A thick fog hung over Martin Stadium in Pullman for much of Friday night, making the overhead TV cameras covering Arizona and Washington State almost useless.
The Wildcat defense was equally impacted by the murky conditions, particularly when it came to being able to find the WSU ball carrier on big plays.
The Cougars got 310 of their 482 yards on eight long runs or passes in a 44-18 blowout of the Wildcats on Friday night.
With the ASU game just around the corner, the UA (1-10, 1-7 Pac-12) looked like a team that didn’t seem interested in putting up much fight on a gloomy night in the Palouse. After getting within 14-7 late in the second quarter it was outscored 23-0 over an 8-minute span, a run reminiscent of what Colorado did to the Wildcats in the second half of a 34-0 romp last month in Boulder.
The Wildcats trailed 21-7 at the half, a deficit that went to 21 points less than five minutes into the third quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by Max Borghi, who set up that score with a 43-yard run. Borghi ran for 139 yards and two TDs on 16 carries as the Cougars ran for 223 yards.
Wazzu blocked a Kyle Ostendorp punt for a safety with 8:50 left, then on the following possession went up 37-7 on Travel Harris’ second TD catch of the game.
A 42-yard Tyler Loop field goal made it 37-10 with 2:39 left in the third, and Michael Wiley scored on a 27-yard TD pass from Will Plummer early in the fourth quarter, with a 2-point catch by Dorian Singer making it 37-18.
Plummer was 24 of 42 for 222 yards and two TDs with an interception, with Wiley catching eight of those passes for 86 yards and his fifth score of the year.
WSU ended any chance of the UA covering when Jayden de Laura connected with Calvin Jackson Jr. on a 78-yard TD pass with 8:37 left, then Plummer was picked on the next possession.
Jackson had four catches for 133 yards and two TDs, while de Laura was 13 of 22 for 259 yards and 4 TDs.
Wazzu took a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 26-yard run by Borghi on a draw play. The score came after the UA went for it on 4th-and-1 from the Cougars’ 45 but Plummer was stuffed on the sneak attempt.
The Wildcats’ second drive ended with a missed 50-yard field goal by Lucas Havrisik, but it seemed doomed from the start with four offensive penalties and a drop by a wide-open Singer that would have put Arizona in the red zone.
The UA committed 10 penalties, seven in the first half.
Harris put the Cougars up 14-0 with 4:28 left in the first half on a 14-yard TD catch from de Laura.
The UA got on the scoreboard with 2:22 left before halftime when Plummer found Boobie Curry on a 11-yard TD pass on 4th-and-2, improvising after his original reads were covered. The Wildcats got a sack on the ensuing play, setting up the possibility of getting the ball back with a chance to tie before the break, but instead WSU broke off a 38-yard run on a draw and then de Laura hit Jackson for a 43-yard TD to make it 21-7 with 1:26 left.
The Wildcats wrap up the 2021 season next Saturday at ASU, trying to win back the Territorial Cup for the first time since 2016.