When Anthony Gordon announced he was heading to Washington State after one year at City College of San Francisco, my thought was that he was going to rewrite the record books playing in Mike Leach’s offense.
It’s taken longer than expected, but now that Gordon is getting the opportunity, he is doing just that. Late Saturday night against Oregon State he completed 50 of 70 passes for 606 yards and six touchdowns in a 54-53 win.
Eye-popping numbers to be sure. You don’t see 50 completions or 600 yards passing very often. Earlier this season he threw nine touchdown passes in a 67-63 loss to UCLA. I’ve been following football since the 1960s and don’t think I’ve ever encountered a nine-TD passing game before.
On the season Gordon has thrown for 4,920 yards and 45 touchdowns with the Apple Cup against Washington and a bowl game still to come, breaking the Pac-12 Conference record in both categories. He is the NCAA leader in both, has thrown for over 900 yards more than anyone else.
“I’d trade all these stats for victories any day of the week,” Gordon said at Washington State’s weekly press conference Monday. “I’d love to be 11-0 going into this game (vs. Washington). Thinking back and reflecting on it, just goes to show that if you put your head down and work hard anything is possible. My time here as a redshirt freshman maybe never thought this could be possible. I just believed in myself and my teammates believed in me. Being able to go out there with the guys every week has been a dream of mine. I’m real happy about the way it’s all turned out.”
I covered Gordon during his record-breaking high school career at Terra Nova. He passed for Central Coast Section records 4,899 yards and 49 touchdowns as a senior and was named a state player of the year by Cal-Hi Sports.
Then he lit it up his one year at CCSF, leading the Rams to the state championship.
But once he made the move to Pullman he sat behind Luke Falk, Tyler Hilinski and graduate transfer Gardner Minshew for three years. Falk and Minshew have gone on to the NFL. Even this year Gordon had to beat out another graduate transfer. Gage Gubrud, who set multiple school records at Eastern Washington.
But Gordon got his shot and is making the most of it.