College Football Preview: The 2015 Washington State Cougars
Washington State Cougars Preview 2014 Record: 3-9
Overview: It was a rough 2014 season for Mike Leach and the Washington State Cougars finishing with a record of 3-9. They struggled tremendously on the defensive side of the ball and have addressed these issues by firing their defensive coordinator and hiring Alex Grinch to solve their problems. If Mike Leach wants to continue coaching at Washington State I don’t think he can afford another bad season.
Offense: Washington State had the number one passing offense last year averaging 477 passing yards a game. Unfortunately Connor Halliday last years starting quarterback suffered a broken leg ending his career with only 4 games left. But this allowed this years starting quarterback Luke Falk to get some game reps and Washington State fans should be excited about this kid. In 4 starts he threw for 1859 yards and 13 touchdowns. WSU returns both of there top running backs Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks. In a predominately passing offense their touches were limited but effective, both averaged over 3.8 yards a touch. I can only see their touches going up this year, as Washington State will have to try to become a more balanced offense taking some pressure away from Luke Falk. Washington State losses their top 2 wide receivers from last year Vince Mayle and Isiah Meyers who combined for over 2000 receiving yards. River Cracraft looks to take over the show his senior year as he likely will be the go to man given his experience. The cougars also return all 5 starting linemen so look for their offense to pick up where they left off.
USA TODAY Sports
Defense: Newly Hired defensive coordinator Alex Grinch will have his hands full trying to fix this defense. Washington State finished 117th in the nation in points allowed with 38.6. Washington State will have to replace Xavier Cooper and Kalafitoni Pole who led the cougars up front. Linebackers Jeremiah Allison and Peyton Pelluer both return and will try to help this new defense. If the Cougars want to have a good year they will need this defense to get better.
Special Teams: Kickers Quentin Breshears and Erik Powell will be fighting over the starting job this offseason. Powell started the year last year and was 2-5 in field goals before being replaced by Breshears who went 9-12 in field goals.
Overall: The Washington State Cougar’s defense will dictate the outcome of this year. WSU’s offense will score points and can hang in there with the best of them. It will just be whether Alex Grinch can solve the defensive problems. I see this being another long year for Washington state fans, as I don’t believe their defensive of problems will be fixed.