In the Washington State Cougars final home game of the 2023 season, Brennan Jackson nearly outscored the entire Colorado Buffaloes team with two scoop-and-scores to lead the Cougars 56-14 route, snapping a six game losing streak.
If this is truly the end of Martin Stadium’s time hosting power-five conference games, WSU (5-6, 2-6 in Pac-12) went out with a bang. The Cougars dominated this game from beginning to end, scoring on offense, defense and special teams before the halftime break. On the opposite sideline. Colorado (4-7, 1-7) only scored on their fourth drive of the game and didn’t score again until the fourth quarter.
The dominant victory was a site for sore eyes. For the first time in weeks, the entirety of WSU’s football team combined to create a perfect harmony of success, not only scoring in all facets, but seemingly playing with an extra dose of swagger that hadn’t been seen for weeks.
It was evident from the start that Colorado’s offensive line couldn’t contain the momentum seniors Ron Stone Jr. and his roommate Jackson were carrying after their ceremonies. Stone Jr. grabbed his first sack of the night on the third play of the game to force a Colorado punt. WSU’s offense cruised through Colorado’s defense on their opening drive, taking just seven plays to find the end zone on a Lincoln Victor handoff for the early 7-0 advantage.
On the ensuing drive, Jackson’s roommate Stone Jr. came free of the edge to force out a fumble. falling right into Jackson who took it all the way back for a senior night touchdown. Very reminiscent of the two’s strip-sack touchdown combo earlier in the year vs Oregon State.
After a three-and-out from both sides, Shedeur Sanders found Travis Hunter open on a third down for a long touchdown to keep the Buffaloes in it. Before Cam Ward could even get back on the field to get his shot, Leyton Smithson broke through the teeth of the Colorado special teams to keep the Cougar lead up by two possessions with a 98 yard kick return.
The Cougar defense continued to live in the backfield, sacking Sanders at the end of the first quarter once again. Unfortunately for Sanders, he would suffer an injury that kept him out for the remainder of the game. WSU’s offense kept their foot on the gas on the next drive going 67 yards on eight plays to push to the Cougs ahead by three possessions well before halftime.
Even with the departure of Sanders, WSU’s defense continued to terrorize the Colorado backfield, forcing multiple Colorado punts. The Cougs flew right through the Buffalo defense again through the air and ground for another touchdown drive, culminating on a Ward touchdown scamper, to take a commanding 35-7 lead.
The Buffalo offense continued to flail, punting it right back to the seemingly red-hot Cougar offense. With just 2:38 to go before the halftime break, Ward marched the offense right down the field — anchored by a 51-yard catch and go to Josh Kelly — 73 yards to seize a halftime lead of 42-7 on a tush-push. Or as the commentators may call it, a “Pullman-push.”
Colorado seemed content with packing their Louis luggage and heading back to Boulder with a more conservative playstyle consisting of running the football throughout the second half. A failed desperation fourth and long inside WSU territory sealed any hopes of a believable miracle in the second half as WSU quickly scored on a 34-yard when Kyle Williams burnt his defender for the score.
Quickly thereafter, Jackson submitted his place amongst all-time senior days when he scooped up another fumble for a house call for his second defensive touchdown of the day.
Colorado’s early fourth quarter touchdown was far too little and far too late to try and get back into this laugher of a game as both teams practically ran out the clock for the remaining 12 minutes or so to finally snap WSU’s six game losing streak.
WSU will end the 2023 regular season with a trip to Seattle for the 118th Apple Cup next Saturday.