Washington State Football: 3 Takeaways from the loss at USC

Gardner Minshew, Washington State football. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Gardner Minshew, Washington State football. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Mike Leach’s Washington State football team had its first setback Friday at USC. Here are three takeaways from the game.

The Washington State Cougars lost their PAC-12 opener Friday night in Los Angeles. A narrow 39-36 loss to the University of Southern California Trojans was the Cougars first defeat of 2018. It will be very interesting to see how WSU responds to some adversity ahead of next Saturday’s game against Utah. Here are our three takeaways from Friday night.

The program still has work to do

Washington State doesn’t have the athletes a program like USC has. Southern Cal has been a consistent football power for the majority of the last century. Washington State has not. As ESPN reminded us the last time WSU had back to back 4-0 starts to their season was in 1906 and 1907.

What floored me while watching the game, was how ESPN Analysts Tom Luginbill and McElroy were surprised by the size of WSU’s offensive lineman. What the remarks told me was that neither of them expected the Cougars to be able to compete in the trenches. It’s actually a compliment to Mike Leach, it shows the development of his program.

It also means that until it isn’t surprising how athletically gifted the Cougars are in comparison to USC, there is more work to do.