Gordon, Borghi lead Washington State past Colorado 41-10
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — After a few frustrating weeks, Washington State coach Mike Leach was pleased to see the Cougars play with a level of consistency that has been absent.
"Consistency and the mental tough ness to stay focused from one play to the next," Leach said. "Everyone wants to get ahead of themselves but all you have is that one play in the present moment and you better focus on that one and I thought we did a better job of keeping track of that tonight."
Gordon threw a 4-yard TD pass to Max Borghi and a 22-yarder to Dezmon Patmon in the first quarter as the Cougars (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) jumped to a 14-0 lead, scored touchdowns on their first three drives and cruised to a needed victory. Gordon was 35-of-51 passing and connected with eight different receivers.
"I think we are emerging defensively," Leach said. "We simplified some things but we are still kind of coming together there a little bit, honestly. I think the defense has some of its best football ahead of us."
Borghi was also outstanding on the ground, rushing for 105 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter that gave the Cougars a 21-3 lead.
Montez was 16-of-30 passing for 129 yards. Alex Fontenot had 11 carries for 105 yards, but the Buffaloes' only touchdown came on Laviska Shenault Jr.'s 6-yard TD run in the third quarter that pulled Colorado (3-4, 1-3) within 24-10.
But Gordon responded with a 44-yard TD pass to Brandon Arconado and hit Tay Martin for a 1-yard TD early in the fourth quarter.
Colorado Coach Mel Tucker was frustrated with turnovers and the inability to finish drives.
"We need to be able to score touchdowns, especially against a team like this who can move the ball and score," Tucker said. "That has been an issue for us the past couple of weeks. Obviously, we are moving the ball but we can't finish drives and we missed a couple field goals. Those are thing that we have to get cleaned up."
Washington State recorded three takeaways, improving to 28-5 since 2015 when forcing multiple turnovers. It was the first time the Cougars intercepted three passes in a game since its win over Eastern Washington last season.
Borghi posted his third 100-yard rushing game of the season. Borghi is the first Cougar with three 100-yard games in a season since Jerome Harrison had eight in 2005. Borghi also had nine catches, tying a career-high.
Montez was replaced in the fourth quarter by Tyler Lytle, but he was injured on his first play. Freshman Blake Stenstrom stepped in for the first action of his career and his first pass attempt was intercepted.
Colorado: The Buffaloes lost their third straight and could not get off the field on third downs, continuing a season-long issue. Washington State converted 7-of-14 third downs. The Buffaloes were giving up 49% on third down entering the game.
Washington State: The Cougars were giving up 47.7 points per game in conference play, but didn't allow Colorado out of its own territory on seven of its final nine drives. The Buffaloes have five drives of three plays or less.
Colorado: The Buffaloes host Southern California on Friday.
Washington State: The Cougars travel to No. 12 Oregon next Saturday.