WSU PREDICTION: A complete game, all 3 phases

PULLMAN – The Cougars haven’t put together a complete game on offense, defense or special teams through the first two weeks but based on what I saw this week in practice, here’s my prediction: Saturday’s game vs. Wyoming (5:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) will be a different story. Indeed, Washington State will not only break that ugly streak of six straight home losses, I believe it’ll do so in style.

Bold Predictions
1) Washington State will rack up 600-plus yards of total offense. Against Portland State (411) and Rutgers (559) the Cougars couldn’t get there but given what I saw in practice this week, WSU is determined to come out big on offense. Luke Falk looked very good in going through his progressions this practice week, the best he’s looked in that area. To break it down, I think Falk (and later Peyton Bender) will pass for a combined 450-500 hashes and the WSU running backs will post at least 150 combined rushing yards.

2) Washington State’s defense will have at least two takeaways. Against Rutgers, the Cougars took away three, the first time they’d done that since the 2013 New Mexico Bowl. Washington State worked hard on taking the ball away this week in practice and against a Wyoming team that will try to run first, look for arms reaching in and trying to punch the ball away – the key there is not to sacrifice wrapping up. And based on what I saw this week, I think the secondary will be more aggressive in going for the pick than they were against Rutgers – I just don’t know if they’ll get to three like they did last Saturday.

3) Washington State’s special teams will NOT give up a touchdown. Considering recent history, you may find this my boldest prediction of all. The Cougs worked on special teams each day of practice this week, with more and more intensity as the week went along. My take is the Cougs are going to stop Wyoming here and that’s keeping in mind I think there will be a lot of kickoff return opportunities for Wyoming.

Score Prediction
Mike Leach’s message: “Respect everyone, fear no one.” WSU must respect Wyoming -- but I think the Cougs will start out as aggressive as we’ve seen this season. I see WSU storming out to a big lead and for the starters to play a complete game on offense, defense and special teams. And then, just when everyone is feeling great about things, Wyoming posts two late TDs against the Cougar subs. Washington State 42, Wyoming 24


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