CF.C Keys To The Game: WSU vs. Rutgers

IT SURE AS HELL wasn’t easy but give your yourself a round of applause -- you made it! It’s been 250 days since the Cougars last played a football game, and that long national nightmare comes to an end tonight at 7 p.m. So much has been written, analyzed and discussed this offseason about Rutgers. But we have a few final thoughts …

The CF.C Keys.

1. Spread 'em and shred 'em.
Rutgers secondary is thin. Washington State can expose the weak points so long as they stick to their strategy. If the Cougs and Connor Halliday stay patient, they can cap drives off with TDs rather than field goal attempts.

2. Feed running backs Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks, both on the ground and via the airwaves.
Rutgers, conventional wisdom would indicate, is going to overcompensate in pass defense and try to help their secondary. The Cougs should be able to punish them for it. The Rutgers d-line is considered a strength -- and they are quick. But they are not big, and the WSU o-line has to seize the opportunity to push them around.

3. Attack the line of scrimmage.
WSU's defense needs to be bold -- the offense has their back. And with true rotational depth across the d-line, they should build momentum and take charge in the latter stages up front.

4. Trust the secondary.
Yes, they're young and yes, the WSU secondary is short on experience. But WSU can’t sit back and let Rutgers get into a rhythm just because the defensive backfield is mostly new. WSU can always adjust, and defensive coordinator Mike Breske has some pieces in that 11-man group he can deftly move around the chessboard.

5. Be aggressive.
So often in this game of college football, if you believe you are good, you are. WSU needs a confidence-builder early on in both the punting game and on a field goal attempt. A long FG attempt, say 45-yards or so, might just be what’s needed --having to blast one rather than finesse a short one off the hash might actually help shake off any nerves. But special teams is more than just the P & K, and the WSU gunners making a big play, and/or a big return by the Cougs, would do nicely here.

Check back on CF.C after the game for our wall-to-wall coverage of the season opener.

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