Welcome to week 3 of the 2012 College football season. Week 2 held plenty of excitement, no more than what happened in the Pac12 while the conference had all but 3 teams win. The Pac mixed in some big upsets and earned a lot of new rankings including as a conference being named the “2nd best” conference in college football right now. I know it’s early in the season but how long has it been since that was the case? Well Week 2 answered a lot of questions and week 3 is sure to hold more excitement still. Who will handle their new rankings and who will flop?
Well this week Washington State travels to Vegas to take on the UNLV Rebels. Last year Washington State blew this game wide open winning 59-7 and are looking to have similar success on offense this week. Such a performance would boost Cougar confidence all around so lets take a closer look at this one.
What UNLV brings:
Well they have a team, they put on pads, and Friday night they’ll be trying to get some positive energy going. I’ve been looking on for several days trying to figure out where their strength is and what could pose a challenge and at this point, the only thing i see stopping us from winning by 3 td’s is ourselves. Games like this you have to be careful. It’s a funny kind of setting, an off campus football field, a Friday night, national TV, and a team that is looking to turn anything positive for them into momentum. These seem to be all the things that have kept Wazzu from success in the past. Lately you put our Cougs in any type of weird situation and it doesn’t matter who you are playing, the other team will have a shot at it. Look for UNLV to come out with that “Nothing to Lose” attitude and to present a weird environment for the Cougs.
Come out strong and early. The difficulty about this is first off we don’t know if Jeff Tuel or Connor Halliday will be the QB, either way I think it’s huge for our first offensive possession to end in a TD. You can’t come out and punt the ball on the first drive of the game here. We’re playing a team that has nothing coming into this one, in fact, they’re coming off of what some people are calling their worst lost in program history. The last thing you want to do is give them any hope early or they will find a way to be there all game.
On the other side of the ball, we absolutely, positively have to get a stop and make them punt the first possession. This is much like the other side of the ball in the fact that Deone Bucannon won’t be playing the first half so personnel wise it’s not going to be easy. This is an opportunity for our Defense to get going a little more. There were times against EWU where they looked okay but this game there needs to be an attitude of “We can stop somebody” because that will carry over and that is key for us to be on our way to a bowl this year. Big game for the Defense to prove some things to themselves.
Last, this is our chance for ESPN redemption. If we put up massive points like we did last year, that would be an awesome way to show the nation that the air raid has arrived in the Palouse and that we can execute it. You can tell, they want to believe in us, if for nothing else than for Leach the press and the nation want to believe that the Cougs will transform into a decent team this year. This is our time, most people in the Pac12 are even pulling for us, a lot of long time Pac12/Pac10 fans will tell you the league is better when the Cougs are tough. So this is a great opportunity to show the Nation that we can run the air raid effectively and we can put up those points expected of a Mike Leach team. The world is watching and their attention is ours to take. What a great way to head into the Pac12 season too!
On a side note, I mean I know these have always been UNLV’s Colors as I have a friend that played there but does anybody else notice how UNLV seemingly took our exact color scheme after coming to Pullman last year? From Flat Gray helmets, to the Crimson Jerseys and Light Gray Pants? It’s completely different from the colors they used to rock and the style they had… hmmm, Thanks guys, we think it looks pretty awesome too! Go Cougs!