Washington State vs. Portland State - 9/5/15 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Portland State Vikings (0-2) at Washington State Cougars (3-9)
College Football: Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 2:00 pm (Martin Stadium)
The Line: Washington State Cougars -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: PAC 12
The Portland State Vikings will travel to Martin Stadium to take on the Washington State Cougars this Saturday afternoon in college football action.
Portland State and interim head coach Bruce Barnum, who replaced Nigel Burton mid-way though the 2014 season, will be looking to earn the full-time coaching position and improve on the Vikings 3-9 (2-6 Big Sky) record. Portland State was able to average 24.2 ppg however, the Vikings struggled when they got close to the goal line scoring in only 76% of time in the red zone. Portland State will be relying on Senior QB Kieran McDonagh (51.2 comp %, 1472 yds, 12 TD, 13 Int) and RB Steven Long (605 yds, 6.9 yds/carry, 2 TD). On the defensive side of the ball, the Vikings allowed 34.0 ppg and 443.2 yds/game. Although the Vikings defensive will need to show improvement to be competitive this year, they do have two very good players in LB Jeremy Lutali who led Portland State with 87 tackles in 2014 and CB Aaron Sibley.
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Washington State once again had a disappointing season under Head Coach Mike Leach as they finished the 2014 season with a 3-9 record with a 2-7 conference record in the Pac-12 north. Leach has had mixed results with the Cougars as although he was able get Washington State into a bowl game in 2013 after an awful 2012 campaign, Leach wasn’t able to relive the success in 2014 mainly due to an awful defense that allowed 41.9 ppg in conference play last season. Since Leach took over, he has installed a similar high-tempo passing attached that we saw at Texas Tech however, Leach will need to find replacements for QB Connor Halliday (67.3 comp %, 3873 yds, 32 TD) and receivers Vince Mayle (106 rec, 1483 yds, 9 TD) and Isiah Myers (78 rec, 972 yds, 12 TD). Leach will be relying on QB Luck Falk who played well in his limited action last season as he threw for 1859 yds and 13 TD. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cougars still look as if they will have their troubles as they are especially thin and inexperienced in backfield. Leading the way for the Cougars on the defensive end will be LB Jeremiah Mitchell and rush LB Kache Palacio.
The Vikings are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games in September and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Cougars are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
Portland State is projected to be near the bottom of the Big Sky conference in the FCS this season and although Washington State will also have a long season in the Pac-12, the Cougars are the far better team in this one and still should be able to score at will. There is no line currently posted but if the O/U isn’t too high, I think I would take the over in this one.