Washington State Football: 6 takeaways from 31-7 win over Colorado

Trey Tinsley, Blake Mazza, Washington State football. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Trey Tinsley, Blake Mazza, Washington State football. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Washington State football
James Williams, Gardner Minshew, Kyle Sweet, Washington State Cougars. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /


Colorado entered the game as one of the FBS leaders in turnover margin, while WSU came in at minus four. On the day however it was Cougars who won the turnover battle 3-0. The first half had no turnovers, but it only took two plays for Washington State to strip Buffs running back Travon McMillian.

In the fourth quarter, linebacker Jihad Woods forced his second fumble of the game, relieving wide receiver Leviska Shenault Jr. of the ball after a four-yard pass. Both Washington State fumble recoveries led to touchdowns. For good measure, Cougs freshman defensive back Kedron Williams intercepted Colorado’s backup quarterback Sam Noyer on the home team’s last possession of the game.

Take what they give you and plug away

Colorado was determined not to get beat deep by Minshew and his receiving corps. The Cougars did take a few deep shots with little success against a good defense and gusty winds. Since they could throw the deep ball, Minshew took what they gave him. Call it what you want, the West Coast offense, dink, and dunk, or death by a thousand cuts, WSU effectively moved the ball with a short passing game and more than their average amount runs mixed in.

Running back James Williams had 22 touches (17 run, 5 pass) for 103 yards and a score. His performance was indicative of a steady and sustained offensive attack. None of the skill players averaged 13 or more yards per play, yet as a team, WSU gained 477 total yards including 346 of them in the air. The Cougs steadily worked their way down the field for several scoring drives.

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