Eastern Washington at Washington State
Matt Barry – The Cougars have come out of the gate hungry and quarterback Gardner Minshew has been adapting to the Air Raid offense well. He threw for 414 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-0 win over San Jose State last week.
The real pleasant surprise has been the defense, who kept the Cougars in the game early against Wyoming in the opener and then pitched the shutout in Pullman. The Cougars will look to move to 3-0 before their PAC-12 opener against USC.
If the Cougars are looking ahead, they shouldn’t be. Eastern Washington beat the Cougars in Pullman in 2016 and is picked to win the Big Sky this season. Their quarterback is preseason All American Gage Gubrud. Gubrud has been outstanding in EWU’s two wins by throwing for 659 yards and nine touchdowns without an interception. The Washington State secondary will be tested in this one. Look for the Cougars to be talented enough and ready for the challenge this time. Cougars win a high scoring affair
Jaymin Bernhardt – Eastern Washington beat the Cougars a couple years ago 45-42. The Cougars no longer have Luke Falk as their quarterback like they had for that game and seem to have digressed a little since last year. Look for Eastern Washington to make a game out of this and take the Cougars to the wire into the fourth quarter. The Eagles will once again play spoiler to the Pac12 and get the win 42-38.
Rucker Haringey – It’s safe to expect the Gardner Minshew train to keep rolling this week. Eastern Washington might be able to keep this game interesting for a quarter, but Washington State is much too strong to get seriously tested in this one. As usual, Mike Leach’s offense will spread the ball around and put up a lot of points. Expect the Cougars to roll to 3-0.
Ed Stein – Normally I would consider an FBS school hosting an FCS school as a cannon fodder game. Eastern Washington, however, runs one of the top FCS programs in the country. The dividing line between FBS and FCS programs is two-fold.
First is the size of the schools. Second, which will put Washington State over the top, is the size of the players. The Cougars will ultimately be too big and too strong for EWU. Look for Wazzou control the line of scrimmage more and more as the game wears on and win going away.