Good morning, Cougar fans! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we still have to wait quite some time before Washington State kicks off against Oregon State tonight at 7:45 on ESPN2. I know, I know, all we want is a 1 p.m. start time, is that so hard to ask?
Who are some key players to watch for tonight? Well I’m glad you asked.
QB Luke Falk
Corvallis will always hold a special place in Falk’s heart; it’s where he made his first collegiate start under center back in November of 2014. In that game, Falk was 44-for-61 throwing 471 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions in a 39-32 win. In result, Falk was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and was a glimmer of hope for WSU during the disastrous 2014 season.
Numbers don’t lie and Falk sure loves playing as Reser Stadium. Okay...he’s only played one game there but with those numbers against a poor Oregon State defense, another 400+ yard passing performance isn’t out of question.
DL Ngalu Tapa/Garrett McBroom
Washington State’s defensive line took a huge hit losing Robert Barber (that in itself is another story alone). However, Tapa has seen increased playing time (perhaps because of waiting for Barber’s appeal decision) and McBroom defended the goal line nicely against Arizona State last week. Expect these two, and maybe even Jeremiah Mitchell, to have an increased role from here on out as the Cougars need to replace Barber’s presence.
The Oregon State Beavers
Sure, the Beavers aren’t good. But college football is college football and Oregon State would love to play spoiler to Washington State as the Cougars get one week closer to winning the Pac-12 North. We saw Washington State fall behind 14-3 against a not-so-good Arizona State team and a timely kick-off return for a touchdown and going up against a fourth-string quarterback certainly helped WSU last week. Again, as much as I’d like to say I’m feeling comfortable going into playing Oregon State, I’m not. Wazzu needs a fast start on offense and keep Oregon State’s defense out on the field, while playing shutdown defense and creating takeaways.