Washington State Offensive Preview

Washington State has one of the most dynamic offenses Arizona will see this season.

For the second week in a row, Arizona’s opponent’s offense revolves around the strength of its quarterback, but this week is a completely different animal.

Sophomore Luke Falk has put up some absurd numbers this season, completing 72 percent of his passes for 2,371 yards with 21 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Sure, there aren’t many quarterback that attempt as many passes as Falk, but 400 yards a game with efficiency as good as his is a dangerous concept for Arizona’s defense.

Falk is not really a running threat, but he is a solid athlete with a legitimate strong arm. You often hear the term “system quarterback,” but Falk is much more than that.

Not only is Falk a good quarterback, but Washington State has a solid set of receivers as well.

Junior Gabe Marks is probably the most dangerous of the bunch and has caught a team-leading 49 passes for 620 yards and six touchdowns.

At 6-foot-0, Marks isn’t very big, but he has great hands, runs above average routes, and is simply a well-rounded, dangerous receiver.

Senior Dom Williams is the biggest receiver in the rotation at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. He is second on Washington State with 36 catches for 526 yards and six touchdowns.

River Cracraft will also get a bulk of the catches and is clearly the Cougars’ third leading receiver with 33 catches for 382 yards and three touchdowns.

What makes Washington State’s passing game so dangerous isn’t necessarily that Mike Leach does crazy formations, but rather because he spreads out the opposing defenses so much.

The Cougars use three running backs and they have combined for 58 catches for 486 yards and  four touchdowns.

Make no mistake about it, Washington State is primarily a passing team. However, there has been more of an effort the past few weeks to use the running game at least when it will likely wind up as a positive play.

Sophomore Gerard Wicks has only run for 294 yards and one touchdowns this season, but he has done so on 5.8 yards per carry. 

Jamal Morrow and Keith Harrington will also get carries and while their averages are impressive, neither player has more than 22 carries this season.

Washington State’s offensive line is experienced and has allowed 21 sacks this season. The offense is designed to get passes out quickly, so a good amount of those sacks are due to good coverage downfield.

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