Welcome to Week 2 of the college football season. This young season is beginning to develop and there are still so many questions left to be answered. With all the madness and uneven match ups of Week 1, it’s hard to get a grip of where everyone ranks and down the road what the “Big games” will be, this is especially true in the Pac12.
This week Washington State will battle another team in Washington, the FCS Eastern Washington Eagles. This game might not be the one that tells us everything about our team (who currently has us all wondering) but it is an important step in the development of what we need to become to compete in our league
What EWU brings:
One word; Momentum. Next to the fact they have a #9 Ranking in the FCS, Eastern Washington is fired up and never more confident in their abilities to take down FBS Foes, coming off a 20-3 victory over the other local team, the Idaho Vandals. The Eagles showed that they aren’t afraid of the league a team plays in last Thursday as they marched into Moscow and dominated the Vandals in their beloved home stadium, the Kibbie Dome.
Eastern Washington impressed me with the way they attacked Idaho, they weren’t playing to not lose, they were playing to win that thing and we can count on them coming to Pullman with the same mindset. The Eagles are fighting to prove they arent just one of the top teams in the FCS but also can rumble with the big boys. EWU’s defense played with speed and discipline, the line backing core was quick with their reads and the secondary was fairly good all night, it’s anything but a given for Leach’s air-raid to take flight this week. EWU will also test our defense with a balanced attack and some big boys out at wide reciever, these guys can jump and tower over a defensive back field but even more scary to a Coug fan, they can get yards after the catch.
Take A Chance
Of Course we still need to focus on basics and execution this week and to get things rolling in that department, but when a smaller school like Eastern Washington rolls into town, tentativeness and diffidence can present the deceivingly subordinate foe with a chance to pull off an upset. We almost saw it happen to us when Montana State last rolled into Pullman, we also saw the opposite and what it can do when you play loose and free when Idaho state and UNLV came the next year.
So go ahead Tuel, make your reads but lets see some fly deep to Marquess, loosen up those legs we’ve seen and make something happen on the ground but most of all (and this goes to the entire team) act like you have fun playing the sport. It’s the home opener, brand new Martin Stadium and dang it feels good to be back in Pullman! Lets have some fun with this one. Stop asking “What if?” and prove to yourself that you can do it, you can make a play. This wont only help us get by Eastern Washington right now, but it will help us later in the season if we have that confidence.
Honestly, we outmatch this team in every position speed and size, but we have to learn success and we can’t do that if we’re worried about being perfect. So much pressure to be the next great era of Cougar Football and to change the course of Cougar football darn near drove us crazy in the off season and we saw the effects that kind of pressure can have on young players last Thursday. Time to have fun boys and here’s a few pointers.
Offense, you guys can make things happen, now you have to. Learning a new system is hard but you can’t be afraid to mess up, and don’t be so defeated when you do. We all knew going into this thing there would be mistakes but the Cougar Nation still believes in you and you should too!
Defense, you kept BYU out of the endzone in the second half last week and you were on the field almost the whole time. This should give you something to work with. Continue to play fast and loose and don’t be afraid to hit. Monroe blew up the Fullback the first series last week and I remember thinking “Woah”. So lets continue to blow up gaps this week. We’ll be blitzing and you guys have to make things happen, this game will create a bit of an identity for you that should carry into the rest of the season.
Overall this has to be where our season starts. we can have fun with this one and we need to or else we’re gonna be in a close one. Expect Leach to have his boys ready and pray tomorrow comes fast enough because I’m ready to see some things happen out there, are you? Go Cougs!