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The Good, Bad and Ugly of WSU’s sleepwalkish defeat of Northern Colorado.

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Big score difference, miles to go

NCAA Football: Northern Colorado at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. Much like WSU seemed somewhat lethargic for a good-sized portion of the game on Saturday, yours truly is feeling much the same on Sunday. Unlike WSU, I don’t see any sort of rally to beat Sunday by six touchdowns, but hopefully we manage to squeak out a victory.

Your Washington State Cougars hung more than half-a-hundred on their second straight opponent Saturday, slowly pulling away from Northern Colorado for a 59-17 victory. And while 42-point wins are never anything to scoff at, there is much to correct - especially defensively - if the Cougars want to continue their winning ways. Luckily they have an extended period to do so, and will face a largely inert offense next time out. Hang on, I’m being told that they actually have a short week and are traveling to face a highly explosive offense. Hoo boy. Off we go.

The Good

  • Jahad Woods was back on the field. Thank heavens.
  • The start may not have been as explosive as it was last week, but three touchdowns on the first three possessions, with an average duration of 2:19 is pretty good!
  • Great strip by Mr. Woods, resulting in a WSU fumble recovery after he, uh, let’s just say he overran the ball carrier a bit.
  • The WSU offense reached the red zone eight times, and scored eight times. Pretty good!
  • Pretty exciting to see Deon McIntosh get some carries, including his first touchdown. I bet he will get better with each passing week.
  • Speaking of great days, have yourself a game, Brandon Arconado. Arconado always seemed to be open, and Anthony Gordon kept finding him.
  • Funny how a 464 yard, four touchdown, 11.9 YPA performance from the quarterback seems kinda ho-hum, but that’s how I felt during the game. That’s probably a “me” problem much more so than a WSU problem. Gordon has been mostly fantastic.
  • Travion Brown has some incredible potential. We gotta get him a better number, though.
  • Plus-three in the turnover department will always be a great thing.
  • Good to see Lamonte McDougle get some extended playing time. Hopefully he works his way into the regular rotation.
  • 42 passes for the Cougar offense, zero sacks for the Northern Colorado defense. According to the stat sheet, WSU QBs were only hurried twice. Matter of fact, Northern Colorado only managed one tackle-for-loss in the entire game, and that resulted in a loss of one whole yard. Great job by the offensive line.
  • Blake Mazza - still perfect!
  • Two straight weeks now that the defense has upped its game considerably in the second half. Now could we please stretch that out for a full four quarters?
  • Great catch by Dezmon Patmon up the right sideline to bail out Gordon on an iffy throw. Then again, when Patmon is the target, maybe there aren’t many iffy throws.
  • That stutter-step fade play to Easop Winston is so darn pretty.
  • The Cougar offense averaged a first down every time it snapped the ball (10.4 yards per play). Seems pretty good!

The Bad

  • If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that the defense hasn’t practiced basic tackling drills at all so far.
  • Way way way too many gaping holes in for UNC backs to exploit. Like, an inexcusable amount.
  • Marcus Strong, if you make that misjudgment against a good receiver, like the ones you’ll face in five days, the next thing you hear will be the opponent’s fight song.
  • Anthony Gordon has thrown some incredibly gorgeous passes, but man, that interception he threw with Renard Bell standing all alone was just...yikes.
  • While not necessarily bad, what happened to #85? I don’t think he’s caught a pass yet.
  • Not sure who the UNC special teams coach is, but he may want to tell his kick returners that a fair catch should be the last option when the opponent is kicking from its 20.
  • WSU should have had an opportunity at a touchdown to end the first half, but they’d wasted all of their timeouts. That included one when the opponent faced 3rd and 13, less than four minutes into the game. WSU was fortunate to get a field goal try.

The Ugly

  • Yet another travshamockery by the officials. First they flag Bryce Beekman for pass interference on a ball that Wilt Chamberlain wouldn’t have reached. Then to top it off, they eject Ron Stone, Jr. (after an interminably long review) for hitting the opposing quarterback squarely in the chest. Couple thoughts: First, if the replay takes that long, the hit probably doesn’t meet the “targeting” threshold. Second, if that’s targeting, there should be 5-10 ejections in every game. For example, with 5:14 left in the third quarter of LSU-Texas, a Texas defender left his feet and put his helmet squarely in the chest of a “defenseless” LSU receiver, knocking the ball loose. Nobody, not the refs, not the commentators, not the LSU coaches, batted an eye. We have run so far afield of the original intent of the rule - ostensibly to keep the players safe - that much like a catch in the NFL, nobody knows what targeting is anymore. Because of that, WSU loses a rotational defender for the first half of next week’s game. Patently absurd.

Football

Analysis: Some good, some bad for WSU vs. Northern Colorado. In the end? A 59-17 blowout | The Spokesman-Review
Northern Colorado accumulated 355 yards of offense – nearly 40 more than FBS opponent New Mexico State did last week – and rushed for more than 200 yards.

John Blanchette: As WSU rises in college football’s ranks, attendance for nonconference tilts sputters | The Spokesman-Review
Northern Colorado is Northern Colorado is Northern Colorado, no matter how much you might dig the Cougs.

Difference makers: Easop Winston, Max Borghi spark Washington State offense, while Jahad Woods leads defense | The Spokesman-Review
Targeted six times by quarterback Anthony Gordon, the “Z” wide receiver caught six passes – two of them four touchdowns – and turned in his first 100-yard game of the 2019 season, with 113 in total.

Former Washington State QB Ryan Leaf soaks up atmosphere at Northern Colorado game following Hall of Fame induction | The Spokesman-Review Amid a sea of Cougars jerseys – some bearing his No. 16 – Ryan Leaf strode across Cougville, next to Martin Stadium, before Saturday’s game against Northern Colorado.

Saturday Night Five: USC rolls, UCLA rolls over, Colorado’s comeback, Cal’s upset and more At 1:20 a.m., after four riveting quarters and a 2+ hour weather delay, the Bears converted a late field goal and beat Washington 20-19 — their second consecutive win over UW.

This Week in Parenting

Flag football practice began this week, so it was time for the boys to lace up the cleats and head to the field. After the first practice, the 11 year-old complained that his feet were killing him because he shoes were so small. These were the same shoes that we bought him for baseball...less than six months ago. At this rate he’s going to be a size 17 before he enters high school.

Then on Friday, the 7 year-old came home with a water bottle that featured a mermaid and starfish. This was definitely NOT the water bottle that was in his backpack in the morning. Luckily, it featured the name of the owner, Cecilia. So of course this prompted a round of questions regarding who Cecilia is, whether she sits next to him, and all the things you rib your boy about regarding girls. Things escalated quickly, and before you knew it, we had Simon & Garfunkel’s “Cecilia” streaming through the phone and into his ears. Us dads live for those moments when we’re able to make our kid’s face turn bright red as he covers his ears to try and avoid direct questioning.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: Stone releases some sort of yearly collaboration, known as Stone Farking Wheaton W00t Stout, that I first found in 2017. I brought a bottle of the 2019 version back from Virginia, and enjoyed every ounce.

Aussie Sportswriter Charged $68,000 for Single Beer at Hotel Bar - VICE After consulting with the bar manager, Peter Lalor ended up with a bottle of Deuchars—a Scottish IPA—and one of the most expensive tabs ever.

Non-Sports

Barking dogs at Chevy Chase dog park divide rich and powerful - The Washington Post
Here in this community of the rich and powerful, where the average household income is $460,000, barking is the subject of a ferocious (fur-ocious?) debate — one that has divided the two-legged one-percenters for nearly a year.