At the beginning of the season there were some guys that looked like they would make a severe positive impact on this Washington State football team. But after 7 games they are either absolutely nowhere to be found or nowhere they want to be found. In this search for what’s gone wrong, I’m not looking for numbers because nobody wants to know them. I’m simply looking at who’s not performing up to the preseason hype. It’s simple, the more I look, the more I’m disappointed with the production. Let’s take a look.
Freshman FS Taylor Taliulu
The athletic freshman safety from Hawaii looked like a sure-fire player to watch after we witnessed him fly around and making plays against BYU on opening Thursday. However, that was the only game in which he played significantly, before a “personal matter” sidelined him for a couple weeks before he ultimately lost his spot in the rotation. Hopefully his “matter” happened
Status: Lost And Replaced
Senior TE/WR Andrei Lintz
Lintz was all the rave in preseason, with coach Leach talking time and time again about this kids’ motor and his athletic ability and hands. He’s big and was going to be the matchup nightmare from the slot against smaller safeties and slower linebackers, except Lintz never showed up to play. After a ho hum start against BYU and Eastern, Lintz seemingly checked out as one of the senior “corpses” the coach has so aptly talked about while going after the effort of his team.
Status: Nowhere To Be Found
Junior P/K Mike Bowlin
Man oh man, when I heard Bowlin transfered over from Oregon 2 years ago, I thought our kicking game was going to be amazing. But I wasn’t thinking kick offs at the time, I was thinking punt game. My mind has been severely changed with Bowlin’s performance this season. After shanking 2 punts and wobbling at least 2 more short punts against BYU, Bowlin has been a struggling, inconsistent punter.
Status: On The Field As The Only Player At His Position, Shanking It
Sophomore QB Connor Halliday
Not really sure where Connor’s head is at, as he continues to throw to the double and triple and quadruple covered receivers while one on the other side runs by himself in a field of lilyputs and touchdown dreams, or underneath in a space of pure joy and wide open field. Yes, he’s still learning or whatever, but at some point we expect(ed) to see the Connor Halliday who found those open guys on seemingly every play against ASU last year in his debut.
Status: Thinking About Girls??? Quite Literally Throwing Away His Position
Freshman WR Gabe Marks
Gabe started off this season like a house of fire after a terrific preseason. He has faded as of late though and is barely a part of the offense. He needs to re-emerge late in the season, because he was supposed to be an All Pac-12 Freshman player.
Status: Weed Whacking His Way Through Pac-12 Defenses, Not Finding A Football
Sophomore O-Lineman Jake Rodgers
I scratch my head on Rodgers, because he can’t seem to get away from a crucial penalty or lapse in protection in every single game when the Cougs start driving. It’s absolutely befuddling to me how many drives Rodgers has single-handedly set the team back on. Coach Leach clearly and literally said “get him outta there” after one of these instances (his third blatent mistake in what was then a close game) late in the 3rd quarter against Cal. I just don’t know how he’s gonna do it, but every time we start driving, I know #69 is going to “screw the pooch”. Maybe it’s the number…?
Status: Crucial Drive Killer Extraordinaire.
Honorable Mention: Demante Horton, Tyree Toomer, Nolan Washington, Bobby Ratliff, Kristoff Williams, Chester Sua….