Aug 30, 2012; Provo, UT, USA; Washington State Cougars linebacker Travis Long (89) is congratulated after recording a sack during the third quarter against the Brigham Young Cougars at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
… WSU wins the first quarter: I think there are a lot of shocked people in Jordan Hare and they start to become really antsy. This would obviously not help out the new quarterback and young group of receivers from Auburn. Meanwhile the Cougars are set for a really big game offensively as Halliday is able to settle down and not force the ball.
… Auburn wins the first quarter: This is what is expected, so I can’t say it would be “culture shock” to WSU, but it could start to get really tough to communicate. That’s a bigger deal than any other thing that comes out of Auburn winning the first quarter. The Cougars rally against Washington came at home, this will be a whole other can of worms if Auburn jumps out fast.
… WSU wins the turnover battle: To me, this is absolutely essential and it’s especially important to stay away from the sudden change special teams turnover. This gives the Cougs a great chance to win. If Auburn wins this point of play, the Cougs are in a world of hurt. By the way the turnover the Tigers must avoid is the one where their quarterback is getting chased and just chucks the ball downfield.
… Auburn wins the field position battle: It’s really going to be easy for Nick Marshall and friends. They’ll get to pick and choose their battles for rush vs pass and is the most difficult thing to defend. Since WSU’s defense is still trying to get a look at success to draw from, this would not be a good omen.
… WSU wins the game: Riots in the streets of Auburn… Party in Pullman… DUH! But seriously, either team could really use this one. If the Cougars win this game the whole outlook of the season (and suddenly Leach’s overall campaign here in Pullman) suddenly looks really, really good. If Auburn wins the fans will go home happy, but they expect to win 7 games so it’ll just be a nice win against last place Pac-12 team Washington State.