Washington State Cougars coach Mike Leach has been steadfast in his assessment of his quarterbacks throughout preseason camp — he has three talented guys, and all are doing a good job. Even as it was clear this week that the competition to replace Gardner Minshew II had been narrowed to just two — fifth-year senior Anthony Gordon and sixth-year graduate transfer Gage Gubrud — the mantra remained the same.
That changed today following the second scrimmage of preseason, when Leach plainly said Gordon had the better day.
First time this camp Mike Leach has really acknowledged one of the #WSU QBs outplaying the other. Anthony Gordon: 15-of-22, 173 yds, 3 TD. Gage Gubrud: 16-of-27, 144 yds, 4 TD, 1 int.— Theo Lawson (@TheoLawson_SR) August 17, 2019
“I thought Gordon played the best.” pic.twitter.com/NDpPwbINtn
Not only did Gordon throw for more yards, he did it in fewer attempts. In case math isn’t your strong suit, Gordon’s day works out to 7.9 yards per attempt, while Gubrud’s was just 5.3 — a pretty massive difference. Additionally, it seems like this wasn’t a one off — anecdotally, Gordon has been the quarterback producing the more explosive plays.
And then there’s this:
The numbers on Anthony Gordon this camp. The most impressive part: he hasn’t thrown an interception since day five. So, Gordon’s tossed 25 touchdowns since his last pick. pic.twitter.com/sjpXPen5YR— Theo Lawson (@TheoLawson_SR) August 18, 2019
Now, as we all know, there’s some luck involved with interceptions, and “25 TDs in preseason camp” doesn’t mean 25 TD drives when you’re talking about practice situations, but still — a run of 25 TDs with zero picks isn’t all luck.
Back to Leach’s comment for a second: He was quick to also say that Gubrud had a good day. However, the fact remains that this isn’t something he’s said at any point in camp, even when one guy had a seemingly better day.
I think there are two ways you can interpret what Leach said.
To these ears, this sounded like the naming of a starting QB. Just saying. #GoCougs https://t.co/WQIiukO72l— Coug-A-Sutra (@CougSutra) August 17, 2019
If I were betting, this is meant to be a challenge to Gubrud to step up.— Podcast vs. Everyone (@PodvsEveryone) August 17, 2019
Two questions for you:
- How do you interpret Leach’s comments?
- You cool with Gordon as the starter, if that indeed is the direction this is heading?
It’s worth noting that this was the point last year that it started becoming pretty clear that Minshew was going to get the job — particularly in the days following the second scrimmage. Keep a close eye on how the reps are distributed over the next few days.