WSU

5 keys for Cougs vs. Bears

WASHINGTON STATE’s Luke Falk gets a crack at the worst defense in the country this week as Cal limps into town desperate for a win. But Davis Webb and the Bears run a high-powered version of the Air Raid offense, and with nearly the same level of precision. If the Cougar defense doesn't assert itself, this could be a wild shootout in Pullman. Here are the keys to a Wazzu win.

WHEN WSU HAS THE BALL

1. Establish the run.
Cal's defense doesn't do anything particularly well and balanced offenses have shredded them.  If the Cougs can get the running backs rolling, Cal's defenders will have to overextend themselves.

2. Attack the safeties.
Injuries have left Cal's secondary very thin.  They have given up a lot of missed tackles and big plays across the middle.

WHEN WSU IS ON DEFENSE

3. Pressure Webb, and then pressure him some more.
The Texas Tech transfer is dangerous in this "Bear Raid" offense, but he doesn’t like getting his jersey dirty and when pressured, he is nowhere near as precise as Falk. Webb loses accuracy out of the pocket and can be prone to picks; Webb has thrown 11 interceptions in nine games, Falk has five. Keep an eye on Coug d-end super sub Nnamdi Oguayo (pictured above) he had three sacks last week and Cal is most certainly aware of it.

4. Force Turnovers.
As powerful as the offenses are, the team that wins the turnover battle is probably going to win this game.

5. Keep the special teams mojo going from last week.
Missed field goals, onside kicks, kick returns for touchdowns … special teams have been WSU's undoing the last two years vs. Cal.  As long as Wazzu avoids catastrophe on special teams, the remainder of the matchups favor Wazzu.

  • Line: Washington State by 17 (Cougs opened as a 16-point favorite).
  • Kickoff: 7:30 pm/ESPN
  • Matt Moore’s Prediction: 49-40 Cougs


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