After a disastrous start to the 2015 season, Washington State tries to right the ship as the Cougars travel to Piscataway, NJ, to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.
The Cougars were only able to put up 17 points on FCS also-rans Portland State in the season opener, which led to a nearly incomprehensible 24-17 loss to the Vikings. The offense looked lethargic and largely ineffective, as many of the same problems that plagued the Cougars in 2014 continued to crop up -- particularly, troubles in the red zone.
Starting quarterback Luke Falk -- who had been ineffective, throwing for just 289 yards as the Air Raid had trouble truly getting off the ground -- left the game with only minutes to go after suffering an apparent shoulder injury. However, it appears the injury wasn't major, as Mike Leach confirmed this week that Falk will be the starter at kickoff on Saturday. Whether that means the offense is primed to break out is up for debate.
Meanwhile, the WSU defense struggled to stop the run against the Vikings, who used power runs to march up and down on the Cougars in the second half, scoring 24 points in the final two quarters behind 230-plus yards of rushing. That doesn't bode well for WSU against Rutgers, another power running team with a better offensive line and bigger, stronger and faster running backs. Were WSU's struggles simply first-game jitters?
This was a game that was seen as a toss-up before the season, and it appears even WSU's loss to Portland State hasn't changed that much: Rutgers is only favored by 3 1/2.
Game time: 12:30 p.m PT
Stream: WatchESPN.com (cable subscription required)