SEATTLE — Washington State’s best moments came early. One of them almost was inevitable.
With a 4-yard completion to Tay Martin on the Cougars’ second possession Friday, Anthony Gordon became the 13th quarterback in Football Bowl Subdivision history to throw for 5,000 yards in a single season.
Gordon wound up pushing his total to 5,228, the sixth-highest total ever, as the Cougars lost 31-13 to Washington.
In all likelihood, the Cougs will draw a bowl bid that will allow Gordon to move further up the list. With a huge day he could even catch the all-time leader, B.J. Symons of Texas Tech, who threw for 5,833 yards in 2003.
Gordon and his receivers found an early rhythm in the short passing game, and the senior quarterback completed 9 of 10 attempts in an 81-yard touchdown drive to open the contest. Heading in, he had needed 80 yards to reach 5,000.
“We had a whole bunch of positive plays throughout that game,” Gordon said. “Happy with that, but we just need to stack up a few more positives.”
Three players have reached the 5,000-yard milestone twice, meaning it’s been done 16 times in all.
WOODS ADDS ON — Cougars linebacker Jahad Woods made 10 tackles to push his season total to 121, meaning he has almost twice as many as anyone else on the team.
He also had a tackle for loss, giving him 10 for the season, also a team-high.
Skyler Thomas also had 10 tackles, and Willie Taylor tallied a sack.
Brandon Wellington led the Huskies with 16 tackles, while Elijah Molden and Trent McDuffie each intercepted Gordon.
RANT REPORT — Washington State coach Mike Leach interrupted his postgame news conference to assail a columnist who’d asked him a challenging question about his seven-game losing streak in the Apple Cup.
Leach had mentioned Washington’s recent recruiting and suggested nobody should be surprised by their success in the Apple Cup.
“So you’re not supposed to beat teams that have higher-ranked recruiting classes?” the columnist said.
“We certainly have before,” Leach replied. “We didn’t this one, and I don’t care to have a big discussion with you on it, because I really don’t care what you think.
“You run your mouth in your little column and stuff like some sanctimonious troll. And you’ve never been fair or even-handed with us, so I really don’t care what you think. Go ahead, because you’re going to write some nasty stuff anyway, like you always do. And I don’t know which Coug way back when did something that offended you, and I really don’t care about that either. But you can live your little meager life in your little hole and write nasty things, and if that makes you feel even, you go right ahead.”
Dale Grummert may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2290.