2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 1 - Idaho St at Wash St
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Sept. 3 at Washington State 64 … Idaho State 21
CFN Analysis: After the way the last few years have gone, a 64-21 win over anyone will be welcome. Wazzu jumped all over Idaho State and never let up with Marshall Lobbestael completing 14-of-19 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns and the ground game spreading it around for 289 yards and four scores. It was a blowout from the start and ISU had to throw to try to make it interesting, but still, the Cougar secondary was a bit loose allowing 430 yards and a huge 10-catch, 218-yard, one score day from Rodrick Rumble. With UNLV up next, the Cougar firepower should continue, but the linebackers will have to be ready for the short-to-midrange passing game and the Pistol attack.
(AP) PULLMAN, Wash. -- Backup quarterback Marshall Lobbestael threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns as Washington State overwhelmed Idaho State 64-21 in the season opener for both teams Saturday.
The win was expensive as Washington State lost starting quarterback Jeff Tuel to a fractured left clavicle.
Washington State scored on its first four possessions against the Bengals of the FCS, jumping to a 23-0 lead after the first quarter and 40-0 at halftime.
Idaho State lost its 11th game in a row, dating to last season. The loss ruined the debut of Idaho State coach Mike Kramer, who was an assistant last season to Washington State coach Paul Wulff.
Junior college transfer Kevin Yost, making his first start at quarterback for Idaho State, completed 32 of 45 passes for 386 yards, with one touchdown. Rodrick Rumble had 10 catches for 218 yards.
Lobbestael, a senior, completed his first nine passes and finished 14 of 19 in WSU's most dominant win since beating FCS Portland State 48-9 in 2008. The Cougars piled up 590 yards against outmanned Idaho State, which was 1-10 last season.
Marquess Wilson caught four passes for 91 yards for WSU. Freshman Marcus Mason rushed six times for 88 yards as the Cougars produced 289 rushing yards.
The game was a chance for Washington State to show it is improving after posting a 5-32 record in Wulff's first three seasons.
Washington State has never lost to an FCS team in 16 outings.
The last time Idaho State beat a major college team was Utah State in 2000, and they have lost 15 in a row since. They have lost 28 straight road games, last winning at Northern Colorado in 2006.
Washington State took the opening kickoff and went 58 yards in five plays, with Rickey Galvin scoring on an 11-yard run.
Lobbestael hit Isiah Barton on a 27-yard touchdown pass on WSU's second possession.
Tavoy Moore fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Bennett Bontemps recovered for WSU at ISU's 30. Tuel took over for Lobbestael and the Cougars settled for a 23-yard field goal by Andrew Furney and a 17-0 lead. Tuel did not start the game because of a stomach virus, and only played this one series. It was not immediately clear when he was injured.
Team spokesman Bill Stevens said it is not known how long Tuel will be out of action. Tuel, a junior, threw for 2,780 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.
Idaho State drove to WSU's 36 on the next possession, but Yost was intercepted by linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis, who returned the ball 67 yards for a touchdown and a 23-0 WSU lead.
With Lobbestael back, WSU drove 74 yards on its next possession, with Galvin rushing the final seven for a 30-0 lead.
Furney kicked a 51-yard field goal and Marquess Wilson caught a 61-yard touchdown pass for a 40-0 halftime lead. It was WSU's biggest halftime margin since they led SW Louisiana 56-0 in 1997.
After the Cougars went up 47-0, Idaho State finally scored when Jahmel Rover ran in from 3 yards to cap a 73-yard drive with 8:53 left in the third. Rover ran in a second touchdown with 4:21 left in the third to bring Idaho State within 54-14.
Mason added a 65-yard touchdown run for WSU. It was the first time WSU has scored 60 points in a game since a 63-37 win over California in 1997.
Idaho State (0-0) at Washington State (0-0) Sept. 3, 5:00
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Here’s The Deal … The stage has been set for Wazzu to take an important step toward competitiveness in 2011. For three brutal seasons, the Cougars have used a slew of underclassmen in an attempt to build through the farm system. Now, after winning just five games during his tenure, head coach Paul Wulff anticipates putting a markedly better product on the turf. His career depends on it, beginning with the first three non-conference games against Idaho State, UNLV and San Diego State. The 1-10 Bengals were the Big Sky Conference’s version of Washington State in 2010, rarely putting up a fight in weekly routs. Hope comes in the form of head coach Mike Kramer, a proven winner who was named league coach of the year four times while at Montana State. He’s got a new lease on life, hoping to resuscitate a career sidetracked by his off-the-field handling of selected players.
Why Idaho State Might Win: Opponents always have a chance against Wazzu because its defense is so doggone generous. Whether it’s on the ground or over the top, the Cougars have labored to contain even the most rudimentary offenses. Kevin Yost has looked crisp throughout the summer, earning the nod at quarterback from Kramer. The junior transfer from Glendale (Calif.) Community College has a firm grasp on the new up-tempo attack, which he ran at the JUCO level. He’ll get ample support from an improving receiving corps that’s headed by outside playmaker Rodrick Rumble and versatile RB Tavoy Moore.
Why Washington State Might Win: The Cougars harbor more depth than in recent years thanks to all of the underclassmen who played in 2009 and 2010. And while the defense is home to some underrated players, like DE Travis Long and LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis, the catalysts in Pullman reside on offense. The passing game, in particular, ought to put on a show against lighter competition. Junior QB Jeff Tuel is preparing for lift-off, with a ton of help from the receivers. Very quietly, rangy Jared Karstetter and speedy Marquess Wilson form one of the top pass-catching tandems in the Pac-12.
What To Watch Out For: The one thing capable of making a good Wazzu attack downright dangerous is improvement from a ground game that’s had no pulse under Wulff. Even modest gains will do wonders for Tuel and his receivers. The Cougars staff has high hopes for young RB Rickey Galvin, who was all set to contribute in 2010 before breaking his forearm. Shifty and explosive, he’s itching t be the dynamic change-of-pace to rugged Logwone Mitz on the ground. Galvin is capable of using the opener as a launching for his second year of eligibility.
What Will Happen: A win—any win—is cause for celebration on the Palouse. Washington State will use a visit from lowly Idaho State as a canvas to portray just how much it’s grown during the offseason. It’ll revel at the opportunity to play the role of bully for a change, keeping the foot on the gas until late in the game. Tuel is about to start sneaking up on an unsuspecting country, opening with 300 yards and two scoring strikes apiece to Wilson and Karstetter.
CFN Prediction: Washington State 52 … Idaho State 13
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