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The Good, Bad and Ugly of WSU’s blowout of Colorado

Man, it has been too long.

Colorado v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Buongiorno dall’Italia, dove stiamo celebrando una vittoria dei Cougars dello Stato di Washington!

I figure it was appropriate to begin this article in Italian, since it’s being written from the northen part of Italy, and because Max Borghi (aka the Peerless Paisan) had another outstanding game.

My friends, our our 36-day walk through the desert is finally over. The five-plus weeks that our Washington State Cougars went sans a victory only felt like twice that long. Thankfully, Steven Montez and the Colorado Buffaloes were here to once again provide the panacea that we all so badly needed. As enjoyable as it was to watch the Cougs win, it was even better that they didn’t take off years of our lives to get there.

I realize that most, if not all of us think we could (and probably should) be awakening to a 6-1 record this morning, but that won’t take much of a shine off of what was a good effort by the offense and a much better than expected outing from the defense. That said, let’s get to it.

The Good

  • Max Borghi is pretty good, yes? He averaged just under eight yards every time he touched the ball, and had another explosive run for a long touchdown. That run featured a tremendous jump cut at the start, and some great body control at the end, when he kept his knees off the ground until he scored.
  • I want to dislike the old-fashioned (kinda) uniform combo, but I’m still a sucker for it. It sure helps that they won in that combo!
  • Pretty good outing from Anthony Gordon, given the weather. He averaged north of seven YPA in what appeared to be some pretty rough conditions, and spun an absolute beauty of a pass to Brandon Arconado for the dagger touchdown.
  • That touchdown was huge, as it came fewer than three minutes after Colorado scored to close the margin to 14.
  • Speaking of Arconado, Welcome back…welcome back welcome back wel-come back. Those of a certain generation will get that one. It was pretty obvious that Gordon is a much more effective quarterback with Arconado playing in the slot, as five catches for 109 and a score would indicate.
  • Also nice that Clay Markoff is back and apparently healthy. He hadn’t played since being injured against Northern Colorado.
  • Great to see the defensive backs have a measure of redemption after what has been a season of struggle. Colorado quarterbacks managed to complete just 50% of their passes, for a measly 4.14 YPA.
  • Great job by George Hicks III to get his eyes around and intercept a pass in the end zone.
  • Felt like the front seven did a decent job of getting Montez off his spot, and a hurried Montez is a terrible Montez, as we’ve seen repeatedly over the past three seasons.
  • Also big credit to the defensive backs for holding Laviska Shenault down. He may have scored a touchdown, but he was largely ineffective throughout the afternoon.
  • Seven tackles for loss in the afternoon - twice more than the opponent - is a great way to help your win chances.
  • How about Oscar uncorking a 62 yarder?!
  • Gordon had perfect placement on that fade to Davontavean Martin. Even though I’m generally not a fan of the fade pass, that was beautiful.
  • Along with the commentators, I immediately thought of the Seinfeld vomit episode when they were telling the Leach vomit story. If Leach is a fan of the show, how has he not seen that one?
  • Really liked the play design where Gordon fakes a swing pass to Borghi and hits Travell Harris on a tunnel screen. I also really really liked how Harris dragged tacklers for a first down.
  • Thankfully the injuries to both Jahad Woods and Marcus Strong weren’t serious, and they came back into the game. I was pretty concerned for Strong after he got drilled on that blindside block.
  • Since he helped WSU with his, uh, curious decisions, I’ll put Mel Tucker in this category. It took all of one possession for Tucker to try a long field goal in the wind and rain, instead of going for it against the WSU defense on 4th and three. Then, trailing by three touchdowns in the third quarter and needing to take some chances to get back in the game, Tucker punts on 4th and 12 from the WSU 42! Thanks buddy!
  • The interview with Leach after the game was pretty funny, due mostly to its awkwardness. First there was some sort of duck blind non-sequitur, then Leach just stands there and goes “Whaddaya got?” I laughed.
  • I’m really really happy that WSU was able to put on a good show with the HBO cameras in town. Looking forward to watching the episode.
  • Last three years: WSU 100, Colorado 17. I hope that old guy who tried to fight Jeff, Craig and me at the 2016 game is enjoying the cold dishes of revenge he’s been eating.

The Bad

  • Steven Montez. Again. Think he will ever return to Pullman voluntarily? He’s started two games at Martin Stadium, and he hasn’t finished one of them. Neither was due to injury. Remember when he was a freshman and had showed such great potential? Seems like a thousand years ago. He is waaaaaay too skittish for someone who has been starting for three seasons.
  • You know a QB has lost his nerve when he tries to mix it up with an opposing defensive lineman. I don’t like your chances in that matchup, Steve-O. And does anyone else think that if Rodgers had shoved Montez, it would have drawn a flag? I certainly do.
  • I’m as stunned as you are that Kelly Stouffer compared Max Borghi to Christian McCaffrey twice in the first quarter.
  • Also funny when the commentators said it’s “part of Leach’s character to go for it” a week after Leach likely erred by not going for it.
  • Still holes the width of freeways in the middle of the defense. Combined with several instances of poor run fits and tackling by Woods and Justus Rogers, it’s a mystery that Colorado didn’t continue to pound the ball.
  • Armani Marsh, kid, you did a great job of exploding into the backfield on your blitz, but you have to finish the play.
  • Catch the ball, Tay.
  • Second and two turned into a punt. That cannot happen against better competition.
  • Anthony, bud, if you’re gonna throw the ball away, THROW THE BALL AWAY. And please never ever ever put us through whatever the hell that was when the ball ended up in the hands of a lineman near the WSU end zone.
  • I’ve never seen a giraffe try to run around on an ice rink, but I’d imagine it’s close to what we saw when Gordon tried - successfully! - to run for a first down.
  • You’ll be shocked to learn that the stupid pop pass lost eight yards.
  • I’d like to recognize the poor guy in the white WSU jacket who was part of the B-roll footage from The Coug. I think it was in the third quarter when they came back from commercial to show a group of folks in the bar, with one lady signing a table. When they finished, everyone cheered, and my man tried to high-five anyone and everyone in his group. He was left hanging.

The Ugly

No bad officiating, no horrendous mistakes on offense or defense, and a blowout win means that this shall go unfilled.


Analysis: Convincing statement just what Washington State defense needs in 41-10 win against Colorado | The Spokesman-Review
The aptitude and effort the defense showed in a 41-10 win over Colorado was a treat for just about everyone involved.

Difference makers: Brandon Arconado, Max Borghi spark Washington State offense in rout of Colorado | The Spokesman-Review
Just how valuable is the redshirt senior “Y” receiver to Washington State’s offense?

Recap and highlights: Defense powers Washington State past Colorado for first Pac-12 win | The Spokesman-Review
A date with the Colorado offense was the right antidote for the struggling Washington State defense.

Gonzaga Prep grad Armani Marsh earns first start at nickel in Washington State’s win over Colorado | The Spokesman-Review
Marsh, a Gonzaga Prep graduate, played in five games last year and finished the season with just one tackle. But this year his role has increased.

Senior Marcus Strong helps Washington State defense lock down Colorado, break out of slump | The Spokesman-Review
“Marcus is a great leader,” said linebacker Willie Taylor III. “Everybody loves Marcus, and it’s good to see him bounce back from last week.”

John Blanchette: With HBO cameras rolling, Washington State rolled out the red carpet for Max Borghi | The Spokesman-Review
Everyone’s favorite football board game is Distraction, and if you believe Mike Leach there’s only one play: Everything goes in the discard pile.

Thursday Night Football scrimmages helped Washington State’s Anthony Gordon, Brandon Arconado establish bond | The Spokesman-Review
“Arconado’s real consistent, he’s decisive with everything he does and he’s real good with the ball in his hands,” Gordon said.

CU Buffs football notes: Red zone woes continue against Washington State – BuffZone
When Laviska Shenault scored on a 6-yard run with 5 minutes, 6 seconds to play in the third quarter of Saturday’s 41-10 loss to Washington State at Martin Stadium, it snapped a streak of seven consecutive red zone trips without a touchdown.

Reeling CU Buffs routed by Washington State – BuffZone
Steven Montez struggled for the second week in a row, the defense couldn’t stop anybody (again), and the Buffaloes found Martin Stadium to be just as unfriendly as the past two trips here.


Air Bennett - Washington State University Athletics
One well-placed cross and one dynamic header by junior Elyse Bennett was all Washington State (10-3-1, 3-2-1) needed to take down Oregon (4-5-5, 0-4-2) on the road Saturday night in Eugene, Ore.

This Week in Parenting

More flag football this weekend, and the sock game went up a notch once again. The 8 year-old is already in the Christmas spirit.

Not to be outdone, the 11 year-old decided to pay tribute to wiener dogs everywhere.

Speaking of flag football, the older boy practices twice per week, Tuesday and Thursday. As I mentioned last Sunday, it’s been raining here pretty much nonstop for about a month. Such was the case this week. On Tuesday afternoon, it began to sprinkle, but nothing compared to what we’ve had previously. So of course as soon as the first rain drop fell, coach canceled practice. I told Mrs. Kendall that I hope the coach doesn’t wonder why his team gets beat 35-0 every game if he’s cancelling football practice on account of a little rain. So I went out with the boys and threw passes to them on the field for about 40 minutes, and it quit raining after about five minutes. Sigh.

When Mrs. Kendall asked the assistant about it yesterday, he said that they canceled because the kids just complain about being wet and cold when they practice in the rain. Yes, because if a bunch of 6th graders are uncomfortable, we better just shut everything down.

On a separate but semi-related note, I was watching the 11 year-old’s game yesterday when an opposing coach asked another coach if he wanted to put Havoc in the game. I assumed it was some sort of offensive package the coaches had drawn up. Nope. The other team actually had a kid named Havoc. Yes, Havoc. A mom on our sideline said “He’s gonna be a great athlete with that name.” I replied, “or a felon.” I feel like there’s no in-between with a name like that.

No word if his siblings Chaos and Bedlam were also on the team. This is more evidence of my theory that there are no good child names, there are only bad ones.


Best beer I had this week: Currently enjoying a Straffe Hendrik Quadrupel, courtesy of a brewery in one of the coolest little cities you’ll ever visit: Bruges, Belgium. It’s a great beer that tastes even better after a win.

As the beer flows, so does the economy, as consumers keep growth aloft - Reuters
The International Monetary Fund this week downgraded its outlook for world growth in 2019 to 3%, the slowest pace since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago.


Why Is the World So Loud? - The Atlantic
The tech industry is producing a rising din. Our bodies can’t adapt.