The Cougs have allowed 23 points in the first half of all three games this year combined. That sounds impressive, until you look at their performance in the 4th quarter.
Theo Lawson of the Spokesman Review ran the numbers, and they’re not too bad either. While Washington State has been outscored 17-14 in the 3rd period, they’re running away in the 4th quarter putting up a combined margin of 52-0.
“Shoot, I might tell them they’re all the fourth quarter if it’ll work,” Mike Leach told the media Monday, via Lawson. “I think that is something we’d like to manufacture.”
Of course, that number was put up against a trio of non-conference foes. The Cougs now have to keep that momentum rolling into a Friday night showdown against USC. Against Stanford and Texas, admittedly better competition, the Trojans have been shut out in the games final quarter. Needless to say, USC lost both of those games, sealing their sub-par 2-1 start.
But the Trojans have bigger problems than their 4th quarter production. Lead by an inexperienced offensive core, the Trojans rank in the bottom 20 among FBS teams averaging just 20 points per game and 109.33 rushing yards per game.
The Cougar defense will look to continue that trend on short rest Friday night in front of a national audience. And while the 4th quarter numbers might not always translate to wins, it’s an important step towards being able to close things out.
“We know that you can only win a game in the fourth quarter,” defensive lineman Nick Begg said, via Lawson once again. “That’s the most important quarter of the game. We try to do our best to give no fourth quarter points to the other team. That’s pretty much our goal on defense and I think our offense has taken that fourth-quarter mentality on, too, because they’ve been really turning it on in the fourth, too.”
USC game carries more significance for 33 Southern Californians on Washington State roster | The Spokesman-Review
The Cougars’ Pac-12 opener is meaningful because it’s the first of nine games that counts toward conference standings. But, similar to how the Apple Cup excites just about every Washingtonian on the Cougar roster, the USC game bears that much more importance for 33 players who hail from Los Angeles, San Diego or a close-by suburb of those two.
WSU coach Mike Leach glad to be 3-0, but says team must improve quickly | The Daily World
For the second straight year, Washington State enters a late September nationally televised Friday night game against USC undefeated.
Pac-12 power rankings: South Division continues to nosedive after another forgettable week | The Spokesman-Review
It was tempting to just stack the six teams in the Pac-12 North atop the six in the South and call this week’s edition of the power rankings good. After some shuffling, they look enough like that as is.
Jason Gesser resigns from WSU as new allegations of sexual misconduct surface | The Spokesman-Review
The resignation Tuesday of WSU assistant athletic director Jason Gesser derailed the career of an iconic Cougar quarterback who had returned home to raise money for his alma mater. But that future soured in a flurry of sexual misconduct accusations.
Washington State University employee, ex-football player, resigns after sexual misconduct complaint | Fox News
Washington State University employee and former quarterback Jason Gesser resigned Tuesday, a day after he was accused of sexual misconduct.
Jason Gesser resigns as Washington State assistant AD amid new allegations of sexual misconduct
Jason Gesser has resigned as assistant athletic director at Washington State University, effective immediately, following new allegations of sexual misconduct against him by a former WSU volleyball player.