The murderous stretch of games is over and Washington State is in the "easy" section of games. The Cougs kick off the last four today against the Arizona State Sun Devils today at 4 p.m. in Tempe.
- The Cougar Secondary. The Sun Devlis are going to pass. A lot. We know the deficiencies in the Cougar run defense, but how will they do against the ASU Air Raid offense? Keep in mind just how banged up WSU is. Damante Horton, a one-time starter, is out. Daniel Simmons and Nolan Washington are dealing with a concussion and wrist injury respectively. Aire Justin is likely out. What's it mean? Chima Nwachukwu and Casey Locker will likely be the nickel and dime backs, with Nwachukwu filling in at corner when needed. This is all cause for concern.
- Jeff Tuel. Tuel was 21-28 last week and it was about the quietest 21-28 performance I've seen. It seemed like Tuel started shaky, but was lights out throughout the rest of the game, including the impressive aerial attack that was the fourth quarter. If Tuel can get going early and match the production of Steven Threet and the ASU offense, WSU has a chance.
- The Cougar run defense. As always, the front seven is a concern. ASU is averaging 3.93 yards per carry, but will likely follow the blueprint every other team has employed against the Cougars. Look for the Sun Devils to run out of the spread and try to take advantage of the biggest weakness WSU has.
- The offensive line. They're here again, even though they put together a nice performance against Stanford. Freshman John Fullington again will man Tuel's blindside, but proved up to the task against the Cardinal.
- Vontaze Burfict. He's bat (bleep) insane. Oh, and he's pretty good at this whole football thing.