Gardner Minshew threw for 470 yards and two touchdowns Saturday as Washington State blew open a competitive game in the fourth quarter to earn a 59-24 non-conference win over FCS power Eastern Washington at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.
Minshew completed 45 of 57 passes, spreading the wealth among 10 receivers. Davontavean Martin caught 13 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Six other players caught at least four passes each for the Cougars, which upped their record to 3-0.
James Williams started the scoring for Washington State with the first of his three touchdown runs, a 1-yard plunge with 9:27 left in the first quarter. Minshew upped the lead to 14-0 at the 1:45 mark of the first quarter when he found Easop Winston for a 14-yard scoring strike.
After the Eagles (2-1) got on the board with a 37-yard field goal from Roidan Alcobendas less than three minutes into the second quarter, the Cougars made it 21-3 on the ensuing kickoff when Travell Harris lugged it 100 yards.
Williams’ 2-yard run with 2:17 left in the quarter made it 28-3, but Eastern Washington responded with Gage Gubrud’s 26-yard strike to Andrew Boston with 39 seconds remaining.
The Eagles pulled within 28-17 when Gubrud connected with Zach Eagle on a 34-yard touchdown pass just over three minutes into the third quarter, but Williams scored on an 8-yard run at the 4:37 mark. Eastern Washington answered back less than a minute later when Gubrud found Dennis Merritt for a 44-yard scoring strike.
But Washington State ran off and hid in the fourth quarter. Blake Mazza drilled a 44-yard field goal, followed by Minshew’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Martin and a 6-yard scoring run by Max Borghi in the period’s first seven minutes. Backup quarterback Trey Tinsley hit Robert Lewis for a 6-yard touchdown toss to cap the scoring with 1:21 left.
Gubrud threw for 231 yards, but completed just 14 of 36 passes with three interceptions. The Cougars scored 24 points off four Eagle turnovers.
—Field Level Media