clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WSU heads into Saturday a solid two-TD underdog to Oregon

They haven’t been that big an underdog since 2015 ... against Oregon. We know how that turned out.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Colorado v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

A day before the Washington State Cougars take on the Oregon Ducks in Eugene, the point spread for the matchup has settled in at Oregon minus-14 just about everywhere you look. Which got us thinking: Given the success of the last four years, it’s probably been a while since WSU has been that big of an underdog.

According to, the last time it happened was 2015 — when the Cougars went to Eugene as 15.5-point underdogs.

Here’s a quick glance at the times WSU has been two-touchdown underdogs in the Mike Leach era:

If you’re too lazy to count, that’s 15 times in Leach’s first four seasons. The Cougs won outright just three times, although they are 12-2-1 against the spread. If we extend the analysis to the last 30 games in which WSU was a two-TD underdog, the Cougars are 20-9-1 ATS dating back to 2009.

Of course, one of those outright wins was against Oregon in 2015. There aren’t a lot of similarities between that opponent and this one; the Ducks were in the process of bottoming out under Mark Helfrich, and the Cougs were facing a backup QB — definitely not the case this year. However, this season also features a WSU team trying to figure itself out — 2015 had an inexplicable loss (that year, to an FCS team) and a close loss on the road to a ranked team it should have beat (that year, the week before at Cal).

WSU figured itself out, beating the Ducks in OT and kicking off this four-year run of success.

Washignton State v Oregon

At any rate, WSU plus the points seems like a pretty decent bet, if you’re into that sort of thing. Here are a couple of other takes:

2019 college football betting trends — Week 9 | Las Vegas Review-Journal
Washington State at Oregon (-14): Washington State coach Mike Leach has won and covered the Cougars’ last four games against Oregon and has covered all seven since taking over in 2012. Washington State has covered the last nine meetings. Leach is 13-6 as an underdog since 2015. The Ducks are 2-2 ATS at home this season, and coach Mario Cristobal is 4-5 ATS as a home favorite. Edge: Washington State.

Pac-12 picks: Edge to ASU, Cal and Oregon against the spread - Mercury News
Washington State (+14) at Oregon: Facts are facts: The Cougars have won four in a row in the series by an average margin of 15.5 points. But two words explain why that streak ends Saturday night: Andy Avalos. The Ducks’ defensive coordinator has the scheme to slow the Air Raid and the personnel to execute. If Oregon allows Penei Sewell and Co. to lead the way — as it did in the second half in Seattle — the Ducks should be comfortably ahead in the fourth quarter. If they get pass happy, WSU will be mighty appreciative. Pick: Oregon.

Football Links

Know Thy Enemy: Washington State Cougars - Addicted To Quack
Who are these 2019 Cougs from the Palouse?

Oregon announces uniforms for Washington State - Duck Territory
On Thursday, the Ducks announced that they'll be wearing the Nike Vapor Fusion nightmare green uniforms for this Saturday night.

Washington State’s Liam Ryan, Fred Mauigoa epitomize how opposites attract on the gridiron | The Spokesman-Review
Ryan and Mauigoa never have shared much in common, aside from their mission on the football field: to guarantee the safety of WSU’s record-breaking quarterbacks – Luke Falk, Gardner Minshew and Anthony Gordon among them. But now they’re inseparable.

No. 11 Oregon hosts Washington State on Saturday
No. 11 Oregon looks to extend its six-game winning streak against Washington State.

Leach focus, but Gordon has his moments in HBO episode | Sports |
Anthony Gordon’s not the first Washington State football player to do a verbal imitation of coach Mike Leach. But he’s the first to do so on a national all-access TV

Oregon Football: Wide Receiver Brenden Schooler Enters Transfer Portal
Oregon Football Wide Receiver Brenden Schooler entered the transfer portal on Tuesday. It has been a rough start to the season after an offseason injury.

A deep dive into the Washington State Cougars | Sports |
On Saturday, the No. 11 Oregon Ducks will host Washington State head coach Mike Leach and his Cougars at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks, now sitting comfortably atop the Pac-12 North,

Gordon Added To 2019 Manning Award Watch List - Washington State University Athletics
Gordon leads the nation in passing yards and total offense.

Pro Football Cougs

Gardner Minshew Will Convince You | National Review
The birth of a football superstar.

Gardner Minshew on ESPN airing Sam Darnold sideline comments: ‘That’s not cool.’ - Big Cat Country
Count Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew as one of many critical of ESPN’s decision to air Sam Darnold’s sideline comments about "seeing ghosts".

In the second quarter of a blowout...

Is Eagles’ Andre Dillard taking over left tackle spot, or just keeping it warm? | Early Birds
The first-round rookie starts again this week. Will he soon be ready to take over Jason Peters' spot for good?


Return of CJ Elleby good news for Washington State hoops - The Washington Post
The biggest win during Kyle Smith’s first few months on the job at Washington State was keeping one of the stars he was inheriting from moving on to the NBA

Pac 12 basketball: Preseason rankings, 2019-20 preview - Sports Illustrated
11. Washington State: Washington State was one of the biggest winners of this year’s coaching carousel, as the Cougars hired San Francisco’s Kyle Smith to replace Ernie Kent.

Stacking the Pac: Why McKinley Wright and the Colorado Buffaloes Will Win the Pac-12 Title | The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch
11. Washington State Cougars (11-21, 4-14 in 2019)

12 Days ‘Till OSU Basketball: Washington State Cougars Preview - Building The Dam
After the disastrous tenure of Ernie Kent, the Cougars are starting over from scratch.

Everything Else

Cougars Sweep Buffs on the Road - Washington State University Athletics
Alexis Dirige becomes the WSU volleyball all-time career digs leader in 3-0 victory.

Dirige sets WSU record as Cougars beat Buffs | Sports |
BOULDER, Colo. — Alexis Dirige became Washington State’s all-time leader in digs Thursday as the 24th-ranked Cougars rolled to a 25-17, 25-23, 25-16 Pac-12 Conference victory against Colorado at the

College volleyball: No. 24 Washington State sweeps Colorado | The Spokesman-Review
Magda Jehlarova and Pia Timmer posted 11 kills apiece, and No. 24 Washington State swept Colorado 25-17, 25-23, 25-16 in a Pac-12 Conference women’s volleyball match Thursday at the CU Events Center.

No go in LA - Washington State University Athletics
The No. 19 ranked Cougars conceded early in a 3-0 loss at No. 7 USC.

Pac-12 CEOs and ADs discuss Fair Pay To Play, media strategy - Mercury News
The conference held its annual fall meetings this week in San Francisco, and two key issues on the agenda were the pursuit of a strategic partner and the NIL movement.

It’s the final college lap for ‘Bobi Buckets’ | Sports |
No one can fault Borislava Hristova for her initial reluctance — she wasn’t sure about furthering her basketball career in the United States.

Hristova Selected to Cheryl Miller Award Watch List - Washington State University Athletics
The Cougs leading scorer finds herself on the Cheryl Miller Award Watch List for the Second Straight Season.

Chiam Goes Under Par to Lead WSU at Stockton Invitational - Washington State University Athletics
Chiam ends fall season leading WSU in final three events.

Emily Baumgart Named Women’s Player of the Year by Washington Golf - Washington State University Athletics
Baumgart will be honored at a ceremony Nov. 2 in Sammamish, Wash.

Celebrate Halloween with Washington State Athletics - Washington State University Athletics
The annual event will take place Thursday, Oct. 31 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at the start of the women's basketball's exhibition game at Beasley Coliseum.

Busy weekend as Cougars Head to Portland and California - Washington State University Athletics

Cougars Conclude Fall Season at Redbird Duals - Washington State University Athletics
WSU sends a group of four players for the event.

Cougars Come Back Faster Against No.2 California - Washington State University Athletics
WSU posted new personal best times across the board