks! But I digress.

On one hand, this is getting a little old. Six games, and one guy has taken home half of the awards? Keep it fresh, moron! On the other hand, this is the Air Raid. Would anyone be upset if the guy at the offense’s helm won the award every week? If that happened, it would probably mean WSU had a pretty good record.

In the end, it sure is a lot more fun to write these things after a win than after a loss. As someone who does his share of reading about WSU Football, it is definitely better to read Cougar #content following a win. It won’t take long to infer what the post’s theme is, judging by all of the honorees. You probably know why.

Full disclosure - I only saw a little over half of the game, and that was on my phone from a darkened hotel room is Austria. I was the only one in my four-person family who was dumb enough to wake up at 430 in the morning, shake off the cobwebs, and destroy my data cap before the month saw its seventh day.

Honorable Mention: Kainoa Wilson

The Junior receiver hasn’t been able to crack the rotation on offense, but he had a big impact on the game Saturday. With the Cougs holding a 7-0 lead, Wilson took a circuitous route to the punter, but got there in time to block the punt that resulted in a 14-0 WSU lead. It had been a while, 15 years to be exact, since WSU blocked a punt for a touchdown. That one also occurred in Oregon.

2nd Runner-Up: Davontavean Martin

After displaying some incredible chemistry with Gardner Minshew II over the season’s first three games, Tay Martin had been largely absent at the outset of conference play. That changed on Saturday. Martin is getting pretty good at the old “I’m covered but I’m not really covered” routine. Twice on Saturday, Minshew threw to a well-covered Martin up the sidelines. Twice, Martin got the best of the DB and scored.

The second of the two touchdowns iced the game.

Martin caught more passes for more yards against OSU than he had combined in the USC and Utah games. He led all receivers in both receptions and yards. We like this Tay much better!

1st Runner-Up: James Williams

We talked a few weeks ago about how, at least once per game, Boobie is one-on-one in the open field with some poor defender, and said defender ends up looking silly. That happened time and again on Saturday. On his touchdown just before halftime, Williams caused two defenders to fall down, and then trucked a third guy on the way to the endzone.

I don’t know about you, but in my mind that play went from “GARDNER WHY ARE YOU THROWING A CHECKDOWN IN THIS SITUATION” to “maybe he has a chance” to “OH MY GOD BOOBIE I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU DID THAT BUT IT WAS AWESOME” in a matter of a few seconds. It was just one of many times where Boobie vs. the OSU defense looked like one of those Bo Jackson vs. any team in Tecmo Super Bowl situations.

Winner: Gardner Minshew II

The season is only six games old (already six games old?) and we’re now running out of superlatives to describe Mr. Minshew’s impact on the offense. Time and again, he shows everyone how quickly he appears to have mastered the Air Raid. The crazy part is that some of his best plays don’t result in completions or yards. He has a great knack for sensing pressure and getting rid of the ball, and he is very adept at throwing the ball away when he can’t find an open receiver.

And as good as he is at making tough plays, he’s also near perfect at making the seemingly simple throws, which isn’t as easy as we it looks to all of us on the couch. This throw to Travell Harris is just one example.

For the game, Minshew threw the ball only 40 times. This was the first time all season he had fewer than 51 passing attempts. But I guess when you average 10.8 yards yards-per-attempt, throw five touchdown passes, and eclipse a 200 passer rating, “only” 40 passing attempts will do just fine. Enjoy your bye week, Gardner. You’ve certainly earned some time off.


Who was WSU’s Player of the Week against OSU?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Tay Martin
    (32 votes)
  • 10%
    James "Boobie" Williams
    (45 votes)
  • 77%
    Gardner Minshew II
    (347 votes)
  • 5%
    Not Tristan Brock’s thigh pads
    (24 votes)
448 votes total Vote Now