PULLMAN (AP) - There’s a good chance Washington State coach Mike Leach will once again turn the Cougars’ Air Raid offense over to a graduate transfer quarterback.
The conventional wisdom is that former Eastern Washington quarterback Gage Gubrud is likely to succeed Gardner Minshew. Gubrud has a big edge on experience over quarterbacks Trey Tinsley and Anthony Gordon, who have barely seen the field in their careers with the Cougars.
Gubrud, who was granted a rare sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, threw for nearly 10,000 yards and 87 touchdowns at FCS Eastern Washington. He led the Eagles to a memorable upset of Washington State in his first game as a starter in 2016.
Sure to draw some comparisons with his predecessor in Pullman, Gubrud wants to make one thing clear: “I’m not Gardner.”
“I don’t lead the same way as Gardner. I don’t throw the ball the same way as Gardner,” Gubrud said. “Gardner’s a great quarterback, but we go about things differently.”
Minshew emerged as the starter during fall camp last year and ended up as the Pac-12 offensive player of the year. He threw for 4,779 yards and 38 touchdowns in leading Washington State to an 11-2 mark, a school record for victories.
Minshew is now in the NFL and Washington State has question marks at quarterback for the second straight year.
Leach has insisted the starting job is wide open.
“We’re kind of accumulating data, information, evaluation,” Leach said. “The biggest thing is who’s consistent. You try to develop a level of consistency and that’s what you’re really working toward.”
Whoever wins out will have a deep crew of returning receivers, including Dezmon Patmon, Jamire Calvin, Tay Martin, Easop Winston and Calvin Jackson Jr.