Washington State Football continues this week as the Cougars head to Los Angeles to face USC. Emerald City Swagger has all you need to know.
Emerald City Swagger presents, what you need to know in order to enjoy Washington State Football this week when the Cougars visit the University of Southern California Trojans. Whether you are going to the stadium to see the game live in Los Angeles, or staying at home and watching on television, we have you covered.
Who: Washington State University Cougars at University of Southern California Trojans.
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, California.
When: 7:30 p.m. PDT
Line: Washington State +4.5. Over/Under 50.5 (Odds Shark)
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Southern Cal entered last week’s game in Austin against the University of Texas ranked 22nd. They went home embarrassed, losing 37-14 to a mediocre Longhorns team. The Trojans jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead and then vanished into oblivion. Did they have a few bad breaks? Absolutely, every team does. USC didn’t rally from their setbacks, they fell apart.
Trojans quarterback JT Daniels had his best passing performance of the season, completing 30 of 48 passes for 322 yards, but aside from a play or two USC couldn’t run the ball. The Southern Cal defense yielded over 400 yards.
Washington State played a very complete game at home, beating FCS power Eastern Washington, 59-24. WSU Quarterback Gardner Minshew II was the PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Week and returner Travell Harris was the PAC-12 Special Teams Player of the Week.
Minshew threw for 470 yards and led the Cougars on six touchdown drives. His favorite target was once again Tay Martin who caught 13 of Minshew’s passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. Harris won his award based on a 100-yard kickoff return for a score in the second quarter.
The Cougars defense wasn’t as lights out as they were the week prior when they shutout San Jose State. They were still pretty good with the exception of a 15 minute period in the second and third quarters. WSU had two sacks, six QB pressures, three tackles for loss, and forced four Eastern Washington turnovers.
It’s been an exciting week in Pullman, leading up to Friday night’s PAC-12 opener. This is everything Cougars head coach Mike Leach wants for his football team. A stand-alone, prime-time game on national television, against college football royalty. A win would be a major boost to the program.
While Minshew won’t throw for nearly 500 yards in Los Angeles, there is no reason to believe he won’t have another good game. USC is a bit banged up on defense, so Leach may put in a few trick plays to take advantage of the inexperience.
On the other side of the ball, Trojans QB Daniels is a true freshman. WSU will mix up coverages and blitz packages to throw the 18-year-old off. The key will be how well Washington State handles the biggest offensive line they’ve played against this season. If the Cougs can stop, or at least contain USC’s ground game, they win.