Utah wide receiver Britain Covey (left) is tackled by Washington State’s Deion Singleton (22) and Peyton Pelluer (47) during the second half of a game on Sept. 29, 2018, in Pullman. Washington State won 28-24. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Utah wide receiver Britain Covey (left) is tackled by Washington State’s Deion Singleton (22) and Peyton Pelluer (47) during the second half of a game on Sept. 29, 2018, in Pullman. Washington State won 28-24. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

Cougars rally late to defeat Utah 28-24

Gardner Minshew throws an 89-yard TD to Easop Winston Jr. late in the 4th quarter to lead WSU.

Associated Press

PULLMAN — Easop Winston Jr. caught the football over his shoulder, made a couple of sweet moves to shed a defender, and completed an 89-yard touchdown play that lifted Washington State to a 28-24 victory over Utah on Saturday.

Winston said he could hear the roar of the crowd as he made the catch late in the fourth quarter, and had only one thought on his mind.

“I just had to get in the end zone,” Winston said. “Just get in the end zone.”

After Winston scored with 4:14 left in the game, Utah had one last chance to score. But the Utes turned the ball over on downs after a penalty-plagued possession and Washington State won its 10th consecutive home game.

Washington State (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) shredded the nation’s No. 1 defense for 445 total yards.

Utah (2-2, 0-2) was coming off a bye week. The Utes defense came in allowing just 12.3 points and 204 yards per game.

Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew completed 31 of 56 passes for three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for a touchdown.

“This game was all about resiliency,” Minshew said, after the Cougars were shut out for most of the second half.

Minshew said he saw that Winston, who caught four passes for 115 yards, drew just one defender on the play that produced the winning touchdown.

“I saw they were one on one with a guy who is pretty much unguardable one on one,” Minshew said.

After the catch, “I was waiting for him to get caught and he never did,” Minshew said.

Utah only managed to score one field goal in the second half.

“Our defense studded up in the second half,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. “One big play and that was obviously the back breaker.”

“We did a lot of positive things that were negated by penalties”, he said.

“This team has a lot of character, a lot of heart,” Whittingham said. “They’ll come back ready to go to work on Monday.”

Washington State marched to the Utah 17 on the opening drive, but Minshew was intercepted by Corrion Ballard near the end zone to end the scoring threat.

On the ensuing series, Utah’s Britain Covey appeared to fumble after catching a pass and the ball was recovered by Washington State. But safety Skyler Thomas was called for targeting and ejected from the game and Utah retained the ball at midfield. Quarterback Tyler Huntley ran up the middle for 24 yards and a 7-0 Utah lead.

Minshew threw a short touchdown pass to Tay Martin on the next series to tie the score.

Zach Moss ran for a 6-yard touchdown to put Utah ahead. Minshew bootlegged 10 yards for a touchdown to tie the score at 14-14.

After Utah’s first punt, Minshew fired a 65-yard touchdown pass to a streaking Dezmon Patmon, who caught the ball near midfield and ran untouched into the end zone.

Utah tied the score at 21-21 on Huntley’s 1-yard plunge, and that stood at halftime.

The defenses took over in the second half.

Matt Gay kicked a 41-yard field goal on the first possession of the third to put Utah ahead 24-21. Blake Mazza tried a 52-yard field goal on the next series for WSU, but it was blocked by Maxs Tupai.

In the fourth, Minshew lofted an 89-yard touchdown pass to Winston to take a 28-24 lead with 4:14 left. Utah turned the ball over on downs with 50 seconds left when Huntley’s pass fell short on fourth-and-20.

Washington State has now won 10 straight home games, dating to its last home loss in 2016. It’s the Cougars’ longest streak since winning nine in a row from 1941-46 (there was no football in 1943-44 because of the war).

“Protecting our home is one of our big things,” said WSU defensive lineman Will Rodgers.

Washington State linebacker Peyton Pelluer led all players with 13 tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss. The sack was huge, forcing Utah to punt on its second-to-last possession.

“It was a special feeling,” Pelluer said. “Hearing the crowd erupt.”

Washington State plays at Oregon State next Saturday.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Lake Stevens’ Jayden Limar beats the defense for a 55-yard touchdown run during the 4A semifinal against Graham-Kapowsin on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens tops Graham-Kapowsin to reach state title game

Jayden Limar accounts for six TDs as the Vikings win 42-28 and avenges a loss to the Eagles in last year’s title tilt.

Seattle Seahawks' Tariq Woolen (27) reacts after an interception during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Munich, Germany. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
NFL preview: Las Vegas Raiders at Seattle Seahawks

Seattle is happy to finally be home for a stretch and is set to host Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon.

A variety of sports equipment on a black background including an american football, a soccer ball, a baseball, a baseball bat, a tennis raquet, a tennis ball, and a basketball
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Month for October/November

Below are the candidates for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Month… Continue reading

Lake Stevens’ Jayden Limar runs the ball during the game against Eastlake on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘He’s been our motor’: Star tailback Limar powers Lake Stevens’ title quest

Notre Dame commit Jayden Limar has showcased his immense talent while leading the Vikings back to the 4A state semifinals.

Lake Stevens’ Cole Becker weaves through the secondary on a long reception against Gonzaga Prep on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Lake Stevens High School in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
4A state semifinal preview: Lake Stevens vs. Graham-Kapowsin

The Vikings are set to face defending champion Graham-Kapowsin in a rematch of last year’s state title game.

Washington State defensive end Ron Stone Jr., center, celebrates with Willie Taylor III, left, as he holds the Apple Cup Trophy after they defeated in an NCAA college football game, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Huskies out for revenge in Apple Cup

The Huskies haven’t forgotten the frenzied celebration that took place on their home turf last year.

Seattle Kraken right wing Jordan Eberle, left, celebrates after scoring against the Vegas Golden Knights during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Kraken earn major win over Golden Knights

Andre Burakovsky scores twice to help Seattle come out on top in a battle of the Pacific Division’s top teams.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Silvertips fall to Rockets

Everett allows three goals in the second period and suffers a 4-2 defeat.

Luke Sayler and Claire Murphy stress out while watching the World Cup at the Irishmen Pub as the U.S. nearly gives up a last-minute goal during their 0-0 draw with England on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett fans cheer U.S. in tight World Cup match against England

Fans gathered at the Irishmen pub to watch the U.S. take on England in a World Cup match. The game ended in a 0-0 draw.

Most Read