Washington State football: Leach looks to continue winning streak vs UO

Mike Leach, Washington State football. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
Mike Leach, Washington State football. (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images) /
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Washington State Football
Gardner Minshew, Washington State football. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

A New Leader

After the 2017 campaign, Leach was in search for a starting quarterback to replace Luke Falk. He brought in graduate transfer Gardner Minshew, from East Carolina.

Minshew has fulfilled that role in prolific fashion. He currently leads the nation in passing yards and is averaging 403 passing yards per game. Additionally, he has thrown 19 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. During his weekly press conference on Monday, Leach praised his quarterback’s ability to quickly learn his system and become a part of the team when Minshew arrived in Pullman last May.

Minshew may be one reason why the Cougars are three-point favorites this week. Home field is another strong factor because WSU has not lost a game at Martin Stadium since 2016. That streak is slightly more than half-way to approaching Washington State’s all-time best home winning streak of 19 consecutive games, which was set between 1928-33. One negative factor in Leach’s tenure is that his teams are 1-5 in games after a bye week.

Both Oregon and Washington State are averaging over 40 points per game. Ducks’ QB Justin Herbert, who missed last year’s game with a broken collarbone, is getting plenty of notice as a potential early-round NFL draft pick. More importantly, the Cougars defense had better be prepared for an Oregon offense that has out-rushed their opponents in five of their six games this season.

Next. Scouting the Ducks. dark

Maybe the Ducks will have a “hang-over” from their stunning win against the other PAC-12 team from the state of Washington. I think the Cougars will win the game outright and cover the spread.