Heading into the 2017 season, fans of our Washington State Cougars worried mostly about the defensive line.
Robert Barber had graduated, Ngalu Tapa didn't return, and the overall size and depth left a little to be desired. They were definitely athletic, but without a true nose tackle, fans were nervous.
But heading into tonight's matchup with the Boise State Broncos, is it possible that the d-line might be seen as the team's strength in this game?
That's because the Broncos bring in an offensive line that struggled last week against Troy. It's mostly why quarterback Brett Rypien was chased from the game.
"Four quarters in, the Broncos up front have the most to prove as they hit the road to face No. 20 Washington State. After scoring 17 points as an offense in Saturday’s 24-13 win over Troy, it was an inauspicious start. Four sacks yielded and four penalties by four linemen, a bad snap that led to a sack and a fumble, plus 3.3 yards per carry — the group has a lot to prove."
Three linemen were making their first career starts, and the most veteran of the group has just 12 career starts.
You think Hercules Mata'afa, Nnamdi Oguayo and Daniel Ekuale are liking their chances?
Michael is correct in picking Luke Falk as the most important player tonight. The Boise State defense needs to be carved up in order for WSU to move to 2-0, and Falk is the guy who holds the keys in that regard.
But the d-line has a gigantic opportunity to have a huge impact. Sure, Boise State's offense is boring, but some sacks, tackles for loss and disrupting Rypien and the offense's rhythm will go a long way in proving that, while the d-line may be smaller than most and lacking in depth, the top guys are still capable of making a difference.
When you compare teams, I always thought it was silly when people would say who has the best receivers, or who has the best o-line, or who has the best quarterback. Each position group isn't matched up against the other. The offensive line is matched up against the defensive line, the defensive backs are up against the wide receivers, and so on.
In the d-line vs. o-line matchup, WSU's d-line comes out on top. And as they say, games are won in the trenches.
We'll find out tonight. If you're at Martin Stadium, they want you to wear crimson. If you're watching at home, the game is on ESPN.
College Football on Television
Here are the best college football games to watch this week. pic.twitter.com/T2drPTDXUB— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) September 6, 2017
USA Today picked the five best college football games to watch this weekend and the WSU-Boise State game made the cut.
This list is good and all, but for fans of college football, it's too bad that four of the five games listed here will be happening at the same time. I know it's extremely difficult to schedule games and there are all sorts of contractual obligations to think about, but if I wasn't in Pullman, I'd need to purchase a few more televisions.
By the way, I have Oklahoma, Stanford, Clemson, Notre Dame and WSU winning these games. Don't take that to the bank, though.
Washington State-Boise State is more than a game – for the Rypiens, it’s a family feud | The Spokesman-Review
Saturday’s game between No. 20 Washington State and Boise State at Martin Stadium is something of a Homecoming for Brett and everyone in the Rypien family has waited anxiously for it to finally get here.
Washington State gets another chance to take down Boise State | The Spokesman-Review
Last year, it was around this time – give or take a few days – when t Washington State coach Mike Leach delivered a scathing review of the Cougars for their lackluster performance in a 31-28 loss at Boise State.
Boise State-Washington State football preview, prediction, odds | Idaho Statesman
The Boise State football team is a 10-point underdog for Saturday’s game at Washington State. That hasn’t happened since Kellen Moore’s freshman year.
No. 20 Washington State seeks revenge on Boise State - The Washington Post
Boise State (1-0) at No. 20 Washington State (1-0), Saturday 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Jake Browning and Luke Falk aren’t the Pac-12’s only Heisman contenders. What are their chances? | The Seattle Times
It’s rare, but this year the conference has four legitimate quarterback contenders for college football’s biggest individual award.
Old YouTube Clip of the Week
Last week, PJ brought up Marcellus Pippins' showboating after a Montana State receiver beat him but failed to catch a touchdown pass. That reminded me of this clip:
- It's September 27, 2003 and the Cougs are in Eugene to take on Pac-10 foe and Sports Illustrated cover boys, the Oregon Ducks.
- The clip cuts right to the chase: Oregon's Sammie Parker smokes WSU's Jason David and is wide open for a sure touchdown.
- Except, well, you saw it.
- David leans toward Parker, presumably says something, leading Parker to take a swipe at his face.
- Honestly, this does not seem like a violent swipe/slap/punch (whatever it was).
- Parker ends up getting flagged and perhaps David should have as well but who cares about that, right?
- The dropped touchdown and penalty really hurt the Ducks, as Don Jackson picks off backup quarterback Jason Fife on the ensuing play.
- Can you hear Robb Akey barking there? Man I miss that guy (he's now a program assistant in the Florida Gators' athletic department after being fired from the Washington Redskins this past January, for those keeping track).
- As you all know, WSU went on to dominate and won 55-16, though I guess it could have been different had Parker reeled in that pass (haha probably not).