After starting the season off at 3-1, the Washington State Cougars find themselves in a very tough spot. After last week’s supposed gimme win going to the Oregon State Beavers, the Cougars are now losers of three straight.
In order for the Cougars to get back into the win column, they must do it in a place that has been like a personal house of horrors.
The last two trips to Autzen Stadium didn’t exactly turn out to be fruitful. Losing by a combined score of 105-13 didn’t really help much. Never is it a nice thing to see your opponent hang over 530 yards rushing , and put up over 1000 total yards of offense on you either.
Believe it or not though, the problems the Cougars are facing really have nothing to do with the Oregon Ducks or the hostile Autzen environment. The Problem sits with themselves.
If there was anything, last week showed us the Cougars are not as good of a football team as we may have once thought they were.
Once Washington State started their Pac-12 schedule, as the teams have gotten better, the bulk of their problems started to surface. The Cougars found themselves unable to execute some of the most basic football tasks such as tackling and blocking.
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Is it any coincidence each week from UCLA to Stanford, and then to Oregon State, the Washington State defense has gotten progressively worse. Those three offenses amassed 1397 total yards of offense while converting 23-37 on third downs.
The Cougars are being physically out-manned inside the lines while opposing coaches Rick Neuheisel, David Shaw, and Mike Riley have out coached Paul Wulff outside the lines.
There is a reason why Oregon is a nation title contender every single season. They are physical, they have speed, and the best thing the Ducks have going for themselves is the overall team depth.
They go 3-deep at every position, and their second could start at most other Pac-12 schools.
Point in case matchups versus Arizona State and Colorado, Oregon won by a combined score of 86-29 with 1063 total yards of offense on 365 yards of passing, and a staggering 698 yards rushing with a backup redshirt freshman at QB and RB starting in place of injury.
Keys to the Game:
Wazzou needs to stay inside their game. The one thing they must not do is get caught up in the momentum of the home crowd. The Ducks feed off that energy and use it to their advantage.
Don’t give up anything deep, Keep the Ducks offense in front of you, and let the scoreboard do the talking.
News, Notes, and Injuries
QB Jeff Tuel has been ruled out of Saturday’s game, and could possibly miss next week’s game as well. Tuel aggravated the same area where he broke his collar bone. Medical staff said another fracture has been ruled out.
It looks like OL Wade Jacobson’s season is most likely over.
He is consulting with doctors and his family on the best possible course to take with his back injury. If Jacobson elects to have the surgery, his season would effectively be over as well as his Cougar career.
WSU @ Oregon
Kickoff at 12pm
Television: Root Sports ch. 30
Radio: 770 KTTH
Vegas Line: Oregon -32.5
Steve’s No-So-Hopeful Predictions: 52-17 Oregon
|Oct 29-3:00 PM ET||Record|
|WSHST||3-4 (1-2 V)|
|ORE||6-1 (4-0 H)|