Friday Night, Washington State went on the road and got their first non conference road win since 2005. Maybe that’s all that needs to be said about the game. Well you know we won’t stop there. Washington State showed a glimpse of what they’re capable of. The Cougs had some swagger early getting their confidence from the birthday boy himself, Marquess Wilson.
Going up early, the Cougs actually lead by two scores for most of this one and should have stayed there, mental mistakes left UNLV in it. Washington State had a good shot at a blow out but couldn’t find any consistency on defense and allowed a team that shouldn’t have scored more than twice on anyone this year to put up 27 points. All things considered this wasn’t a bad win, just a sloppy finish and once again the second half wasn’t enough.
Next Week the Cougs are going to have to put a full game together to get a victory at home against a struggling Colorado team. Somehow I’m not buying into the “given” win for the Cougs in this one. As seen on Friday, it doesn’t seem to matter how much a team is struggling, they will look their best against Washington State, only way for us to see a victory is to bring our best. Hopefully that’s exactly what we’ll bring Saturday.
So what needs to happen this week for us to be “Our Best” for Homecoming? First we need Jeff Tuel back. I think Conner Halliday is doing some great things and he definitely steps up when asked but even with his explosive play, I don’t feel his decision making is quite there yet. Also his inability to throw over the middle makes us even more one diminutional than we already are with the air raid. Jeff doesn’t take as many deep shots but I think his decision making, accuracy and consistency will keep us in more games in the Pac12. The other thing that has to improve this week is awareness on Defense. Our most experienced part of our defense is our secondary and by far, it is the worst element of the entire team. Demonte Horton’s poor play is inexcusable, we know how good this kid can be in coverage as he pulled in so many interceptions against some of the finest Quarterbacks and receivers in the Pac12 last year, he needs to step it up and same goes for Nolan Washington. These kids can do better and we need better.
Overall I’m happy to have the win this week though. Last year in November it really didn’t matter how much we beat Idaho State and UNLV by, the only thing that mattered were the W’s and that we didn’t have enough of them. I think at this point it’s better to improve each week than to come out on fire and then spend the entire Pac12 season flat. Hopefully we’ll take another step forward next week and work our way to 3-1 (1-1) that would have me feeling pretty good. This team will continue to grow and a bowl game is not out of the question, not even close. We can only take it week by week and continue to support our Cougs.