The 21st-ranked Cougars barely survived a 3-OT thriller against Boise State last week. Now, there can be no let up as they welcome an Oregon State team that always seems to play WSU close.
No. 21 Cougars vs. Boise State
When: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. PT
Where: Martin Stadium / Pullman, Wash.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Line: WSU (-21)
Players to Watch
QB Luke Falk – 78.1 completion percentage
WR Renard Bell – 107 rec yards vs. Boise State
WR Isaiah Johnson-Mack – 13 receptions
DT Hercules Mata’afa – 5.5 TFL
RLB Frankie Luvu – 2.5 sacks
QB Jake Luton – 4 TD
RB Ryan Nall – 2 TD
WR Noah Togiai – 12.9 yards per reception
S David Morris – 25 tackles
LB Manase Hungalu – 2 TFL
Keys to the Game
Establish offensive rhythm
The biggest problem WSU had against Boise State was that it took too long to get things going on offense. This was because the Broncos dropped eight men back to guard against the pass, but the Cougars never quite got the run game going, due in part to poor run blocking from the offensive line, and inconsistent play from the backs. Cougars need to set up the run early to get the pass game going. It helps that Oregon State’s defense has yet to record a sack this year.
Stretch the field vertically
Per Pro Football Focus, Luke Falk was 1 for 5 on passes 10 yards or deeper against Montana State, and 2 for 8 on those same passes against Boise State. That’s in part due to how the Cougars’ first two opponents game planned to take away the long ball. But, things should be different this week. Oregon State is playing without injured starting cornerbacks Xavier Crawford and Dwayne Williams, which should give Falk an opportunity to finally get the vertical passing game going.
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