Washington State Football: 5 takeaways from 69-28 win over Arizona

Calvin Jackson Jr., Renard Bell, Washington State football. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
Calvin Jackson Jr., Renard Bell, Washington State football. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images) /
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Washington State football
Khalil Tate, Arizona Wildcats. Hunter Dale, Peyton Pelluer, Washington State football. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images) /

Defensive Focus

Arizona went into the locker room at halftime down by an embarrassing 55-14 score. They came back out for the third quarter focused and determined. Conversely, Washington State’s defense seemed to lose their focus. The Wildcats were able to drive down the field and scored 14 points in the third quarter.

Other teams are going to make plays, it is the PAC-12 after all. Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate sure did make some plays. The Cougs defense needed to keep him in the pocket and couldn’t do so. Next week’s opponent Jake Browning doesn’t have the same ability, but he can make plays with his feet. Going forward WSU’s defense needs to play more consistently.

Movement in the pocket

Obviously, Mack can do damage when he got out of the pocket. Minshew, on the other hand, makes defenses pay within the pocket. That isn’t to say he can’t do what Tate does while on the run, because he’s shown that he can. I’d like to focus on how Minshew handles himself between the tackles.

My son, who isn’t a Wazzu guy, and hadn’t watched a game, had a very interesting observation about GMII. Within a series, he said that Minshew looks like a prototypical Bellicheck quarterback. That means he makes his adjustments within the pocket to avoid the pass rush. Watch videos of Tom Brady moving in the pocket, Minshew looks a lot like Brady.

Quarterbacks are supposed to be able to feel the oncoming pass rush. Minshew takes it to the next level, almost like a sixth sense. I’ve written about how patient he is while doing check downs. He buys himself extra time to make the play by taking a step left, right, front or back. Watch his throw to Easop Winston which was the record-breaking touchdown pass and see how GMII moved and set back up for the pocket.