Washington State Football continues this week as the Cougars get ready for a PAC-12 showdown at home against Oregon. 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 host the University of Oregon Ducks. Whether you are going to the stadium to see the game live, or staying at home and watching on television, we have you covered.
Who: University of Oregon Ducks (5-1, 2-1) at Washington State University Cougars (5-1, 2-1).
Where: Clarence D. Martin Stadium – Pullman, Washington.
When: 7:00 p.m. PDT.
Line: Washington State -3. Over/Under 68.5 (Odds Shark)
Interesting Trends: The Cougars have covered eight of nine at home and five straight overall. Oregon has not covered in five of their last seven games and five of their last six road games.
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It went about as well as it could for Oregon last week at home. The Ducks took out division-leading Washington 30-27 in overtime. Neither team could pull away as the score was tied at the end of each quarter. Oregon survived a huge scare when UW’s kicker missed a 37-yard game winning field goal at the end of regulation.
Ducks running backs C.J. Verdell (111) and Travis Dye (67) combined for 168 yards and two TD’s on 44 carries. Receiver Dillon Mitchell caught eight passes from quarterback Justin Herbert (19-32, 202 yards, 2 TDs), for 119 yards and a score. Oregon’s defense was in the Husky backfield quite often with one sack, five tackles for loss, and two quarterback pressures.
The Washington State Cougars had a bye last week. Two weeks ago, they defeated Oregon State at Corvallis 56-37.
The offenses of both teams are going to take center stage this week, and rightfully so. Oregon will try to run the ball down Wazzu’s gullet. Verdell is a power back with breakaway ability. Herbert, who some tout as a top of the first round draft pick next spring his a big arm and quality receivers. The big issue for UO’s offense will be how they overcome a banged up Wormack and missing Sewell on that big offensive line.
Washington State’s offense is dynamic and their leader Gardner Minshew is just as good as Herbert. Head coach Mike Leach’s idea of balance is to get all five skill positions the ball, either by run or pass, but the offense is called the Air Raid, not the Ground Raid.
With all the talk about offense, it’s the Cougars defense, that may very well be the difference today. Oregon is going to come straight at them. When UO isn’t running the ball Herbert will be testing Washington State’s smaller corners. The Cougars defense has to make stops and get off the field quickly. Additionally, the Washington State D can’t count on the offense to hold the ball for long periods of time because the Air Raid can score at any time.
I like WSU in this one. They are rested, but more importantly much healthier than their opponents. If Minshew gets time in the pocket, he’ll pick apart Oregon’s inexperienced cornerbacks.