Washington State vs. Eastern Washington - 9/15/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Washington State vs. Eastern Washington - 9/15/18 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Washington Eagles (0-0) at Washington State Cougars (2-0)

College Football: Saturday, September 15, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Martin Stadium)

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The Eastern Washington Eagles will travel to Martin Stadium to take on the Washington State Cougars this upcoming Saturday night in College Football action.

The FCS Eastern Washington Eagles improved to 2-0 on the season after defeating the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, 31-26, this past Saturday. Eastern Washington held a 21-10 lead at halftime held off a late Northern Arizona charge to secure the victory. Eastern Washington outgained Northern Arizona by a 570-411 margin however, committed 11 penalties for 123 yards in the victory. Leading the way for the Eagles was QB Gage Gubrud who completed 18 of 33 passes for 322 yards and 4 TD’s. On the season, Eastern Washington is averaging 44.5 ppg on 623.5 total yards per game (335.5 passing yds/g; 288.0 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Eastern Washington has been led by QB Gage Gubrud who has completed 66.07% of his passes for 9 TD’s & 0 INT while averaging 329.5 passing yds/g. The top receiving targets for the Eagles have been Nsimba Webster (8.5 rec/g; 194 yds/g; 4 TD) and Andrew Boston (1.5 rec/g; 30.5 yds/g). Eastern Washington also has a strong weapon out of the backfield as RB Sam McPherson has 352 rushing yards and a TD on just 37 carries over his first two games of the season. Defensively, Eastern Washington is allowing their opponents to average 19.5 ppg on 366.0 total yards per game (224.5 passing yds/g; 141.5 rushing yds/g).

The Washington State Cougars improved to 2-0 on the season after defeating the San Jose State Spartans, 31-0, this past Saturday. Washington State raced out to a 24-0 lead by halftime and had no trouble securing the victory after the San Jose Spartans has no answers on the offensive end for the Cougars defense. Washington State outgained San Jose State by a 544-109 margin however, did lose the turnover battle by a 3-1 margin. Leading the way for the Cougars was QB Gardner Minshew II who completed 34 of 51 passes for 414 yards, 3 TD’s, and 2 INT. Offensively, in their two games against Wyoming and San Jose State, the Cougars are averaging 36.0 ppg on 469.0 total yards per game (369.5 passing yds/g; 99.5 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Washington State has been led by QB Gardner Minshew II who has completed 66.7% of his passes for 6 TD & 3 INT while averaging 366.5 passing yds/g. The top targets for Minshew II and the Cougars have been WR Davontavean Martin (5.5 rec/g; 70.5 yds/g; 2 TD), WR Dezmon Patmon (4.0 rec/g; 61.5 yds/g), WR Jamire Calvin (4.5 rec/g; 59.0 yds/g), and RB James Williams (7.0 rec/g; 43.5 yds/g; 2 TD). RB James Williams has been the main force out of the backfield for the Cougars as he has 118 rushing yards and a TD on 26 carries this season. Defensively, Washington State is holding their opponents to an average of 9.5 ppg on 157.5 total yards per game (83.5 passing yds/g; 74.0 rushing yds/g).

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Washington State was 7-5 ATS during the 2017 season and are 2-0 ATS so far this season.

Eastern Washington might be an FCS team, however, they’ve been one of the better FCS teams over the last two decades and with a solid group returning from a 7-4 team last season, the Eagles should be one of the better FCS teams this season. Washington State’s offense seems like it hasn’t skipped a beat as East Carolina transfer, Gardner Minshew, has stepped in nicely to Mike Leach’s “air-raid” offense, however, we really don’t know where the defense stands this season as they have a new defensive coordinator this season and really hasn’t played a team this season that has anything the represents a decent offense. Washington State is a good team however, turnovers have been a problem of the Cougars early in the season and between the fact that Eastern Washington’s offense should put up some points and that the Eagles won’t be intimidated coming into this match-up as they upset Washington State at Martin Stadium just two years ago, I’m initially leaning on taking the Eagles as I imagine they’ll be getting a good amount of points.  

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