WSU vs Colorado – Early Look
After a reality check in Week 3, the Washington State Cougars now get a bye week to lick their wounds. WSU’s trip to San Diego State last week wasn’t bad on every level but the Cougars didn’t do many things well.
After an outstanding defensive display the previous week against UNLV, the Cougars crumbled against San Diego State, allowing 500 total yards. The run defense was especially problematic; Aztecs tailback Ronnie Hillman gashed WSU for 191 yards and four touchdowns.
Washington State moved the ball through the air decently, as Marshall Lobbestael threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns.
Wideout Marquess Wilson caught 80-yard and 78-yard touchdowns and finished with 236 yards on six catches.
But Lobbestael, the fill-in for injured Jeff Tuel, also threw two interceptions and completed fewer than half his passes.
Worse yet, the Cougars struggled to run the ball. Partially because of Lobbestael’s minus-31 yards, they finished with just 51 yards on the ground.
With two more road games looming next on the schedule, will Washington State right the ship? Next week, it travels to Colorado. Offensively, the Buffaloes may struggle to move the ball on WSU, as they’re a passing team whereas the Cougars have had more trouble with good running games so far.
But will Lobbestael make more mistakes against the Colorado “D”? These guys are ranked 42nd in the nation entering Week 4 even though they’ve faced Hawaii and California so far.
Regardless of how he plays next weekend, his days as Washington State’s starting quarterback appear to be numbered. Tuel, recovering from a broken collarbone, has already been cleared to throw. He resumed practice yesterday.
The tentative plan is for Lobbestael to start the next two road games and for Tuel to return on Oct 15 for the Cougars’ next home game.
Next week’s trip to Colorado will give us better insight into whether or not WSU should turn back to Tuel.
Lobbestael made mistakes last week but was almost perfect before then. Overall, he’s completed 62.4 per cent of his passes and has 10 touchdowns versus just two picks.
He arguably deserves a longer leash. Next week should be interesting.