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Oregon Football

Five Players to Know: Washington State Offense

October 23, 2019
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Washington State brings its prolific Air Raid offense into Eugene on Saturday to try to knock Oregon off for the fourth consecutive season.

It’ll be the third time Oregon defensive coordinator Andy Avalos has had to face the Mike Leach-led Cougars, with each team besting the other at home while Avalos was at Boise State. The only difference is that Avalos has a much higher level of athletes at his disposal this time around.

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Let’s take a look at five key Cougar offensive players you should know.

Anthony Gordon (18), Quarterback

The 6-3, 210-pound redshirt senior is your typical Cougar throwing machine. In his first season as the starter, he’s been exactly what the Cougars need.

Gordon has completed over 70 percent of his throws for 2,981 yards, good for 29 TDs with 7 interceptions. Through seven games he’s only been sacked seven times – a crucial benefit of the offense that Leach runs. Like his predecessors, Gordon gets rid of the ball quickly, rarely allowing defensive ends enough time to get to him.

Gordon is a smart player who has been in Leach’s system for a few years, so he understands the offense well. He isn’t nearly as talented physically as last year's phenom, Gardner Minshew, but he still leads all FBS quarterbacks in yards per game – and it's not even close.

Max Borghi (21), Running Back

The 5-10, 197-pound sophomore makes the most of the limited amount of rushing attempts he gets. On only 70 run plays, he has racked up 512 yards – an outstanding 7.3 yards per carry and 6 touchdowns.

Borghi is also a weapon in the passing game, where he’s been able to snag 36 balls – second on the team – for 328 yards and 3 touchdowns. His versatility means Leach is able to keep him on the field any time the Cougs don't use five true wideouts.

Borghi is pretty shifty and often pinballs off would-be tacklers. He will need to be a big part of the offense if the Cougars want to find success at Autzen.

Easop Winston Jr. (8), Wide Receiver

The 6-0, 192-pound redshirt senior is Gordon’s favorite target; his 47 catches for 578 yards and 9 touchdowns lead the Cougars in all three categories. Easop was a big part of the Cougars' offense last year as well, nabbing over 50 passes for 8 touchdowns.

Winston has cemented himself as the true No. 1 option, and he needs to draw a lot of attention from the Oregon secondary. It will be interesting to see if Deommodore Lenoir is 100 percent this week, as normally the Ducks' best cover corner would be tasked with shadowing Winston.

Dezmon Patmon (12), Wide Receiver

The 6-4, 228-pound senior is a big target who will go up and get the ball. On the season, he has 31 catches for 481 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Patmon is a tough matchup for any defensive back. He uses his size well, which makes him a huge threat in the red zone.

Gordon looks for Patmon when he gets a mismatch on the outside against a smaller, less physical player. It’ll be interesting to see how Avalos uses his coverages to keep Patmon from beating the Ducks on deep balls.

Travell Harris (5), Wide Receiver

The 5-9, 180-pound redshirt sophomore has stepped up big so far this season. He has 25 catches for 350 yards and has scored 5 touchdowns.

Harris doesn’t necessarily look the part coming off the bus, but he's done everything asked of him and then some. Leach deploys him in the slot, and while he is only sixth on the team in total catches, he’s second in touchdowns.

Harris is a perfect for the Air Raid's deadly underneath routes, where he's quick enough to make a guy miss and turn the ball upfield for big gains.

 
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