2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 2 - UNLV at Washington St
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Sept. 10 at Washington State 59 … UNLV 7
CFN Analysis: Washington State is No. 1 in the nation in total offense?! Yeah, the season started against Idaho State and UNLV, but who cares? After so many years of struggling, to hang up 122 points in two weeks and to roll for 59 in the blowout against the Rebels is fantastic. Marshall Lobbestael roared for 361 yards and five scores, and he spread the ball around well with 11 different receivers catching the ball. The defensive front was great at getting into the backfield and stuffed the UNLV running game before it could get started. Now comes a bigger test against a San Diego State team with far, far more talent than anything the Cougars have seen so far.
The Rebels haven’t had any luck over the first two games with a secondary that hasn’t been close. The offense couldn’t get any time to work behind a porous line, and there weren’t any big plays on defense to change things around. The coaching staff wants the O to get physical at times, and it’s not even close, while Caleb Herring and the passing game only went for 60 yards. The pass defense is already among the worst in America, and next up is Hawaii … uh oh. The pass rush has to show up to give the beleaguered secondary any hope.
(AP) PULLMAN, Wash. -- Marshall Lobbestael threw for career highs of 361 yards and five touchdowns as Washington State pounded UNLV 59-7 on Saturday.
Washington State (2-0) scored touchdowns on its first five possessions and held a 35-0 lead at halftime to win its first two games of the season for the first time since 2005. This is also its first two-game winning streak under Paul Wulff, who is in his fourth season as coach.
Lobbestael, who took over as starter after Jeff Tuel suffered a fractured collarbone last week, completed 24 of 32 passes. The fifth-year senior was not intercepted.
UNLV (0-2) was scoreless until Tim Cornett's 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
The Rebels gained just 158 yards and could not stop the WSU offense, which produced 610 yards. Backup quarterback Connor Halliday threw a pair of late touchdown passes for WSU, giving them seven for the game.
UNLV was coming off a 51-17 loss at No. 8 Wisconsin and is trying to rebuild under second-year coach Bobby Hauck. Quarterback Caleb Herring completed just 11 of 20 passes for 60 yards.
Marquess Wilson caught five passes for 102 yards and a touchdown for WSU. Jared Karstetter had six receptions for 66 yards and two touchdowns.
This one was over early, as Rickey Galvin ran 48 yards for a touchdown on WSU's opening drive. Galvin finished with 80 yards on five carries.
On WSU's second possession, Karstetter caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Lobbestael to cap a 74-yard drive for a 14-0 Cougars' lead.
On WSU's third possession, Lobbestael completed passes of 22 and 37 yards to Wilson, then hit a diving Karstetter for a 19-yard touchdown strike in the end zone. At that point Lobbestael had completed nine of his first 10 passes for 145 yards.
The Rebels, meanwhile, managed only 41 yards in the first quarter and their first three drives ended in punts.
Lobbestael led the Cougars' on an 80-yard drive on their fourth possession, and threaded the ball through a pair of defenders to hit Isiah Barton in the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown pass.
Just over 3 minutes later, Lobbestael hit tight end Andrei Lintz on a 23-yard touchdown pass to close first half scoring.
Lobbestael completed 18 of 21 passes for 274 yards in the first half, and WSU had 372 total yards in the first half while holding UNLV to 95 yards.
In the third quarter, Andrew Furney kicked a 46-yard field goal and Lobbestael threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Wilson for a 45-0 lead.
Lobbestael, who led WSU to a 64-21 win last weekend against Idaho State, had thrown for only seven touchdowns in his previous three years as a WSU player. He already has seven this season.
This is the first meeting between the two programs since 1991, and WSU has won all five times they have played.
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UNLV (0-1) at Washington State (1-0) Sept. 10, 5:00
Here’s The Deal … Washington State began the 2011 season with a classic good news, bad news scenario. Yeah, the Cougars throttled Idaho State, 64-21, for a rare lopsided victory, but also lost starting QB Jeff Tuel to a broken collarbone in the process. Uggh. The leader of the offense will be sidelined for the next two months, leaving veteran Marshall Lobbestael to pick up the slack. This is a crossroads moment for beleaguered Wazzu and its coach Paul Wulff, which are ogling a 2-0 start for the first time since 2005.
UNLV proved to be little more than a backdrop for QB Russell Wilson’s debut at Wisconsin, losing in Madison on Thursday night, 51-17. The Rebels have two extra days to prepare for their trek to the Palouse, and they’re going to need them. More than a dozen freshmen saw action a week ago, an example of just how green Bobby Hauck’s team is going to be this fall.
Why UNLV Might Win: Although it was hard to tell versus the Badgers, the Rebels harbor a decent collection of skill position players. QB Caleb Herring has dual-threat potential. Backs Tim Cornett and Bradley Randle both ran the ball well in Madison, averaging more than four yards a carry. And Phillip Payne and Michael Johnson form a dangerous receiving tandem. While Washington State has made strides on defense, yielding 430 yards through the air to Idaho State indicates that they’re only baby steps. This is the week that UNLV begins to turn the corner on the offensive side of the ball.
Why Washington State Might Win: Losing Tuel hurts, but replacing him with a fifth-year senior is a luxury. Lobbestael is no stranger to the lineup or the system. He’ll employ the Cougars’ playmakers to put a dent in a weak UNLV defense. Marquess Wilson and Jared Karstetter form one of the Pac-12’s better pass-catching duos. Even better, Washington State is showing signs of developing a running game for a change. In the opener, it produced 289 yards and four scores on the ground. Not only does Rickey Galvin look capable of living up to his hype, but true freshman Marcus Mason exploded for a 65-yard touchdown run and Logwone Mitz plowed for 58 yards on only eight carries.
What To Watch Out For: The Cougars got to the quarterback six times on opening day. Was it a harbinger of things to come or simply a product of an overmatched opponent? UNLV represents a slightly better barometer for answering the question. Wazzu is clearly more experienced, having used so many young players in 2010. And there’s plenty to like from Saturday’s performance, especially since so many backups were able to get reps. DE Travis Long requires extra attention, frenetic LB C.J Mizell had two sacks and LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis returned a pick 67 yards for a touchdown.
What Will Happen: Tuel’s injury is a setback, but Washington State is finally moving in the right direction. A more confident and experienced group is about to capture a little head of steam. A patient Lobbestael will make the most of his new-found opportunity, putting his teammates in a position to make plays. The emergence of Galvin and the running game will complement the playmaking ability of the receivers to ignite a Cougars win.
CFN Prediction: Washington State 37 … UNLV 24
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Washington State -14 O/U: 54.5
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