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Washington St. vs CU game Preview - A Q&A with Cougfan.com

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by allbuffs, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. allbuffs

    allbuffs Administrator

    Nov 12, 2010
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    Washington St. vs CU game Preview - A Q&A with Cougfan.com
    By Michael Krumholtz

    Introducing Braulio Perez, Cougfan.com Senior Correspondent.

    What's the biggest matchup problem that Wazzu presents for CU's defense?
    They call it the Air Raid for a reason. It appears backup quarterback Connor Halliday will get his second straight start with Jeff Tuel still working his way back from injury -- but Halliday is coming off a 378 yard, 4 touchdown performance against UNLV. And Halliday is not afraid to take chances downfield and with the Buffs defense allowing lots of passing yards and touchdowns the past two weeks, there could be some crooked numbers put up on the scoreboard.

    Washington State does not have the most experienced offensive line, but they’ve done a mostly solid job in pass protection with Jeff Tuel and Halliday the first part of the season. Add standout wide receivers Marquess Wilson, Isiah Myers, Gabe Marks and others to the equation and it could spell disaster for Colorado’s defensive unit.

    On the other side of the ball, how is the WSU defense going to make things difficult for CU's quarterback?
    With plenty of pressure directed towards a Colorado offensive line that has struggled to protect the QB. There should be plenty of rotation on the Cougar defensive line so far, and reserves Logan Mayes, Toni Pole and a now healthy Xavier Cooper are ones to watch out for. Mayes in particular is a sack specialist.

    In addition, starting BUCK linebacker Travis Long will likely pose a big problem for CU quarterbacks Jordan Webb and Connor Wood. Long leads the team with four sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss through three games. As a former defensive end, he knows how to aggressively fly into the backfield and get to the quarterback. At his new position, he’s showcased a solid ability to fall back into coverage as well.

    We all know about Mike Leach taking over the reigns in Pullman. After an opening loss have you seen the players grasp hold of his offense a little better?
    Yes, but there’s still some fine tuning to be done. The WSU offense looked atrocious in the 30-6 loss at BYU, there’s no denying that, but strides have undoubtedly been made the last two weeks. The biggest thing for Tuel and Halliday is to get their timing down with their receivers. Timing was clearly an issue in the loss to BYU, which is why no type of offensive rhythm was developed. In the last two games, WSU receivers have made big plays and whoever was behind center looked much more comfortable operating the offense, and with more time to throw the ball.

    Also, the running game might be getting on track. When people think of the Air Raid, they assume every play is going to be a deep bomb but Carl Winston and Leon Brooks combined for 93 yards vs. UNLV on 18 carries, (a 5.1 ypc average.) If the running game is effective, the passing game becomes that much more productive and it will allow the WSU offense to flourish and reach its potential.

    How long will it take until the team is completely comfortable running his system? Could we see WSU in full form by the end of this year?
    There’s no reason the team shouldn’t be firing on all cylinders by the end of the season -- but that’s a hard area to predict. After all, no one thought the Air Raid was going to struggle to put points on the board the way the Cougs did the first two games of the year. If WSU does start hitting their stride on offense, and they maintain it, the longer drives will keep the Cougar D better rested -- perhaps the deciding factor when the game is in doubt in the fourth quarter.

    What are the expectations of fans, students, and alumni for this team? Is a pass being granted for a first year coach?
    “Bowl game or bust.” It’s a motto that was tattooed into Cougar Nation the day Mike Leach was hired. Under former head coach Paul Wulff last season, WSU won four games, but were truly an injury or two away from reaching a bowl. Leach inherited a program of players with plenty of experience, who are now ready to compete at a high level. Cougar fans know this and although its Leach’s first year in charge, they fully expect his streak of 10 straight bowl games to continue this season.

    Fill in the blank: A loss to CU on Saturday would be __________ In one word:

    Catastrophic. Washington State’s dreams of making a bowl game for the first time since 2003 would take a massive hit and the Wazzu fans will be calling for the return of Wulff and former offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy if Colorado pulls off a shocking victory. Ok maybe they wouldn’t. But there would be dropped jaws and fists shaken at the sky all across Cougar Nation.

    Final score prediction? Don't be afraid to get into the triple digits.
    There will be a jam packed house at Martin Stadium Saturday for the Homecoming festivities. You add that noise to WSU’s rising offense and Colorado’s lack of ability to put pressure on the QB, and you have the Cougars eating the Buffs alive in Pullman. That said, WSU is still coming into their own offensively and the Cougs are coming off a disappointing defensive performance last week -- not sure that Wazzu will take it to quite the same level as Colorado experienced last week. Final Score: WSU 45, Colorado 17

    Braulio Perez
  2. InTheBuff

    InTheBuff Well-Known Member

    Jul 8, 2005
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    Homecoming already ? that's early
  3. SpacemanSpiff

    SpacemanSpiff Club Member Club Member

    Jul 14, 2005
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    I heard they did a quick reschedule of it after seeing our performance last week in Fresno...

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