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CougCenter Player of the Week: Easop Winston Jr.

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Another game, another improved performance.

Washington State v USC Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Welcome to our first, and hopefully last, but probably not, but you never know Player of the Week installment following a loss. Man, some English teacher somewhere probably wants to cut that opening sentence to ribbons. Anyway, unlike last season, when each of WSU’s four losses ranged from “awful” to “why do I still watch football?”, there were several Cougars worthy of recognition this week, despite not coming out ahead on the scoreboard.

As could be expected when A) A Cougar team scores more points than it ever has against USC and B) the defense straps an anvil to its back and walks over a cliff, this week’s edition will skew heavily toward Team Air Raid and away from #SpeedD. For the fourth consecutive week, we have ourselves a first-timer. Matter of fact, he’s someone who has never even appeared in this space in any capacity.

Honorable Mention: Peyton Pelluer

Pelluer was the best of WSU’s back seven Friday night. He had more solo tackles (eight) than any other defender had total tackles. In all, Pelluer was credited with 12 total tackles, including two TFL and one sack. Peyton probably makes the top three if he doesn’t commit that horribad offsides penalty late in the second quarter.

2nd Runner-Up: Abraham Lucas

Look, I have no idea whether Lucas graded out as the best offensive lineman against USC, or the worst. What I do know is that he, along with his four line mates, gave Gardner Minshew II a clean pocket nearly all night long, and did a reasonably good job of blocking in the run game. Minshew was sacked only once, despite dropping back 53 times. Abe Lucas feels like Andre Dillard did back in 2015, a freshman with incredible ability and a very high ceiling.

1st Runner-Up: Gardner Minshew II

What else is there to say about Minshew at this point? I don’t think it’s a stretch to surmise that he’s exceeded even the loftiest of Cougar fan expectations so far this season. Friday night was only the latest example. Minshew completed 71% of his passes, and threw three touchdowns along the way. He showed a great ability to know when to move around the pocket, and when to stand in and throw, even if it meant taking a big hit. Let’s just hope there aren’t any lingering effects from that illegal shot he took to his chin.

Winner: Easop Winston Jr.

Winston had been making plays here and there over the first few games, but he broke out against USC. He had already shown a penchant for making catches near the end zone, but Friday night he was killing USC repeatedly. Winston caught six passes, tied for second on the team, but more than doubled the other receivers in yardage. He averaged nearly 24 yards per catch, and even took two to the end zone. He’s one of the reasons why I think I like this group of receivers more than any other WSU has had recently. Congratulations, Easop, now go out and torch Utah.

Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Easop Winston
    (229 votes)
  • 31%
    Gardner Minshew
    (115 votes)
  • 2%
    Abe Lucas
    (10 votes)
  • 3%
    Peyton Pelluer
    (13 votes)
367 votes total Vote Now