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 vs Colorado: the perfect senior night send-off

Seniors step up in blowout win
Brennan Jackson takes in everything about his senior night before getting two scoop and score against Colorado, Nov. 17, in Pullman, Wash.

Leave no doubt. 

That was the sentiment that senior defensive linemen Brennan Jackson and Ron Stone Jr. had for their team ahead of their senior night. It seemed like it was going to be a battle, two Pac-12 teams coming off extended losing streaks with talent that meant those streaks would not last long. 

But, out the gates, it was WSU’s night through and through. Improving to 5-6 and dropping Colorado 4-7 and out of bowl contention, it was all Cougs, all the way. 

A senior, Lincoln Victor, got a rushing TD, the first of his career, with nearly nine minutes left to go in the first quarter to give WSU a 7-0 lead. Stone Jr. forced a fumble and Jackson recovered it for a score to make it 14-0 and Leyton Smithson returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score to make it 21-7 at the end of the first quarter. 

From then on out, it was pure Cougs domination. Jackson got another scoop and score in the third quarter, a 74-yard return that gave him two on the night and three on the season. 

“It’s senior night. Two touchdowns on your senior night? Who could complain about that,” Stone Jr. said on Jackson’s performance.

By halftime, the Cougs had a 42-7 lead. That lead extended to 56-7 after three quarters. While they could have ran up the score, the focus for the team remained, making sure everyone could enjoy their senior night. For the entire fourth quarter, the backups were in the game and got their final moments at home in front of the Pullman crowd.

“You want everyone to be able to look back and talk about their memories here at Martin Stadium,” said Stone Jr. 

On all three levels, the Cougs played some of their best football all season. The kick return that Smithson had? It was the first return from a WSU player since 2018. The two scoop and scores from Jackson? He was the first Coug to record two fumble recoveries for touchdowns in a game in program history. 

“Giving the Coug fans what they deserve. A good, clean football game,” Jackson said. 

The offensive production was equally as good. Senior Lincoln Victor had five receptions for 49 yards and that rushing TD that began the scoring. Josh Kelly had six receptions for a dominant 130 yards. Kyle Williams had three receptions for 49 yards and a TD. 

“Happy tears,” Victor said. “We put on a show.” 

Stone Jr. finished his final performance at home with nine total tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble. On top of his two recoveries, Jackson had 0.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss. 

For Jackson, those marks moved him up the program record books. His 1.5 tackles for loss moved his career total to 33.5, moving him to 10th all-time. His 0.5 sacks brought his career total to 19, tying him for eighth all-time. 

It was Stone Jr.’s 55th game of his long and storied career, moving him to third all-time in program history. 

By the end of the night, WSU had snapped their six-game losing streak with a 56-14 thumping of Colorado. The win sets up the Cougs with a beautiful hypothetical. If they can upset the No. 4-ranked Washington Huskies in the Apple Cup in Seattle Saturday, they will not only be bowl eligible, they likely will ruin the chances of UW making the College Football Playoff. 

Even though it was not even a full week ago, it has been a night that the seniors will not soon forget. 

All of the 2023 season, the Cougs have been forging memories. From starting the year off 4-0 and ranked No. 13 nationally with wins over Wisconsin and Oregon State at home to rattling off six-straight losses and falling out of the top 25, it has been a wild season.

While the players will likely have wished the team would have performed at a more consistent rate and already been bowl-eligible, their performance on their dominating senior night is enough to make up for their inconsistencies.

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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 2023 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.