The Washington State Cougars aim for their first win on Friday night when they face the Nevada Wolfpack in Reno. The Cougs are coming off a gut-punch loss to Rutgers in the opener, while Nevada took down FCS Southern Utah on Saturday.
After a shoddy defensive performance in Seattle, WSU has already made a couple changes to the depth chart. Charleston White will move into the starting lineup at corner and fifth-year senior Tracy Clark heads to the bench. Darius Lemora jumps ahead of Teondray Caldwell, who recently converted to safety from running back.
WSU will need better secondary play, among other things, against Nevada's Cody Fajardo, who is one of the top quarterbacks in the Mountain West and also loves to wear rainbow sandals.The senior was excellent last season, completing 68 percent of his passes for 7.4 yards an attempt and tossing just three interceptions.
But what makes Fajardo, and Nevada's offense, especially dangerous is the quarterback's ability to run within the pistol offense. Fajardo also carried the ball 141 times for 621 yards and eight scores in 2013.
Of course, WSU's offense is no slouch either and signs are pointing to another shootout for the Cougs. Both sides put up more than 500 yards in their openers, and Nevada will play fast and create more possessions.
Cougar quarterback Connor Halliday will have ample opportunity to duplicate his stellar performance against Rutgers, but so will the WSU defense. Should be another fun game from an outsider's perspective, and another ulcer-inducing one for Coug fans.
Game time, TV schedule: 7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN
Online stream: WatchESPN (requires TV provider log-in)
Radio feed: TuneIn (also available as an app on iTunes and Google Play)
Spread: WSU favored by 4 (line started at 3)