Good morning Coug fans. Our Washington State Cougars are in Palo Alto for the first time since 2018 to take on the Stanford Cardinal. We all remember how that 2018 game went. Let’s hope the end result is the same.
We’re not going through the normal list of players to watch this week because, as Jeff noted on Thursday, WSU is at a crossroads. Win two of the final four games on the schedule and WSU is headed to a bowl game once again. Win three, and WSU is headed to a bigger bowl game. Win all four, and not only is WSU on an Apple Cup bender, it’s headed to an even bigger bowl.
WSU has lost three in a row. All for losses this season have come to teams ranked in the season’s first College Football Playoff rankings (Oregon State will leave that group next week). This game against Stanford will tell us a lot about what this WSU team really is.
So, the players to watch this week includes everyone from the head coach down to the water bottle holders. WSU’s woeful offensive line needs to play its best game of the season. Cam Ward needs time to find his receivers, preferably downfield much more often and not via screen pass every other snap.
The entire defense needs to keep Stanford to its ninth-place ranking in scoring offense in the Pac-12 (tied with WSU!). The secondary can’t give up any explosives. The kickers need to keep the ball in bounds.
Win this game, and WSU is back on track. Lose, and its prospects for postseason play get immensely lower even with three games remaining. You can’t lose to Stanford and call yourself a postseason team. Given that it’s election season, I’ll make this analogy: Today’s performance will go a long way in affecting consumer confidence heading into the final three weekends. Why does this feel like a must-win game?
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Theme of the game …
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