Air Raid offense ready to take flight?

THE AIR RAID hasn't put the kinds of points on the board fans were expecting in the first two games -- but there's a definite sign out there that would indicate the passing component of the offense is close. Very close. It's something worth paying close attention to in tonight's 6 p.m. tilt against UNLV.

Mike Leach has said it time and time again -- For the Air Raid to work at its most efficient, a number of receivers need to catch the ball – a greater number than in many other offenses.

Happen to notice how many receivers caught the ball in the game against Eastern?

Seven Wazzu receivers caught a pass in the first half alone, and eight total for the game.

Even in the loss to BYU, when WSU struggled mightily on offense and failed to score a touchdown, 11 Cougar receivers caught a pass.

In Washington State's best game of the season in 2011, the win over Arizona State, Wazzu completed passes to, wait for it -- just five receivers.

WAIT A MINUTE. More pass catchers doesn't necessarily means better results and more wins at Wazzu, does it?

If Mike Leach didn't have the 10-year body of work he did as a head coach at Texas Tech, that argument could perhaps be made.

But given what Leach has done, yes, more pass catchers will soon mean better results and more wins at Washington State. (For starters, all 10 of Leach's Texas Tech teams posted winning records and played in bowl games, all 10 teams finished in the top six nationally in passing and total offense and six of those teams were No. 1 in passing.)

It's a matter of time.

BEYOND THAT PARTICULAR data, CougFans can also trust their eyes.

If you still have last year's ASU game on your DVR, go back and watch it and then compare it to last weekend's game against Eastern – or tonight against UNLV.

The win over ASU was the best outing of the season for WSU in 2011. And it pales in comparison to the Cougs' close win over Eastern.

The 2012 offense, defense and special teams all look better – far better, despite the fact WSU really hasn't played all that crisply through the first two weeks.

True, it's a subjective observation, but the guess here is that if you view and compare two games -- from this season and last -- you'll come to the same conclusion.

THE LEADING WSU PASS CATCHER through two games is… not Marquess Wilson.

One of the bright spots this season has been the emergence of Isiah Myers. The second year sophomore has 11 catches for 108 yards. A modest total in the yardage department, yes, but give it time.

Rickey Galvin is the Cougs' second leading receiver, with 9 catches for 68 yards, and Wilson is third, with 8 grabs for 108 hashes (same as Myers.)

Gabe Marks has 6 receptions for 93 yards and Brett Bartolone also has 6 grabs, for 37 yards.

If Myers continues at the same pace, he would catch 66 passes during the regular season, Galvin would have 54 and Wilson would have 48. Marks and Bartolone would have 36 catches each.

The guess here is that they won't continue at the same pace -- it will, collectively, instead be more.

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