Eight days after losing its season opener, Washington State will be back on the field on Friday when the Cougars travel to Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack. The game shapes up to be an interesting one and one some people considered to be WSU's hardest out of conference game. With WSU losing to Rutgers, beating Nevada might be necessary if WSU is going to make it back to a bowl game.
Doing so may be a challenge. Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo is more than capable and Washington State's defense will have its hands full. The Cougars will do what they always do on offense. Put the ball in the air and score points. The question there is can they score the 40, 45 or 50 points it may take to win a shootout? The first team to 40 might just come away with the win.
Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote an interesting position-by-position breakdown of the game. He gave WSU the advantage at wide receiver, offensive line, linebackers, special teams and coaching. Nevada took the advantage at quarterback, running back, defensive line and secondary. If they play anything like they did against Rutgers, WSU's linebackers are no advantage. That would leave a 4-4 breakdown.
I'm expecting a back-and-forth high-scoring game that will be decided in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter. I'm worried about what Fajardo might do to WSU's defense, but I'm still going to lean toward the Crimson and Gray and say WSU 42, Nevada 36.
What's your pick for the game?