Apple Cup Post Game Coverage: Instant Reaction

Mike Martin

Instant Reaction

On Washington State's first drive of the game, quarterback Anthony Gordon was 9 for 10, hitting his first 8 passes as he drove the Cougar offense 81-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead.  It was an impressive 13-play drive that ate up nearly six minutes of the game clock and quieted Husky Stadium.   

On the first play of Washington's first drive, quarterback Jacob Eason was sacked for a 5-yard loss.  An already quiet home crowd was now holding its breath. Eason's next two passes were an incompletion sent Jordan Chin's way and a 4-yard reception by Terrell Bynum.  A 3-and-out and it looked like two offenses going in opposite directions.    

The quarter ended with the cross-state rivals tied at 7. In the second quarter, the Washington defense began to make Gordon uncomfortable.  The variety of blitzes had an effect and the coverage resulted in an intentional-grounding call.  WSU regained the lead 10-7 on a 28-yard field goal.   

The Huskies scored TDs on their next three drives while Gordon was on the run for the rest of the game.  He was harassed into numerous dump-off passes for short gains and was sacked 5 times.  He looked less than ordinary in taking 5 sacks while throwing no touchdowns.  Save for the first drive by WSU, this was the Washington's defense's most complete game of the season.  

What We Saw 

A final score that was reflective of the previous six Apple Cups.   

Gordon was taken to the ground repeatedly in the first half and was uncomfortable in the pocket the rest of the game.  

Jacob Eason outperformed Gordon and Huskies running back Salvon Ahmed outdid WSU's Max Borgi. 

Gordon threw 62 passes and completed 48, but none resulted in a touchdown.  

Key Stats  

Eason had as many rushing TDs as Borgi and two more TD passes than Gordon.

Borgi had as many tackles (1) as he had rushing touchdowns.

The WSU offensive line entered the Apple Cup having given up only 13 sacks, including 9 in the last seven games. Linebackers Ryan Bowman, Joe Tryon and Edefuan Ulofoshio added 5 more to that total.  

Turning Point 

Gordon moved the Cougars to the Washington 3-yard line.  On third-and-3, Ulofoshio got to Gordon forced him into intentional grounding.  WSU's Blake Mazza chipped in a 28-yard field goal. Ulofoshio showed that the Huskies could get to Gordon and Mike Leach's Air Raid offense was grounded again.  

Where Do They Go From Here 

The Huskies' regular season is over, finished at 7-5 and leaving this team waiting to learn which bowl game it will enter.  

 

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