Oh So Close!
Headline: The Washington State Cougars lose any and all momentum generated from second quarter play
Missed opportunities happen every game, but Washington State’s loss on Stanford included too many to take home the victory.
Before reminiscing on what could have been for the Cougars, let’s point out some of the positives.
What went right?
The 17th ranked Cardinal have a spectacular running game led by Stepfan Taylor, while the unranked Cougars gave up 318 yards to California a week ago.
On Saturday, the defense played much better, giving up 120 total running yards to Stanford, limiting Taylor to 58.
The adjustments made by the offensive line were incredibly. In the first quarter, QB Jeff Tuel was either sacked or pressured on every drop back and Stanford’s defensive line looked ready to consume the game.
Once the second quarter began, WSU settled down and the offensive line made the right adjustments to let their team back in the game.
Yes, Marquess Wilson is the star of this team and his success often determines the outcome for his team, but the kid still played well and deserves the recognition.
What went wrong?
23 carries for the Cougars, negative 16 rushing yards. NEGATIVE 16.
Yes, college football includes sack yardage against the teams total rushing stats, but Tuel only accounted for -12 of those yards, not a single WSU player finished with positive rushing stats.
Jeff Tuel was 43/60 and threw for 401 yards. It is hard not to respect the man’s game on Saturday, but no QB can succeed without any threat of a run or draw play behind him.
The defense, which came to play today, fell asleep twice and it cost the team the game. Aside from the 70-yard touchdown play to Jamaal-Rashad Patterson, the defense played an immaculate second quarter and a very good first half.
Except for coming out of the locker room slow after halftime, the defense played well enough to win.
Unfortunately, their sluggish defense on Stanford’s 7-minute drive to start the third quarter hurt their chances.
Although there is a lot to criticize, WAZZU went into a tough place to play against a ranked opponent and got into the redzone with an opportunity to tie the game in the final seconds.
Perhaps the lack of twitter on the team did make a difference, with the addition of some sort of running game, this team should improve as the week’s go on.