The WSU Cougars are in training camp now preparing to take the Pac-12 by storm under offensive mastermind Mike Leach.
More from Washington State Cougars
- Washington State Football: What you need to know for 2018 Alamo Bowl
- Washington State Football: 6 takeaways from 28-15 Apple Cup loss
- Washington State Football: What you need to know for UW 11/23
- Apple Cup: History leading up to the 2018 edition
- PAC-12 Football Power Rankings week of 11/21 – Emerald City Swagger
Head coach Mike Leach wanted to instill a sense of pride and legacy in his WSU Cougars team this year. Faced with stiff competition in the Pac-12, with stalwarts like Stanford and Oregon in their path, combined with the rise of the UW Huskies, the WSU Cougars are entering their most important season in recent memory.
Ever since the WSU Cougars started their camp at Sacajawea Junior High School in Lewiston, Idaho, Mike Leach has pushed them to be better. They won nine games last year and their first bowl game in over a decade, but their successful season in 2015 has only heightened expectations this season. The return of Gabe Marks and Luke Falk will give the WSU Cougars a chance to meet those expectations, but they will have to beat foes that have tormented them, such as Oregon, Washington, and Stanford, in recent years.
The WSU Cougars have talent on both sides of the ball, an offensive wizard for a head coach, and one of the most efficient passers in college football. They have used the word ‘legacy’ in training camp this year as a way to describe the way they want to play the rest of the Pac-12 this year.
The rise of the Cougars comes at a bad time, however. With the Huskies appearing to rise in the ranks of the Pac-12 North and perennial powerhouses Stanford and Oregon appearing strong as usual, the WSU Cougars will face tough competition all season. We could be looking at a season that comes down to the Cougars and the Huskies playing their Apple Cup for the Pac-12 North crown.
But, for players like Falk, Marks, and linebackers Peyton Puller and Isaac Dotson, building a legacy is all about overcoming increasingly fierce competition. We’ll see if this Mike Leach team is good enough to start that legacy in Pullman.