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Washington State Cougars 2013 ...
Head Coach: Mike Leach
Washington 27, Washington State 17
| 2013 Record: 6-6|
8/31 at Auburn L 31-24
9/7 at USC W 10-7
9/14 Southern Utah W 42-10
9/21 Idaho W 42-0
9/28 Stanford L 55-17
10/5 at California W 44-22
10/12 Oregon State L 52-24
10/19 at Oregon L 62-38
10/26 OPEN DATE
10/31 Arizona State L 55-21
11/9 OPEN DATE
11/16 at Arizona W 24-17
11/23 Utah W 49-37
11/29 at Washington L 27-17
Basically … Washington’s offense woke up in the second half with 17 third quarter points helped by a seven-yard Bishop Sankey run, an 18-yard Austin Seferian-Jenkins catch, and the second Travis Coons field goal of the game. Washington State pushed back Connor Halliday’s second touchdown pass of the game on a five-yard throw to Dom Williams, but Keith Price put the game away for the Huskies on a two-yard run.
- Washington RB Bishop Sankey ran 34 times for 200 yards and a score.
- Washington State QB Connor Halliday completed 32-of-59 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns with two picks.
- Washington State averaged 4.8 yards per play and 1.9 yards per run.
- Washington QB Keith Price completed 15-of-20 passes for 181 yards and a score with a pick.
at Washington State 49, at Utah 37
Basically … It got close, but Washington State always had an answer after getting up 21-0 on a five-yard Dom Williams touchdown catch and interception returns for scores from Damante Horton and Casey Locker. Kelvin York brought the Utes back with two scores, but Wazzu kept on bombing and settling for field goals to stay ahead with Andrew Furney scoring from 27, 52 and 28 yards away. Utah wouldn’t go away, with Jake Murphy scoring on a 64-yard pass play to pull the Utes within seen in the fourth, but the Cougars put it away on a 71-yard Dom Williams touchdown catch.
- Washington State QB Connor Halliday completed 39-of-62 passes for 488 yards and four scores.
- Utah QB Adam Schulz completed 21-of-46 passes for 347 yards and three scores with two picks, and he ran once for 36 yards.
- Utah WR Dres Anderson caught five passes for 129 yards and a score, and Jake Murphy caught five passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
- Washington State outgained the Utes 578 yards to 481.
Washington State 24, at Arizona 17
Basically … Connor Halliday found Isiah Myers for a 25-yard touchdown with just over two minutes to play for a 24-17 Washington State lead, and then held on. The Wildcats had one final shot, but B.J. Denker’s final throw was caught out of the end zone. Down 10-0 in the first quarter, Arizona came back with Ka’Deem Carey touchdown runs from 30 and seven yards out, and after a 23-yard Halliday touchdown pass to River Cracraft, tied it up with a Jake Smith field goal late in the third. The Wildcats wouldn’t score again.
- Washington State QB Connor Halliday completed 39-of-53 passes for319 yards and two touchdowns with a pick.
- Arizona RB Ka’Deem Carey ran 26 times for 132 yards with a score.
- The Wildcats were held to 195 rushing yards. Washington State ran for 101.
- Arizona QB B.J. Denker completed 26-of-38 passes for 200 yards and a score, and he ran 17 times for 64 yards.
Arizona State 55, at Washington State 21
Basically … Taylor Kelly ran for two touchdowns to kick off the scoring, and he threw five touchdown passes to put the game away in an Arizona State blowout. The Sun Devils scored the first 21 points of the game and was up 42-7 before Connor Halliday threw his second touchdown pass of the game, finding Rickey Galvin for a 15-yard score. D.J. Foster caught two Kelly touchdown throws from seven and 23 yards out, and Richard Smith scored on a 51-yad pass play.
- ASU QB Taylor Kelly completed 22-of-31 passes for 275 yards and five touchdowns with a pick, and he ran 13 times for 66 yards and two scores.
- Washington State QB Conner Halliday completed 29-of-54 passes for 300 yards and two scores with an interception.
- The Cougars finished with just two rushing yards with a score.
- The Sun Devils had the ball for 37:27 to Washington State’s 22:33
at Oregon 62, Washington State 38
Basically … Oregon and its pink helmets survived Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday, who threw an NCAA record 89 times for 557 yards and four touchdowns, but he threw four picks and he wasn’t enough to overcome Marcus Mariota. The Oregon quarterback threw two touchdown passes and ran for a thrilling 57-yard score. Byron Marshall ran for three scores from one, 26 and 30 yards out, and Thomas Tyner added second quarter scoring runs from one and 66 yards out. Up 34-24 after halftime, the Ducks scored 28 straight points, finished off by a Terrance Mitchell pick six early in the fourth, but Halliday kept on bombing with two touchdown passes in the final four minutes.
- The defense might have had to deal with the passing storm from Connor Halliday, but the offense did the job with Byron Marshall running for 192 yards and three scores and Marcus Mariota coming up with a sharp 23-of-32, 327-yard passing day. Three turnovers and nine penalties made it a little sloppy, but the Ducks were in control from the start.
- Washington State doesn’t get cheated. The Cougars don’t give up under Mike Leach, as Connor Halliday threw and threw and threw some more, completing 58-of-89 passes for 557 yards and four scores with four picks, spreading the ball around to 11 different receivers. Gabe Marks led the way with 13 catches for 143 yards and a score.
- Forget about the ground game. Halliday is the star, and the Cougar offense is going to use him over and over again. The Cougars ran 12 times for two yards – there was no need to keep it on the ground as they tried to keep up in the firefight.
- Now it’s time for Oregon to really shine. It put down Washington without much of a problem, and no one has come close so far, but now it’s time to deal with UCLA and Stanford. There’s not a layup in the bunch the rest of the way, but these are the tests. These are the games that will define the Ducks.
Oregon State 52, at Washington State 24
Basically … Down 24-17 in the third, Oregon State exploded for 35 unanswered points with Sean Mannion throwing three scoring passes during the run with two to Brandin Cooks and another to Kevin Cummings. Cooks ran for an eight-yard score and Storm Woods ran for his second score of the game to make a tight game a blowout. Washington State got short scoring runs from Marcus Mason and Jeremiah Laufasa, and Connor Halliday threw a four-yard touchdown pass, but the offense turned it over six times helping the floodgates to open.
- Is America realizing what Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks are doing? They haven’t faced the Pac-12 killers yet, but they’re putting on one of the best shows in college football. The two hooked up 11 times for 137 yards and two scores, and Mannion finished with 493 yards and four touchdowns. Cooks led the team with 34 rushing yards and a score.
- Washington State was playing well, the offense was moving fine, and then the mistakes started to come with six turnovers killing the team and any momentum. Connor Halliday threw for 248 yards and a score, but he gave away three picks.
- The Cougars needed this win. The defense is okay, but it got picked apart by Sean Mannion and now has to deal with a road trip to Oregon. The rest of the schedule isn’t too bad, but the Cougars will be the underdog the rest of the way – the Utah game now looks a lot tougher – and it’s going to take two wins in the final five to go bowling.
- If it wasn’t for the wild shootout loss to Eastern Washington to start the season, Oregon State would be a top 15 team with the potential to shoot up the rankings with a layup against Cal next week. However, the Beavers still have to deal with Stanford, USC and Washington at home and road games to Arizona State and Oregon.
Washington State 44, at California 22
Basically … The two teams combined for 1,042 passing yards with Washington State’s Connor Halliday bombing away for 521 yards and three touchdowns with two to Vince Mayle from 35 and 72 yards out. Cal tried to keep up pace with 504 yards from Jared Goff with scoring passes from 89 yards out to Chris Harper and 53 to James Grison, but the offense turned it over five times. The Cougars settled for three Andrew Furner field goals in the fourth quarter after part of a 23-7 second half scoring run.
- Cal keeps on making too many mistakes. The Bears committed 11 penalties and turned it over five times with three fumbles. The two passing games were equal, and both quarterbacks played well, but the difference was in the errors.
- Connor Halliday spread the ball around better than Jared Goff did. The overall production was roughly the same, but Marcus Mason and Vince Mayle each caught four passes for over 100 yards, hitting on big plays against the awful Cal secondary. 12 different Cougars caught passes.
- Chris Harper was unstoppable. The Bears might have a slew of good weapons, but it’s Harper who’s the signature star catching 13 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown as Goff’s main man. Washington State didn’t have an answer.
- Both defenses were picked apart, but Washington State’s was far more disruptive, generating better pressure on Goff led by Ionae Gauta’s two sacks. Kalafitoni Poe recovered two fumbles and Deone Bucannon came up with 12 tackles and a pick.
Stanford 55, at Washington State 17
Basically … With the score tied at 3-3 late in the first quarter, Stanford turned it on with 45 straight points before the Cougars finally got into the end zone on a 47-yard Gabe Marks touchdown catch. Kevin Hogan threw three touchdown passes with strikes of 57 and 33 yards out to Devon Cajuste, and the defense came up big in the second quarter on interception returns for scores from Jordan Richards and Trent Murphy in the third quarter.
- The Stanford offense is hitting its stride and just the right time. Explosive, balanced and diverse, the Cardinal did whatever it wanted after the floodgates opened up. Washington State didn’t have any answers defensively.
- Wazzu tried to keep on fighting and throwing, but the yards didn’t turn into points until too late. Connor Halliday completed 24-of-36 passes, but they didn’t go anywhere. His pick six thrown was a disaster, but Austin Apodaca didn’t do much more, completing 15-of-29 passes for 138 yards with two scores late, but his own interception thrown for a score wasn’t a plus.
- The Cougars didn’t generate a lick of pressure on Kevin Hogan. The Cardinal passing attack had time to relax and let the downfield plays to develop.
- Stanford did what it was supposed to do by putting its foot on Wazzu’s throat. When the Cardinal had the Cougars down, it kept on pushing. This was never allowed to become a dangerous upset threat.
at Washington State 42, Idaho 0
Basically … The Cougars took over from the start with the first of Connor Halliday’s four first half touchdown passes. Jeremiah Laufasa score from 13 and three yards out in the second half to turn the game into a blowout. Idaho sputtered with just 253 yards and too many mistakes.
- The Idaho offensive line can’t pass block. Washington State camped out in the backfield with five sacks and 14 tackles for loss. The Cougar defense has done a fantastic job all season long, and it stopped the Vandal offense cold allowing just 253 yards.
- Idaho quarterback Chad Chalich completed 17-of-23 passes, but the offense didn’t move enough. There were some decent big plays to open things up a bit, but they didn’t lead to points.
- Gabe Marks turned into the key target for the Cougar attack with 11 catches for 146 yards and two scores. Halliday spread the ball around well, but Marks was his main man.
- 12 penalties. Idaho isn’t good enough to get by without making a slew of big mistakes, and there were too many early that killed the any chance at some momentum. The Vandals seemed like they got something going with a fake punt, but it was squashed by a penalty. The team has to do the little things right.
at Washington State 48, Southern Utah 10, Sept. 14
Basically … Connor Halliday threw five touchdown passes with Dom Williams coming up with first half scores from 43 and 55 yards out, and the defense got into the act with a 72-yard pick six from Damante Horton with under a minute to play in the first half. Southern Utah pulled within four in the second quarter on a Raysean Martin run, but Wazzu scored 34 unanswered points.
- THAT’S the Washington State offense. Southern Utah might not be USC, but it was the first time all year the Cougars opened it up like they’re supposed to. The passing game was nearly flawless, outside of one Connor Halliday interception, and the team came up with the easy blowout.
- The key to the attack? Spreading the passes around. Dom Williams scored twice, but ten Cougars caught passes and four different players scored.
- The Washington State defense needs to start getting more credit. It stoned the USC offense, and this week it allowed Southern Utah to dink and dunk, but it didn’t give anything up deep. Everything was kept underneath.
Washington State 10, at USC 7, Sept. 7
Basically … USC scored first on a four-yard touchdown run from Cody Kessler, but that was it after the second quarter. Washington State turned the game around with a pick six with just 27 seconds left in the first half by Damante Horton. The Cougar offense did just enough late to set up Andrew Furney for a 41-yard field goal with just over three minutes to play, and then the D held on with a late pick to seal the win.
- This is going to be a bad, bad week for USC and Lane Kiffin. Not only can’t he find a starting quarterback, but he can’t get any production from an offense that averaged a pathetic 4.9 yards per completion and 193 yards of total offense. Tre Madden ran 32 times for 151 yards, but the passing game was awful.
-Connor Halliday held up under the pressure. There was no running game to help out the Cougar quarterback, and the USC line came up with four sacks with two from Morgan Breslin, but Halliday threw for 215 yards and generated the late winning drive.
- Washington State had a lot to do with Marqise Lee being held to 27 yards on seven carries, but the quarterbacks didn’t help. Cody Kessler completed 8-of-13 passes, but he didn’t get anything working down the field, while Max Wittek was awful completing just 3-of-8 passes for 13 yards and a pick.
- USC was bad, but give Washington State’s defensive line credit. The entire defense hit, and Daquawn Brown led the way with 11 tackles, in the defensive backfield, but it was the front four that held up and generated the pressure needed. The Cougars only came up with one sack, but they bothered the quarterbacks.
at Auburn 31, Washington State 24, Aug. 31
Basically … Tre Mason returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score and ran for an eight yard touchdown, and Corey Grant tore off a 75-yard run as Auburn held on for the tough win. Cody Parkey nailed three field goals as part of a 16-3 run to close things out, with the defense keeping the Cougars under wraps. Jeremiah Laufasa ran for two touchdowns for Wazzu and Bobby Ratliff caught a seven yard touchdown pass.
- Auburn picked off two passes in all of 2012, but came up with three against the Cougars with Robenson Therezie getting two including the game-sealer to stall a late Cougar drive.
- The Tiger defensive backs held up under the pressure, but Washington State’s Deone Bucannon also came up big with 14 tackles and a forced fumble. Far too often he was the last line of defense.
- How did Nick Marshall do in his first game as the Auburn starter? He wasn’t bad, completing 10-of-19 passes for 99 yards, but he didn’t exactly spark the offense. The attack stalled too much late, but Parkey came through with points.
- Connor Halliday threw 65 times for 344 yards and a touchdown, and while he and the Cougars had their chances late, they couldn’t close. There’s still work to be done to go from improved to good – no, the bottom half of the Pac-12 can’t beat the bottom half of the SEC.
Why To Get Excited … the learning curve on the Palouse will be much flatter now that head coach Mike Leach has had an entire season with his players. The Cougars return nine starters to each side of the ball and both specialists, lending hope that the team will operate with a higher degree of consistency and pop this fall. Everyone knew it would take time before the new staff became ingrained in the fabric of a new program; a full year with Leach will prove beneficial to everyone, especially the quarterbacks.
Why To Be Grouchy … compared to the rest of the Pac-12, Wazzu still has a long way to go before narrowing the talent gap. Both lines are shaky, and the defense gave up more than 33 points a game in 2012. It’s going to take at least another recruiting class and intense player development before the Cougars can seriously think about competing for a spot in the postseason.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … the offensive line. If the Cougars are going to surprise any opponents this year, it’ll likely be initiated by QB Connor Halliday and a budding corps of receivers headed by Gabe Marks, Brett Bartolone and Isiah Myers. However, the Wazzu quarterbacks will again be treated like crimson-clad piñatas unless the blockers can do a better job of protection. The 2012 edition was abused for 57 sacks, more than any other FBS team.
Non-Conference Games: at Auburn, Southern Utah, Idaho
Games Against The South: at Arizona, Arizona State, at USC, Utah
Realistic Best Case Record: 6-6
Worst Case Record: 2-10
Likely Finish: 3-9
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Southern Utah, Idaho, Utah
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Auburn, at USC, Stanford, at California, Oregon State, at Oregon, Arizona State, at Arizona, at Washington
Schedule Analysis: The Cougars have to be far better and need to come up with several upsets to have a decent year. Starting out on the road at Auburn and USC won’t help, but coming back to Pullman to finish out the non-conference slate against Southern Utah and Idaho should provide a decent base of wins going forward. However, the meat of the North schedule kicks in with Stanford, a trip to Cal, Oregon State and a road game against Oregon as part of a seven-game run before finally getting a break.
Unfortunately, the week off in late October is followed up by a date with Arizona State and another week off – it would be nice to have had a bye week in late September. Missing Colorado from the South is a bad deal, but the Cougars get Utah as the final home game of the season in between road games against Arizona and Washington.
Team Concerns For 2013: There has to be some semblance of a running game. Of course, the Cougars are all about the passing game under Mike Leach, but there wasn't any ground game whatsoever averaging under 30 yards per game. Part of the problem was the offensive line that was so miserable in pass protection, finishing last in the nation in sacks allowed giving up 57 sacks on the year. The O has to be tighter with the ball after giving it away 30 times, while the defense has to come up with more big plays after coming up with a mere six recovered fumbles.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. Mike Leach is getting his share of offensive options with quarterback Tyler Bruggman out of Phoenix fitting the role of the right triggerman, while receivers River Cracraft and Vince Mayle are going to be factors. After a disastrous season for the defense, Leach went hard after defensive linemen hoping JUCO transfer Lyman Faoliu a possible answer at one end and prepsters Gerald Sterling and Daniel Etuale for the interior. JUCO linebacker Ivan McLennan will have a shot at a starting linebacker job this year, while Daquawn Brown is a future No. 1 corner.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 56. That Class Was Heavy On ... Take a wild stab at what new head coach Mike Leach is looking to bring in. It actually isn’t quite what you’d think, even though a few nice receivers are signing up. Leach is starting up front by signing up offensive linemen to build around for the next few years. There aren’t a lot of top prospects coming in – there hasn’t been enough time for Leach to work – but it’s a huge class with lots of options to play around with. Soon, though, he’ll be going after the passers he needs to run his attack.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 52. That Class Was Heavy On ... JUCO defensive ends. The best players in the class are at linebacker with Max Hersey and Darryl Paulo two future starters for the inside, and Chester Sua and Logan Mays two potential killers on the outside once they add ten-plus pounds. But head coach Paul Wulff needs to show improvement and he needs to show it now. Hellooooo, JUCO transfers. Wazzu welcomes in four JUCO defensive ends, and while none of them are going to be on any All-America short lists, they’re all quick, they’re all ready, and they’ll all be a part of the rotation immediately.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 57. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Wide receivers.
Paul Wulff needed playmakers and he needed them last
year. There might not be any sure-thing starters for
2010, but Bobby Ratliff, Marquess Wilson and Robert
Jiles, and Blair Bomber are upgrades at receiver.
Tight end Aaron Dunn needs to be a part of the
offense now, and running backs Rickey Galvin and
Devontae Butler-Booker are quick backs who should
provide a boost for the running game. JUCO transfers
David Gonzales and Wade Jacobson will push for
starting time at tackle this offseason, while C.J.
Mizell is a ready-made linebacker to plug in on the
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 44. That Class Was
Heavy On ... defensive backs. The only reason why last year’s pass defense wasn’t worse off was because the run D was so easy to navigate. The Cougars realize there’s still plenty of work to be done in the secondary. They beat out the likes of Arizona State and Boise State for talented CB Nolan Washington, and bagged five safeties with the potential to start at some point in their careers. Heck, Wazzu even got themselves a Locker, beating out Washington for Jake Locker’s cousin, Casey.