College Football
Washington State 41, Wyoming 19
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, September 1, 2018
Where: Jonah Field War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, Wyoming
Temperature: 75°
Head Official: Kevin Hassell
Attendance: 24131

Gardner Minshew found a rhythm in Washington State's quarterback-friendly offense on Saturday in the Cougars' season-opening 41-19 win over host Wyoming at War Memorial Stadium.

Wyoming (1-1) struggled to sustain anything on offense and finished with only 206 total yards. Freshman quarterback Tyler Vander Waal hit on only 8 of 20 passes for 67 yards.

The Cougars (1-0) weren't explosive against a seasoned Cowboys' defense that was one of the best units in the country in 2017, instead letting Minshew get acclimated to Wazzu coach Mike Leach's air raid offense.

Minshew, a transfer from Southern Miss who landed the starting job after a battle with two other players, passed for 319 yards with three touchdowns and distributed the ball to nine different receivers.

The Cougars pounced on top 10-0 with a 24-yard Blake Mazza field goal on the opening series of the game and Minshew's 2-yard pass to running back James Williams at the 3:28 juncture of the first period.

Before WSU could pull away further, though, a bad punt snap flipped momentum in Wyoming's favor. The Cowboys got a safety on that play and surged in front by halftime, 16-13, on touchdown runs from Nico Evans and Avante' Cox.

Cooper Rothe extended the Wyoming lead to 19-13 with a 30-yard field goal at the 8:48 mark of the third quarter, the cap to a 13-play, 62-yard drive that was the bulk of the Cowboys' second-half offensive production.

Washington State controlled most of the rest of the game, with a big connection between Minshew and Jamire Calvin providing a key turning point.

A Cougars' drive was on the verge of stalling when they went for a first down on fourth-and-six. Minshew sidestepped trouble and lofted a pass to the left side that Calvin corralled from his backside on a slide for a 9-yard gain.

Four plays later, Minshew slipped a pass to Max Borghi on the right flat, and the freshman back carved out the rest of the 6 yards for a touchdown to complete a 75-yard scoring drive. Mazza's extra point put the Cougars in front for good with 3:51 to go in the third quarter.

After that, the Cougars churned out a trio of fourth-quarter scoring drives, with Minshew zipping a 7-yard pass to Easop Winston, Borghi blasting 14 yards into the end zone and Williams scoring in the closing minute for the final dagger.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Washington State   Wyoming
James Williams Player Nico Evans
16 Attempts 18
82 Yards 89
5.1 Avg Yards 4.9
1 Touchdowns 1
0 Long 0
Washington State   Wyoming
Jamire Calvin Player James Price
5 Receptions 2
82 Yards 23
16.4 Avg Yards 11.5
0 Touchdowns 0
0 Long 0
Team Stats Summary
  Yards Scoring Defense
Team Tot Rus Pas TD FG INT Sck FF
Washington State 394 75 319 5 2 1 3.0 1
Wyoming 206 139 67 2 1 1 0.0 1