Newspaper predicts 9-3 season for WSU, bowl game in south-central Texas

ONE RECENT PREDICTION on the 2016 Cougs features a 9-3 regular season record and a bowl trip to south-central Texas.

The News Gazette, an Illinois newspaper based in Champaign-Urbana, slots Washington State at No. 36 in its ongoing preseason countdown of the top 50 college football teams.

The newspaper's Bob Asmussen sees the Cougars going 9-3 and traveling to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.

"The quarterback, Luke Falk, is the best in the Pac-12 and one of the best in the nation," writes Asmussen. "With Leach’s blessing, he will fire the ball all over the field after earning MVP honors in last season’s Sun Bowl. His 38:8 touchdown-to-interception ratio puts him in the Heisman Trophy discussions. Falk is one of eight returning starters on offense, including star receiver Gabe Marks. He caught 104 passes last season. The offensive line welcomes back three starters.

"On defense, the top player is lineman Hercules Mata’afa. The toughest test in the nonconference schedule is a game at Boise State. Oregon, UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Cal visit Pullman. Games at Stanford and Arizona State will be difficult."

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