Washington State Football: 3 Takeaways from the loss at USC

Gardner Minshew, Washington State football. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Gardner Minshew, Washington State football. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Washington State Football
LOS ANGELES, CA: Gardner Minshew #16 of the Washington State Cougars passes during the second quarter against the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 21, 2018. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Gardner Minshew is a cool customer

If you are a football fan, not necessarily a supporter of the Washington State Cougars, you have to enjoy watching WSU quarterback Gardner Minshew II play the game. He’s a classic drop-back QB that is both physically gifted and smart.

First of all, there is no doubt that the graduate transfer has a cannon attached to his right shoulder. He can throw deep and if necessary and can send bullets to his receivers.

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His ability to read defenses and make adjustments is outstanding. ESPN analyst Greg McElroy said over and over again how Minshew was able to read the defenders in the box and take advantage of the setup on a run/pass option. Even better than that, the QB accurately read when a seventh defender came at him and then found a receiver in the vacated spot.

What was more eye-opening than all the above excellence, is the way Minshew stands in the pocket. A pass rush doesn’t faze him. USC went after Wazzu’s quarterback many times, but Minshew stayed in the pocket, his feet calm, and went through his receiver progressions. The man was totally unbothered by whatever the Trojan defense did.

Minshew looked like a seasoned NFL veteran. He picked apart the defense all night. It was obvious that Southern Cal was determined to take away Minshew’s favorite target Tay Martin, which they did effectively (three receptions for one yard). Again, unfazed, Minshew found other receivers. Four of them had at least six catches each. For the game, Minshew was 37 of 52 for 344 yards and three touchdowns. He did absolutely everything he could to help his team win.