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Players to watch as Washington State welcomes Cal

Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Good morning, Coug fans. Our Washington State Cougars are home again on what should be a beautiful day in Pullman to welcome the California Golden Bears. You all know about the Cal voodoo we’ve experienced in the past. So if you’re a tad nervous today, you’re probably not alone.

This one is a big one. The Cougs lost a heartbreaker last week and after this weekend they travel to USC, Oregon State, and then get a home Thursday game against Utah after a bye week. Not an easy three games! A win today would be huge, a loss would be devastating.

The good news is WSU is healthy and at home. The bad news is it’s Cal and the Bears’ capable quarterback in Purdue transfer Jack Plummer. The Bears also have a talented freshman running back who gashed the Arizona Wildcats last week. May there be no gashing in Pullman today. I’m betting the WSU defense is up to the task.

Here’s who we’re focused on heading into today’s Homecoming matchup:

Players to Watch

Jaydn Ott

Ott went for 274 yards last week against Arizona, and he’s only a freshman. Of course, the Arizona front seven ain’t the WSU front seven. Containing Ott will obviously force Cal to turn to its receivers. Which leads us to our next group...

The WSU secondary

WSU allowed Bo Nix to throw for 428 yards last week (9.7 YPA...yikes). Jack Plummer spread the ball out to six receivers last week and four of them had explosives. WSU’s back end defenders need to have a better outing. Getting Jordan Lee back would sure help.

Robert Ferrel

Ferrel scored his first career FBS TD last week at a crucial moment. He’s healthy, and another option for Cam Ward. Let’s hope Ferrel isn’t a one-game wonder. Cal is no. 89 in the nation in passing defense, so Ferrel and his fellow pass catchers could be in for a big day.

Eric Morris

Not a player, I know. But Morris this week bemoaned his Air Raid offense, saying “We have a long ways to go,” and “We haven’t clicked on all cylinders yet.” Other notable quotes from Morris in that story:

“Last week, I thought we did a better job on the stuff we preach, We didn’t go three-and-out until the worst time of the game to go three-and-out. Part of that was my fault. I called a bad play on first down and got us behind the chains.”


“We gotta do a better job protecting Cam. He’s kinda running for his life at times.”


“You gotta be able to protect to get the ball down the field. We’ve had some stuff open down the field, and we can’t get to our second read because we’re getting pressure in our face.”

To be fair, Morris was critiquing his offense, which will always bring out quotes like that. But he’s telling the truth, and the tempo his offense showed last week was a nice touch, to say the least. How will his offense perform this week?

Go Cougs.


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