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WSU vs. BSU: Skyler Cracraft’s 1-on-1 matchup spotlight

PULLMAN – Boise State’s offense thrives on shifts and motions to confuse a defense. An entire play call, alignment, and every players’ assignment can change very quickly when the offense moves around pre-snap. All they’re trying to do is confuse just one defender. And that’s why, when Washington State takes on Boise State, my Saturday matchup to watch is …

WSU fourth-year senior safety Shalom Luani vs. Bronco sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien.

If one guy doesn’t get the call or is confused about his assignment, that’s when Rypien and Boise State makes you pay. They will find that player who is just a bit lost in translation and hit you with an explosive gain.

I’m looking for Luani (pictured above) to stop plays short – to come downhill, to make physical, sure tackles, and to prevent yards after the catch. I believe he can limit Rypien’s passing game and keep WSU from breaking down on those explosive players. Now, will he? That’s why they play the games. But know this:

Luani brings experience and knowledge to the back end. He understands his assignments, that’s why he’s the playmaker that he is, but I’m looking for him to be the game-changer on Saturday in Boise.

It only takes one play here and there to turn a game around – and it only takes one player to execute his job correctly or incorrectly for a big play to happen. Luani need to be the one guy, and prevent Rypien from doing the same.

Luani in my opinion is arguably the Cougs best tackler on the team – something the Cougs could have used a whole lot more of last Saturday. Now, it’s tough to say that Luani’s absence decided that game.  But in looking back, with everything that took place, I think of it this way: If No. 18 had been playing for the Cougs, maybe he stops a drive or two … maybe he stops one of Cooper Kupp’s three scores. And the Cougs win.

Washington State takes to the blue turf against Boise State Saturday at 7:15 pm (ESPN 2). I’ll be there to help CF.C bring you all the action.

RELATED STORY: Join CF.C live from Boise on Saturday


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