The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

WSU receivers in mid-season form ahead of Pac-12 play

Wideout Lincoln Victor had 119 yards and 2 touchdowns
Lincoln Victor runs in a touchdown in an NCAA Football game against Northern Colorado Sept. 16, 2023 at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.

WSU football has gotten off to an incredible 3-0 start this season and continues to improve every game. While the run game has remained in question to start the season, the Cougs have certainly established their offense through the air. Through three games, quarterback Cam Ward has thrown for 986 yards and nine touchdowns. 

Coming off a statement win against Wisconsin, the Cougs followed up that performance by taking care of business against *University of”-ST Northern Colorado University on Saturday with a 64-21 win. 

The Cougs’ dominant passing game is a testament to the strong chemistry Ward has developed with his wide receivers. The team is filled with plenty of talent, but the biggest eye-openers so far have been Josh Kelly, a Fresno State transfer wide receiver, and wide receiver Lincoln Victor. Ward has found a good rhythm with both Victor and Kelly as they have proven to be tough coverage for opposing defenses.

Victor’s ability to slice through the defense and gain extra yardage once in the open field has contributed to the Cougs’ electric passing game this season. Against Northern Colorado, Victor made several plays with his decisive route running and shiftiness in the open field. It was a clear display of the instant connection Ward and Victor have shown in these first three games. 

Victor finished the game with six receptions, 119 yards and two touchdowns. 

At 6 feet, 1-inch tall, Kelly is able to make big-time plays on the ball and has done just that for WSU in his first three games. The athletic wide receiver made an incredible catch late in the first quarter against Northern Colorado, leaping above the defensive back and snatching it in for the touchdown. It was another play that showed the trust and confidence Ward has in his receivers to be able to make plays when needed. 

“Any time the ball’s in the air I try to make a catch and make it spectacular,” Kelly said. “The ball was a little high but God gave me the ability to jump a little bit, so I just used my God-given ability and got up there.” 

Kelly said the receiving group as a whole has a great connection with Ward and that they all watch game film together each week to analyze what they have missed or can improve on.

While the chemistry between Ward and his receivers is evident, there is also something to be said about the leadership role Ward has taken on this season.

In one of the possessions, Ward overthrew a potential touchdown pass to Kelly but immediately took responsibility for the play. Ward followed up on the next possession with a touchdown pass to Kelly. 

“Regarding that play where he did overthrow me, after that me and him locked eyes and he said he was gonna get me on the next one and the next one was that touchdown,” Kelly said. 

Kelly finished the game with five receptions, 74 yards and a touchdown. 

Through three games, Victor and Kelly have been the primary targets through the air for Ward. Last season Victor had 26 receptions, 245 yards and zero touchdowns. However, to start this season he already has 24 receptions, 342 yards and three touchdowns.  

The dynamic offensive skill sets of Kelly and Victor leave plenty of room for excitement for what the Cougs can accomplish as they gear up for Pac-12 play. 

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.