In a cold Martin Stadium, the Arizona Wildcats learned a tough lesson: the Cougars are for real. The Cougars had their way in all facets of the game in the 1st half. With playoff implications on the line, the Cougars did not dissappoint. WSU moves on to 10-1 for the first time since 2002 and an opportunity for their first Pac-12 North title.
SHOUT OUT TO THE SHIRTLESS MEN THAT ENDURED THE ENTIRE GAME IN 20 DEGREE WEATHER!
I’m not going to sugar coat this. I felt bad for Arizona in the middle of the 2nd quarter. I was a student at Washington State when Pete Carroll and company rolled in and destroyed us 69-0. It was tough to watch as your heart is just being ripped apart knowing that your team will be in rebuild mode for years as long as Paul Wulff was in charge.
Fast foward to 2018 and now Arizona fans are feeling my pain. On the bright side, they at least put up points. We didn’t even get that luxury. Imagine watching a game where your team intentionally kept running the ball just to get the game to end fast. That was the actual game plan. Run the clock out to limit the score being blown up. You guys at least made it somewhat enjoyable for some moments.
Arizona fans were not too happy though at the end of the half. A quick look at Arizona Football’s Twitter account:
WSU 1st Half Scoring Drives
- 10:44 1 yard run
- 7:38 1 yard run
- 0:19 27 yard pass
- 12:03 11 yard pass
- 7:08 6 yard pass
- 7:04 Special Team recovery/ TD
- 3:22 9 yard pass
- 0:10 50 yard pass
Quick 1st Half Comparison
By the end of the half, Gardner Minshew II was 28/33 for 311 yards, 5 touchdowns and a passer rating of 214.0. WSU would have 96 yards on the ground and 1 penalty for 15 yards. Arizona’s Khalil Tate would be 11/18 176 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and a passer rating of 168.8. But it is clear the 3 turnovers and 72 penalty yards really put this game to rest early. Arizona would also end the half with 5 fumbles.
It should also be noted that entering the game, WSU was averaging 8.6 in the 1st and 11.9 in the 2nd for points scored. After the half, WSU averages 9.7 and 13.9. WSU’s defense allows 13.4 points in the 1st half with 5.9 in the 1st and 7.5 in the 2nd.
It has been a complete nightmare for Arizona.
2nd Half Garbage Time
Arizona came out on a mission to score and move the ball fast and an attack against junior Marcus Strong would lead to an Arizona score. WSU would keep Gardner Minshew in to what appeared to let him pad his stats and add style points to the playoff conversation. But a few miscues and missed field goals would keep WSU’s 3rd quarter woes continuing. Arizona would capitalize on WSU’s sloppy play and blown coverages and score 14 unanswered points chipping away at the Cougar’s comfortable lead. But it wouldn’t last long as WSU’s Gardner Minshew would find the endzone for his 7th passing touchdown, setting the new single-game school record once held by Luke Falk.
It was a great scrimmage for WSU in preparation for UW and the Apple Cup. WSU has shown flashes of what they can do right. But with a stronger, faster Husky offense, the Cougars will want to take a look at tonight’s film and see where they can fix some of their mistakes in preparation for the Apple Cup.
Fun Fact: Before tonight’s game, the Cougars were averaging 37.6 points per game. The Cougs enter the Apple Cup averaging 40.5.