PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — After a few frustrating weeks, Washington State coach Mike Leach was pleased to see the Cougars play with a level of consistency that has been absent.
“Consistency and the mental toughness to stay focused from one play to the next,” Leach said. “Everyone wants to get ahead of themselves but all you have is that one play in the present moment and you better focus on that one and I thought we did a better job of keeping track of that tonight.”
Anthony Gordon passed for 369 yards and four touchdowns and Washington State rolled over Colorado 41-10 on Saturday, snapping the Cougars’ three-game losing streak.
Gordon threw a 4-yard TD pass to Max Borghi and a 22-yarder to Dezmon Patmon in the first quarter as the Cougars (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) jumped to a 14-0 lead, scored touchdowns on their first three drives and cruised to a needed victory. Gordon was 35-of-51 passing and connected with eight different receivers.
The WSU defense was excellent after weeks of getting of getting shredded. Colorado was limited to 320 total yards and quarterback Steven Montez was intercepted twice. The Cougars were giving up 47.7 points per game in conference play but didn’t allow Colorado out of their own territory on seven of its final nine drives.
“I think we are emerging defensively,” Leach said. “We simplified some things but we are still kind of coming together there a little bit, honestly. I think the defense has some of its best football ahead of us.”
Borghi was also outstanding on the ground, rushing for 105 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter that gave the Cougars a 21-3 lead. Borghi is the first Cougar to have three 100-yard games in a season since Jerome Harrison had eight in 2005. Borghi also had nine catches, tying a career-high.
Montez was 16-of-30 passing for 129 yards. Alex Fontenot had 11 carries for 105 yards, but the Buffaloes’ only touchdown came on Laviska Shenault Jr.’s 6-yard TD run in the third quarter that pulled Colorado (3-4, 1-3) within 24-10.
But Gordon responded with a 44-yard TD pass to Brandon Arconado and hit Tay Martin for a 1-yard TD early in the fourth quarter.
Through seven games, Gordon leads the nation in passing yards at 2,981 and is tied for first in passing touchdowns with 29 while completing 70.9 percent of his passes.
The Cougars travel to No. 12 Oregon next Saturday. WSU has won four straight against the Ducks, who knocked off No. 25 Washington on Saturday 35-31.