Despite losing some keys pieces from 2015, the Washington State Cougars defense took a big step forward on Saturday in the 51-33 victory over the Oregon Ducks.
Sure, Royce Freeman did rush for 138 yards on 19 carries against the Cougars but take away his 75-yard touchdown run and his numbers aren’t looking too great. Bundle together Freeman’s **lack** of production with Dakota Prukop’s inability at quarterback and it was a solid day for #CougD (h/t Roy Manning).
This Saturday another test looms as the Washington State travels down to the farm for a date with #15 Stanford, the lone Pac-12 team Mike Leach has yet to beat. Leach may be 0-4 all-time against the Cardinal, but fifth time may be the charm.
Stanford will be without their RT, both starting CBs, top WR and FB vs. WSU this week. Backup LG and TE should play.— BRITTON® (@BKRansford) October 6, 2016
You see, Stanford is really banged up. At the same time, you might think that the Cardinal are pissed after getting embarrassed by Washington on national television and are going to take that anger out on WSU, which honestly is a slight concern of mine. At the same time, Stanford’s offensive line is reeling after giving up eight sacks last week. Left tackle A.J. Hall, left guard David Bright, and center Jesse Burkett are all first-year starters for ‘Ford and right tackle Casey Tucker is likely to be out. The Cougar defense should be feasting their eyes upon that front five.
Offensively, Luke Falk and Co. should throw the ball deep and often considering Stanford, for the seconds straight week in a row, will be without both starting cornerbacks. I’m all for inside runs and bubble screens, but it’d be nice to see Falk take multiple deep shots down the field during the game.
We were all bummed and less than pleased after the 1-2 non-conference start, but the real season started against Oregon in Pac-12 play. The lofty expectations are still alive for the opportunity to compete for a Pac-12 championship and the Cougars have no excuse to not beat Stanford this Saturday.
The Cougars' defensive line made progress against Oregon. Now, Stanford's shaky offensive line presents a big opportunity for them to take the next step in their evolution.
Leach expects different Stanford team this Saturday | KLEW
The Washington State Cougars picked up a much needed victory at home on Saturday against Oregon. But it wasn't the same top-ten quality opponent that WSU become accustomed to seeing from the Ducks.
Stanford O-line tries to shake off 8-sack memories - SFGate
“It was like a dam breaking loose,” said Bloomgren, who doubles as the offensive coordinator. If they’re going to bounce back from that 44-6 loss, the No. 15 Cardinal had better ratchet up their play on offense and defense against Washington State on Saturday night at Stanford Stadium.