APPLE CUP: Most Important Players - Marquess Wilson

Kicking off our Apple Cup analysis this week, this is the first in a series of posts of the players we think are most important to WSU's chances to beat UW in the game on Saturday.

Marquess Wilson 5942287_medium

#86 / Wide Receiver / Washington St. Cougars




Tulare, Calif.

Tulare Union H.S.


Receiving Kickoff Returns Punt Returns
G Rec Yds Y/G AVG TD KR YDS AVG Lng TD PR Yds Avg Lng TD
11 51 968 88.0 19.0 5 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Why Marquess Wilson? Simple: If the Cougs are going to win this one, they're likely going to need some big plays, and nobody's been better at delivering a big play than Wilson.

The Skinny: As we all know by now, the true freshman started off like gangbusters. But at 6-3 and 173 pounds -- and people who have seen him without his pads wonder if that's maybe even a little generous on the weight -- it was inevitable that he would wear down and hit a little bit of a wall as the season progressed given how often he was thrown to and how he commanded attention from opponents:

Date Opponent Surface Result Rec. Yards Avg. TD
9/4/2010 @ 16 Oklahoma St. Turf L 17-65 4 108 27 1
9/11/2010 Montana St. Turf W 23-22 3 39 13 0
9/18/2010 @ Southern Methodist Turf L 21-35 6 134 22.33 1
9/25/2010 Southern California Turf L 16-50 7 59 8.43 0
10/2/2010 @ UCLA Grass L 28-42 5 118 23.6 0
10/9/2010 1 Oregon Turf L 23-43 4 57 14.25 0
10/16/2010 Arizona Turf L 7-24 6 131 21.83 1
10/23/2010 @ 5 Stanford Grass L 28-38 6 150 25 1
10/30/2010 @ Arizona St. Grass L 0-42 5 89 17.8 0
11/6/2010 California Turf L 13-20 4 50 12.5 0
11/13/2010 @ Oregon St. Turf W 31-14 1 33 33 1
  Totals     51 968 18.98 5

It didn't just show up in an inability to get open; it also showed up with some drops, which were virtually non-existent early in the season. With three weeks off to rest his tired body, it figures that a fresher Wilson can return to early season form.

The opportunity is there against Washington. WSU has averaged 7.4 yards per attempt this year, and Washington has given up 7.1. Wilson also has a three-inch height advantage over both UW corners, Quinton Richardson and Desmond Trufant.

This matters because the games Washington has lost has been the games the Huskies were poorest in pass defense. Their six losses? Six of their seven worst games in terms of opponents' yards per attempt and passing efficiency.

Final Assessment: Quick strike big plays against a vulnerable defense would have an enormous impact in a game that doesn't figure to be a shootout.

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