USA Today Sports/Roth

The Early Glimpse: Washington State vs. Boise State

HERE’S A SOBERING thought for Cougar fans following Eastern Washington’s 606-yard offensive explosion: the guy who served as the architect of EWU’s prolific passing attack from 2009 through last season — Zak Hill — is Boise State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

And his passing game coordinator is former EWU receivers coach Junior Adams.

As they dissect the film of EWU’s dismantling of the Cougar defense, the nuances and intricacies of the attack — an attack which averaged a glossy 9.2 yards per play — will not be lost.

  • THE KICKOFF: 7:15 pm Pacific (ESPN2)
  • THE LOCALE: Albertsons Stadium (36,387)
  • THE RECORDS: Cougs 0-1, Broncos 1-0
  • THE LINE: BSU by 12

Of course, the Broncos don’t need a ton of insight from others. Their high-tempo offense, led by sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien (pictured above), averaged more than 500 yards a game last season. In their opener Saturday at Louisiana-Lafeyette they picked right up, cranking out 584 yards en route to a 45-10 victory.

“That was our goal: come in, dominate and get out, and I thought we did that,” said Rypien, who completed 22 of 33 passes for 347 yards and 2 TDs.

Two of his receivers eclipsed the 100-yard mark and a third came two yards shy. “I think it’s evident we have a lot of playmakers on offense,” Rypien told reporters.

One of them is a newcomer to BSU: JC transfer receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr., the son of the former NFL wideout Cedrick Wilson Sr. The younger Wilson was an All-State prep quarterback in Memphis before switching to receiver at Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College. In BSU’s opener he had seven catches for 113 yards, including a 42-yard TD.

FAMILIAR FACES: Former WSU signee Raymond Ford is a senior corner for the Broncos. Ford was with the Cougars for a couple months as a true freshman in 2012 before NCAA academic hurdles re-routed him to the JC ranks.

Boise State includes four players from our region: Rypien (Shadle/Spokane); OL Cleveland Ezra (Bethel/Spanaway); TE Chase Blakely (Coeur d’Alene); and QB Camron Humphrey (Issaquah).

RYPIEN’S COUGAR CONNECTIONS run deeper than his famous uncle Mark Rypien. His mom, Julie, is a Tormey. She and brother Bill are WSU grads and oldest brother Chris was an assistant coach for the Cougars in 2011. Another brother, Pete, played for the Huskies in the late 1970s.

As a prepster, Brett narrowed his list of college choices to BSU, WSU and UW. When Jake Browning jumped early for the UW, it became a two-team battle. Cougar fans were disappointed when Rypien opted for BSU, but as CF.C’s Paul Sorensen pointed out at the time, it made perfect sense because Rypien had a real shot at being a four-year starter at BSU whereas at WSU he would have had to leapfrog Luke Falk, Tyler Bruggman and Peyton Bender. Bruggman, by the way, is now the starting QB at Montana State.

THE SERIES: The last time WSU and Boise State played—in Boise in 2001—the Cougars won 41-20 and set course for the first of three-straight 10-win seasons. Nakoa McElrath posted 8 catches for 210 yards and caught 3 TDs passes — two from Jason Gesser and one from Collin Henderson.

WSU and BSU have played three other times, with WSU winning each: 58-0 in 1997; 33-21 in 1998; and 42-35 in 2000.

NOTABLE BRONCO NOTES:

Boise State has won 21-straight non-conference home games. The last home loss to a non-league school was in the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl, to Boston College. BSU’s last regular-season home loss to a non-conference team was that 2001 game against WSU.

BSU is 38-10 in home openers since becoming a four-year institution prior to the 1968 season. The Broncos have won 14-straight home openers dating back to that loss to WSU in 2001.

The Broncos are 8-3 against schools from the Pac-12 since over the last 10 years — and 10-3 if you count pre-Pac wins over Utah in 2006 and 2010. Their most recent victory over the Pac-12 was last season, 16-13 over Washington.

BSU sports the highest home-stadium winning percentage (96-6 for .941) in FBS since 2000.

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: The Cougars and Broncos have a lot in common. They were both 9-4 last season and in this season’s AP pre-season poll they were 29th (WSU) and 30th. 

UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE WEEKEND: “Defensively, in spurts, there were positives, but I didn’t feel like it was sustained,” Mike Leach said following Saturday’s 45-42 loss to EWU.


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