Washington State started fast Saturday night, and finished strong too, one last Oregon State rally (of 5) not withstanding, and as a result, the Cougars upended the Beavers, and headed back to Pullman with a 56-37 win. In between, all manner of chaos occurred.
It was #Pac12LongAfterDark (where anything can happen) game, a Coug game (where any number of weird things usually do happen), and a renewal of one of the northwest rivalry games (where literally generations of history have a way of bubbling up) all rolled into one.
Its a shame its the most lightly attended Pac-12 confrontation, in part because the teams have the 2 smallest stadiums in the conference, but then neither team consistently distributes all of its tickets, much less uses them all, because regardless of whether the Cougs Cuog it, or the Beavers do, something always seems to happen that no one saw coming. This was the case Saturday night, as though Oregon State managed to distribute 34,429 tickets, there were never 30K people in the place at any point. Those that were there saw plenty they didn’t expect.
Unfortunately for the Beavers, some things everyone did see coming also happened. The Oregon State defense struggled to disrupt the Washington State offense, missed more tackles than anyone will take the film study time to fully count, and watched their secondary get carved up. To the tune of 430 yards passing by Gardner Minshew, who completed 30 of 40 passes, and threw for 5 touchdowns. And the beleaguered Beavers gave up 100 rushing yards, this to a Cougar team that doesn’t run.
After routinely giving up program record rushing nights to start the season, 100 yards doesn’t sound so bad. But Washington State did that (and 10 yards more) on just 17 carries, as the final totals include 4 sacks of Minshew and the kneel down that ended it.
That as many stayed after the first 2 1/2 minutes as did was probably because not all of them had even made it to their seats from the beer line by then, and missed the explosive start.
Washington State went 3 and in, covering 75 yards on 3 passes for the opening score in a minute and 16 seconds. Oregon State went 3 and punt, which Washington State blocked, and covered for the touchdown that made it 14-0 2:24 into the game.