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CougCenter Player(s) of the Week: Everyone on Defense

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Lots of recognition to go around!

San Jose State v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

When we last met, we talked about how it is often difficult to single out anyone on defense because solid defense relies on all 11 guys rallying to the ball. Unless there’s a player who has a few sacks, a couple interceptions or 15 tackles, defensive efforts are often overshadowed by the skill players on offense.

But while defense seems like it usually requires more of a team effort, Saturday night was the offense’s turn. Six receivers caught four or more passes, and four of them (Tay Martin, Travell Harris, Dezmon Patmon and Kyle Sweet) had at least 68 receiving yards. The running game was a virtual even spread as well, with Max Borghi gaining 46 yards, James Williams going for 36 and [triple checks stat sheet] Gardner Minshew II rushing for 32? And a touchdown? Dang.

With that, let’s get to the honorees.

1st Runner-Up: Davontavean Martin

Tay Martin nearly ran away with the award before the first quarter even ended. First he made a beautiful grab in the end zone, then he roasted the corner on fourth down, made another catch and leaned across the goal line like a track star breaking the tape to win a race. It’s clear that Martin and Minshew have developed a solid trust relationship, (sometimes to Minshew’s detriment) which should put Martin in the spotlight quite often over the course of the season.

Winners: The Defense

It’s exceedingly difficult to select a winner from the offense when the defense doesn’t let the opponent breathe for 60 minutes. Let’s look at some numbers:

  • The 109 total yards allowed were the fewest since some defense with some sort of nickname allowed fewer than 100 back in 1994.
  • San Jose State had just eight first downs, and one of those was by penalty.
  • San Jose State did not enter the red zone the entire night, and converted just two of 13 third down attempts.
  • The Cougars sacked the SJSU quarterbacks five times, and all five came from different people.
  • SJSU didn’t cross midfield until almost midway through the third quarter, and ran just two(!!!) plays in WSU territory all night. The last of those two came after a WSU turnover.
  • SJSU’s longest drive of the night covered 41 yards. Other than that, here is a summation of their other 11 possessions, yardage-wise: 9, 7, 11, 1, -5, 4, 15, 13, 10, 17, 0. That is the definition of dominance.
  • To top it off, the Cougar defense forced a turnover on its final play. I can’t think of a more fitting way to close out a complete whitewash of the opponent.

And to think Mike Leach didn’t even have to yell “Eff you” at the opposing coach!

Congratulations, defense. You guys were nothing short of outstanding Saturday night.

Poll

Who was WSU’s player (or players) of the week?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    Tay Martin
    (23 votes)
  • 57%
    The Defense
    (255 votes)
  • 20%
    Anyone who stayed past halftime
    (89 votes)
  • 17%
    Whoever decided not to close the bridge on 26 yet.
    (76 votes)
443 votes total Vote Now