Listening to Michael Preston’s CougCenter hour got me all pumped again. I was trying to fight it and not let the optimism that I should not have about Cougar football creep back in, but here I am again. Yogi Roth and Michael had a great conversation on how the things Roth has seen thus far that seem to be vexing the Cougar offense are fixable. That if Falk is a bit more trusting in his weapons at the receiver position when he sees man to man coverage that we could get to see something closer to the 2015 version of Falk and the Air Raid.
While Oregon intercepted Steven Montez twice, overall their defense really struggled last week against Colorado in the passing game, giving up 10.7 yards per attempt (highest in their last 13 games), 333 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Buffs and Wazzu do not run the same offense, and this post is about predicting or giving a window into what Luke Falk could do in the upcoming game, but one thing outside of the potential of Falk’s stat line that has me excited is the progression of the running game.
Last year versus Oregon, the Cougs rushed for 136 yards, and it was the first of three consecutive 100-plus-yard performances for the Cougar offense. WSU is coming off of their best rushing performance in a while after putting up 236 yards on the ground versus Idaho, and last week Colorado ran for 260 yards against the Ducks. I hope that Falk checks into the right runs and as Yogi alluded to, uses any success the running game gives us to take advantage of 1 on 1 coverage on the outside to have a big game himself.
Last season’s win versus Oregon kicked off one of, if not the funnest stretches of my Cougar football fandom. WSU entered that game 2-2 after yet another “what could have been” type loss vs Cal and I was trying my best not to let any moral victories from that game get me too excited for the road trip to Eugene. We all remember what happened from there. I’m hoping with a bye week to reset, that Falk comes out and kicks off an equally fun stretch of Cougar wins.
If it’s any consolation, while the below stat line — if it happens — will be great (especially if we round up to three passing touchdowns), the last three seasons WSU has averaged 75 passing attempts versus Oregon. If you bump Falk’s attempts to that, the volume alone gives him a pretty baller performance. So if the running game doesn’t set him up for a big day, hopefully the amount of opportunities the Air Raid will give him does.
Go Luke Falk, Go Cougar Offense and Go Cougs.