The Cougs will enter the Apple Cup this year with an extra week of rest and preparation courtesy of their late season bye. Whether or not seven extra days will be beneficial to WSU is not clear however.
Since Mike Leach arrived in Pullman in 2012 his teams have played six times with extended rest and have a record of 2-4. The last time the Cougs came off a bye, against Oregon in 2016, they cruised to a 51-33 home victory over the Ducks.
That game broke a two game post bye week losing streak. In 2015, WSU lost a close one in Berkeley to Cal, and in 2014 they fell to Arizona at home after having an extra week off.
The Cougs were given two bye weeks in 2013 and played a Thursday night game against Arizona State in the middle of that stretch. They lost to the Sun Devils on Halloween that year but two weeks later redeemed themselves with a win over Arizona. Perhaps “rust” isn’t that big of a factor after all.
Overall, there is little evidence to suggest that the Cougs have played above their usual abilities when they’ve come off a bye week under Mike Leach, but the sample size is awfully small.
Theo Lawson of the Spokesman Review asked Leach for his thoughts on bye weeks Thursday, in an interview after practice. The head coach said he prefers them two thirds of the way through the season.
Defensive Line Coach Jeff Phelps gave more insight in his time with the media. Phelps said he was worried about playing 11 straight weeks when he first saw the schedule but is happy with how the team handled the work load.
“The bye week, where it’s placed for us is great because it gives a little extra time to prepare for a great team,” Phelps said.
Falk named a finalist for Burlsworth Trophy
The Burlsworth Trophy is given to the top player who began his career as a walk-on. Falk is a finalist for the third straight season.
Holiday Bowl watch: Michigan-Arizona matchup makes most sense - The San Diego Union-Tribune
Washington State (9-2) isn’t a good candidate for the Holiday Bowl because the Cougars played in last year’s game.
Former Cougars receiver Michael Bumpus building big program in small town of Monroe | The Seattle Times
The Bearcats won their first state football playoff game last week and they head into the quarterfinals on Saturday against Sumner.
Washington St finally gets break with Apple Cup approaching | KOMO
Quarterback Luke Falk is glad for the rest after No. 15 Washington State opened the season with 11 consecutive games.
WSU’s 2018 football schedule released, and Cougars get a more favorable bye week | The Seattle Times
WSU's 2018 Pac-12 slate will feature a more traditional mix of home/away games.
Signing class, non-conference schedule announced – The Daily Evergreen
“I really believe that this class could be one of the best to ever arrive on campus,” Head Coach Marty Lees said.
Samoa Trip expenses cost thousands – The Daily Evergreen
WSU President Kirk Schulz’s trip to the Samoan Islands in late August ran a tab of over $6,500, according to Schulz’s travel expense records.