1 No slugs. More than one WSU coach said this week that the Cougars defense started a little sluggish last week against Southern Utah before awakening in the second half and shutting things down. Idaho showed enough offensive acumen against Northern Illinois last week that WSU could struggle a bit if the Vandals get in rhythm. The Cougars need to be attentive and physical from the start.
2 Force turnovers. Idaho quarterback Chad Chalich is a redshirt freshman who hasn’t thrown an interception. But he has fumbled a couple times, and the Vandals’ ball control will have to be perfect if Idaho hopes to upset WSU. The Cougars have thrived off turnovers in both their victories – they forced five the last two weeks – and a few more today would all but assure another win.
3 Run the ball. WSU’s running game appeared rejuvenated in its season opener against Auburn, where the Cougars totaled 120 yards on the ground. But they haven’t come close to that mark in either of their last two games. That’s not necessarily a terrible sign – they threw the ball so well against Southern Utah that no ground attack was needed – but it would be beneficial for future purposes if they run it a little better against an overmatched Idaho team.
4 Keep up. Idaho figures to snap the ball a lot more than Southern Utah did, so the Cougars must be prepared to keep up with Paul Petrino’s up-tempo offense. They already saw a fast offense this season at Auburn, and WSU coaches noted afterward that players were well-conditioned enough that none of them cramped up. A few three-and-outs would help today.