Don’t take your eyes off
The Cougars will have more talent at every position except for one. Cooper Kupp is probably the best receiver WSU will face all season, and he will make a case for being the best player on the field on Saturday. EWU’s only chance to pull the upset is if Kupp has a tremendous game, a distinct possibility since he’s scored seven total touchdowns in three games against Pac-12 teams during his career.
When WSU has the ball
Whether or not the Cougars can put together scoring drives early in the game will be key. Slow starts were the key issue with WSU’s offense early last season, and teams like Portland State and Wyoming were able to hang around with or even beat the Cougars. WSU can win handily if the offense has a hot start, but if the Eagles are able to hang around for a quarter or two, things will get tense in Martin Stadium.
When EWU has the ball
Keep an eye on who is dropping back to throw passes to Kupp. Presumptive starter Gabe Gubrud is the type of fleet quarterback who gave the Cougars defense fits last season. If the Cougars have too many defenders running downfield with Kupp, they may turn around just in time to see Gubrud running right past them.
Did you know
Washington State is 45-3 against Big Sky teams and had not lost to a current member of the Big Sky Conference in more than 60 years before last year’s 24-17 loss to Portland State.
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