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Sports Illustrated ranks WSU No. 18 in top 25; opposing coach quotes on WSU are interesting

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ranks Washington State No. 18 in its preseason top 25. SI also has an opposing coach's take in its full scouting report on the Cougars -- see if you agree with his comments.

"All-league quarterback Luke Falk has plenty of weapons surrounding him but is depending on a pair of new starters to protect his blindside, likely sophomore Andre Dillard at left tackle and Cody O’Connell at left guard," writes SI in ranking WSU 18th. "The Cougars offensive line gave up among the most sacks in the FBS last season (3.15 per game), including one that forced Falk to miss the blowout regular-season finale loss at rival Washington due to a concussion.

"The defensive line will have to find new penetration with the losses of Darryl Paulo and Destiny Vaeao, who combined for 11 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss last season. The group’s depth will also be tested by its eight-man rotation as the Cougars need to improve at third-down conversion defense after being one of the nation’s worst last season (44.5% allowed conversion rate)."

In the SI full scouting report on Washington State, the opposing coach's take contains some interesting quotes.  Among them:

"Luke Falk is probably more talented than some of Leach’s past signal-callers, but it’s hard to know because he doesn’t read anything, he just runs through progressions. Falk took way too many hits last year, and I’m sure he will again this season, but protection has always been a huge issue for Leach’s quarterbacks."

"Falk and his receivers are so quick throwing the ball that it talks you out of blitzing them a lot. The teams that hit Falk the most last season did it using three-man rushes and dropping eight in coverage, which made him hold the ball longer."

"Senior safety Shalom Luani isn’t great in coverage, so you want to attack him, but he’s a sure-tackling, heavy hitter. If you can run and make them pack the box, I’d take matchups all day against their corners in man coverage, which they don’t play much."

"They went 9–4 last season but I thought the whole Pac-12 was down, so I’m not sure they were much better than when they went 3–9 in 2014. This year they might be an even better team, but they might not have as good a record.”

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated is drinking the Husky Kool-Aid.  UW is the top Pac-12 team in SI's preseason 25, at No. 7 in the nation.

Other Pac-12 teams in SI’s preseason top 25 are No. 11 Stanford, No. 21 Oregon and No. 23 UCLA.

The Cougs’ Week Two opponent, Boise State, is No. 25.  You can find the article HERE

RELATED STORY: SI leaves Falk out of its top 100 players list


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