1 No more special teams breakdowns .
The Cougars have given up at least one special teams touchdown in three of their last four games. Against Arizona last week a punt returned for a score by DaVonte Neal meant that the WSU defense was playing from behind before it ever had a chance to take the field. The Cougars must tackle better on special teams and avoid these killer explosive plays or it’s going to be a long day against USC and kick returner Adoree’ Jackson.
2 Start fast. The Cougars have a tendency every few games to start slowly. Once the offense finally gets humming WSU plays even with the other team for the most part, but by digging themselves in an early hole the Cougars make it tough to come out with a win. USC has a strong running game and can control the clock so the Cougars can’t fall behind early.
3 The Halliday factor. When Connor Halliday is on his game the offense is good enough to keep pace with anybody. A rash of injuries among his receivers has contributed to Halliday struggling at times the last couple of games. He should have all his primary receivers this week and if he’s on target the Cougars have a great chance to pull of a big win.
4 Play with backs against the wall . To be blunt, if the Cougars lose this game then two of the other three don’t matter. Washington State needs to win out to qualify for a bowl game, so the Cougars need to play recklessly, take chances and treat this game like it’s a national championship because they truly have nothing to lose.
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