You know, for mid-October, this is a perfect day. Too bad it has to be ruined by a football game (insert rim shot here). But in a sense, this day would be perfect to fly a kite, fertilize the lawn, blow out the sprinklers, rake leaves, just about anything but watch the nation’s most explosive offense run up and down Martin Stadium’s turf. Will it happen? We have thoughts, so read on.
• Of course it will. If you’ve been paying attention this year, you know WSU’s defense struggles against the run this season. And the changes the staff has made today, while they should help down the road, by interjecting more size and speed into certain positions, make the Cougars in some ways even more vulnerable today against Oregon’s option offense. But that’s the hand they’ve been dealt. Mike Ledgerwood, the usual starting middle backer, is in street clothes and won’t be playing. Halston Higgins and Sekope Kaufusi will back up C.J. Mizell. Kaufusi will also backup Alex Hoffman-Ellis. In fact, there is a possibility the Cougars could have as many as eight freshmen on the field defensively at any one time. … On the other side of the field the WSU offensive line is in the spotlight today. The Duck defense has more speed than any group WSU has played this season, so keeping the rushers off Jeff Tuel will be crucial. Don’t be surprised if you see the Cougars in more two-back sets, with Logwone Mitz and James Montgomery in the backfield at the same time. Whether it helps the running game or protection, we’ll see. … Finally, the Cougar special teams are much improved this year, there can be no argument. But today brings their biggest challenge. The Ducks’ team speed really shows on special teams, whether it’s in punt blocking, punt returning, kick coverage, kickoff returns, everything. Expect the Cougars to do things a bit differently today. By the way, I forgot to link my four things to watch today.
• That’s all for now. We’ll be back later with our usual posts. Until then …