The Washington State Cougars blitzed the San Jose State Spartans early, scoring on each of their first two drives, then relied on a swarming defense to shut down a struggling Spartan offense en route to a 31-0 victory on the Palouse. Gardner Minshew II totaled 414 yards passing and added in 32 yards on the ground, accounting for four touchdowns. Travell Harris led the receivers with six catches, Tay Martin scored twice, and the defense held SJSU to 109 total yards, a record low for a Mike Leach team.
The offense wasted little time getting the ball rolling. After Minshew found Dezmon Patmon for a chunk play on a scramble drill, the graduate transfer dropped a dime to Davontavean Martin in the corner of the end zone. The 15-yard strike capped a 70-yard drive that lasted just over two minutes.
After a quick three-and-out by the San Jose State offense, the offense went back to work. A much more methodical drive featured a return of the Big Gulp formation and Minshew under center to convert a 4th and 1 on a sneak. Minshew found Tay Martin again for the second Cougar touchdown, this time a 36-yard catch and run on 4th and 10.
Gardner Minshew ran into some trouble on the next two drives. First, he was a bit unlucky as a pass intended for Tay Martin was deflected and ended up in the hands of SJSU's Jesse Osuna. On the next WSU drive, Minshew tried to force a throw and it ended up in the hands of Nehemiah Shelton.
Another Spartan punt led to a 37-yard Blake Mazza field goal. Back-to-back sacks by Taylor Comfort and Dominick Silvels forced a punt that gave WSU a short field for their final drive of the first half. The Cougs drove deep into Spartan territory, and Minshew took care of the rest himself, converting a 4th and 1 with a sneak and following it up with a zone read for the 1-yard TD run as the clock expired.
WSU took a 24-0 lead into the locker room, having outgained SJSU 316-23 and holding the Spartans to -5 yards rushing.
The teams exchanged a handful of punts to open the second half. On their third possession, the Cougs got back on track but Minshew's third sneak attempt was stuffed on 4th down.
#SpeedD continued its work, spearheaded by sacks from Justus Rogers and Jahad Woods. The offense put together a long drive on its first possession of the fourth quarter, but Mazza pushed his field goal attempt wide, keeping the score 24-0.
The defense continued to manhandle SJSU, tallying a sack by Misiona Aiolupotea-Pei in his first game as a Cougar. Minshew then showcased his ability to extend plays by finding Travell Harris and Dezmon Patmon on back-to-back plays where he left the pocket. The Cougar QB capped the drive with a 3-yard toss to James Williams coming out of the backfield to make it 31-0, closing out the scoring.
Washington State looks to exact some revenge against Eastern Washington next week, as the Cougars host the FCS Eagles at 5:00 p.m. on Pac-12 Networks.