For the second week in a row, the Washington State Cougars won in less than convincing fashion. A win is a win is a win, but eventually, I'd like to beat an opponent we're supposed to beat without sweating the final minutes. The Rebels of UNLV are simply not very good, so while the 8 point win wasn't what myself (or gamblers) were hoping for, we finally get to see some video game stats! Yay!
Before we get into who won what weekly award, I am going to ask you please not to turn this into another Connor Halliday vs. Jeff Tuel argument. Let's talk about these three guys, please, and focus on how nicely they played.
Brandon Gibson Offensive POTW:
Gabe Marks -- 6 catches, 126 yards, 1 TD, 18.00 YPC, 6.63 YPR (what are these?)
Marks missed an opportunity for another big catch when he attempted to use his body rather than his hands. Halliday made a really nice throw towards the sidelines, and had he caught it, he'd have something like 150 yards. Regardless of that rookie mistake, he completely bailed out Halliday on a floater early on. While the pass wasn't likely to be intercepted, the defender never even saw the ball. Most DBs would just stick their hands out and deflect that pass. Marks jumped up and over the defender, en route to a fantastic catch that was good for 47 yards. He later caught a slant* and simply out-ran his defender, taking the ball 52 yards to the house. A few rookie mistakes aside, Marks showed why Brian and others were heaping praise upon him this summer.
*I only watched the game live, so forgive me if the specific route he ran wasn't a slant.
D.D Acholonu Defensive POTW:
Travis Long -- 9 tackles, 5 solo, 2 sacks
This was a tough decision for me, as Darryl Monroe had himself a hell of a game, too. Monroe easily could have been POTW with his 10 total tackles and one forced fumble. Our defense might not be where we want it to be, but we have some young guys making a ton of plays this season, including Monroe, who is a RS Freshman.
Long gets the nod over Monroe for his two sacks. As a team, the Cougs have raked up 8 sacks in 2012. Long has 4 of those. From his new Buck LB position, Long has been wreaking havoc on the opposing team's backfield all season long. While the statistics say he only has 4 sacks, it sort of feels like he should have more. He's been an absolute beast thus far.
Reid Forrest Special Teams POTW:
Michael Bowlin -- 4 punts, 213 yards, 53.2 avg, L60; 6 kickoffs, 386 yards, 64.3 avg, 4 touchbacks
For the second week in a row, Bowlin was fantastic. For the season, he's averaging 45.8 yards per punt with seven going for 50+ yards. As hollyweirdcoug loves to point out, he's also completely changed the kickoff game, accounting for seven touchbacks (out of 12 kickoffs). Anyone who has watched this team in the past few years will tell you how great it is to see that. While the focus has been squarely on Andrew Furney for his 60-yard FG, Bowlin has been quietly doin' his thing. I see you, Mike.
Last week's prediction:
Gabe Marks, Taylor Taliulu, Leon Brooks
Next week's prediction:
Marquess Wilson, Darryl Monroe, Michael Bowlin