The Washington State football team will host the Wyoming football team on Saturday evening, presumably to hold a group therapy session on dealing with losses to FCS schools. But since there's a whole stadium and stuff in Pullman, one must presume there will be football played as well. This post will discuss that potential football game and also preview the therapy session.
Wyoming will likely be the tougher case when it comes time for everyone to talk about their feelings. The Cowboys followed up their super-embarrassing loss to North Dakota, with a blowout home loss to MAC powerhouse Eastern Michigan (once know as the Michigan State Normal College Normalites according to Wikipedia. Significant school name downgrade and still winning). They are probably going to need a few hugs. Luckily, the football game will feature plenty of those--dudes are hugging each other all the time in this sport.
Having starting quarterback Cameron Coffman back will certainly help deal with the pain for Wyoming. He was out with an MCL sprain against Eastern Michigan, but did throw for 282 yards and two scores against North Dakota. His completion percentage was far from impressive, connecting on 19 of 37 passes, but he has shown more accuracy in the past. As a sophomore starter at Indiana, he connected on more than 60 percent of his throws.
When Coffman throws the ball, the most dangerous receiver is Tanner Gentry, who is most certainly an actual cowboy in his spare time. Gentry caught 10 balls for 182 yards in the team's first two games.
Much like WSU's other 2015 opponents, the Cowboys prefer to keep it on the ground. By "it" I mean the football, except that doesn't make any sense because that would be a lot of fumbles.
What I mean to say is they like running the ball. The official NCAA stats say Wyoming ran the ball 448 times last season against 375 passes. But we all know NCAA stats are dumb and count sacks as rushing attempts. When you factor in the 44, yes 44, times that Cowboys QBs were sacked last season, Wyoming actually passed a little more than it ran.
But in modern college football, anything near 50 percent constitutes a running team. And through two games this year, the Cowboys have ran than the ball 74 out of 138 offensive plays. The top carrier and most efficient guy has been running back and former Orlando Magic head coach Brian Hill. The sophomore has carried 31 times for 273 yards. Not bad for a 67-year-old man.
Hill splits time with senior Shaun Wick, who has not coached any professional basketball teams. Wick has started slow in 2015, picking up just 3.5 yards per carry on 26 attempts.
The Cowboys' propensity to run will be the most interesting part of their matchup with as WSU defense that has worn down against the ground game in both 2015 contests. But that's assuming that you find football interesting. If not, this world is full of great hobbies and activities.
Wyoming's Defensive Bros
Wyoming probably has a lot of nice people, and that shows on the team's defense. Through two games, the Cowboys are allowing a generous 6.7 yards per play and a very kind 10 yards per pass. Typically, 10 yards is the requirement for a first down, so if WSU sticks with its famous "Air Raid" attack for at least one more game, the averages say the Cougs will get lots of first downs.
Lucas Wacha (Flacha Flame) is the team's leading tackler and is not afraid to let you know where he falls on the "Nature vs. Nurture" argument.
Perhaps a good strategy against Wacha will be running an altered Mesh route tree in which Robert Lewis or Tyler Baker stop to start an argument with the linebacker by saying "You're only good at football because you have good genes." Meanwhile. River Cracraft runs so wide open that you would think it's the decisive play of a game at Rutgers.
Also, "You're only good at football because you have good genes" is a good sign or chant or both. Get on that, Crimzone.
Brian A. covered another Wyoming guy with great genes in his Pre-Snap Read, Uso Olive. The defensive tackle hasn't quite turned his genes into results yet, as he has posted just 6.5 career tackles for loss in 25 games. Maybe this Wacha kid is on to something.
The Cowboys return their leading sacker guy from last season in Eddie Yarbrough, and he likely possesses at least average genes. He may have above average jeans, but that is not relevant because football is not played in denim. Yarbrough logged four sacks last season as part of 10.5 TFL. It's possible he was also raised by the Wachas.
There's nothing particularly frightening about Wyoming's defense. Sure, they are all strong guys who you wouldn't want to get into a bar fight with, but WSU also has strong guys that will at the very least neutralize the Cowboy strong guys. Of course, it all may come down to who had the best upbringing.
If you believe WSU has a better offense than Eastern Michigan, which come on how do you even know you are just assuming, then the Cougs should put on a nice scoring show for the home fans. Heck, maybe even the visiting fans if they can let go of their biases for a few hours.