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WSU football's 0-2 start to 2016 feels oddly familiar

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The Cougars fell to Boise State 31-28 Saturday night. That, plus your day-after links.

NCAA Football: Washington State at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Two years ago WSU sat in a familiar position. The 2014 Cougars opened the season 0-2 after losing two winnable games against two extremely winnable opponents. It turned out that the 2014 season would be one to forget as Washington State won just three games, fired its defensive coordinator mid-season, and lost its starting quarterback to a broken leg with a month left in the season. What’s worse is that WSU was coming off of their first bowl appearance in nearly ten years and the team had expectations to return to a bowl game in 2014.

You know the rest.

The 2016 Cougars are off to the same start. They’ve played two winnable games against two winnable opponents but don’t have a win to show for it. The difference is that just eight days ago expectations were high for the Cougars; the team who went 9-4 in the 2015 with wins against the likes of UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona State.

With ten games left, there’s a lot of time for WSU to right this ship and figure out what has and hasn’t worked this early in the season. One thing is clear, however, and that is we may overvalued the Cougars.

The Cougs WILL be 1-2 (WSU better beat Idaho by triple-digits) heading into their lone bye week of the year and will have Oregon and Stanford waiting for them on the other side.

I’m not sure what to expect from this team the rest of the way and at the rate it’s going, this isn’t good. At the same time, however, I’d like to think Washington State can salvage these two losses and still end up having a good year even if it’s not what we were hoping.

GO COUGS.

Links

Cougars wake up too late to catch Boise State in 31-28 defeat | The Spokesman-Review

Washington State starts 0-2 after late rally against Boise State comes up short 31-28 | The Seattle Times
WSU players and coaches have stated that last year’s team was not this year’s team, and that the onus is on the 2016 Cougs to find their own identity. Two games into the year, these Cougars are still searching.

Boise State beats Washington State on Sept. 10 | Idaho Statesman
Two late interceptions nearly sank Boise State’s 31-28 win over Washington State, but a defense that stepped up at key moments kept the Cougars from ever leading

WSU notebook: Grinch leaves the booth | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch took a more personal approach for his game-day duties during the Cougars game at Boise State on Saturday. The second-year assistant eschewed his usual spot in the booth and coached from the sidelines for the first time in his current position.

Three key moments in WSU Cougars’ loss to Boise State | The Spokesman-Review
Cougars beat reporter Jacob Thorpe tabs his three key moments from WSU’s 31-28 loss to Boise State on Saturday, starting with a costly early interception that went for a touchdown and ending with a pair of crucial stalled drives in the second half.

WSU at Boise State: Players of the game | The Spokesman-Review
Jeremy McNichols has averaged more than two touchdowns per game in his career, and the playmaking running back was at his best against the Cougars.

WSU postgame notes | The Spokesman-Review
Postgame notes for Washington State.

Interviews

Courtesy of Jacob Thorpe at The Spokesman-Review: