With a new week it is time to start looking towards a new game and this week it is Nevada. The Cougars are yet to play a game on Saturday as this game will be on Friday night and this game is possibly bigger than last weeks. This game will really show who we are and if last week was a fluke or if that really is who Washington State is going to be.
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After the disappointing defensive outing last week head coach Mike Leach made some major changes that a lot of us saw coming. The Cougars offense was great last weekend besides a few dropped balls, but Connor Halliday threw for 532-yards, 5 touchdowns, and 1 interception on 40 of 56 passing. You can’t ask for much more from your quarterback.
Gabe Marks is still listed as the “or” at Z with Isiah Myers, and Dom Williams starting. We did not see Marks play against Rutgers and there is still a lot of speculation that he is going to take a redshirt year, in fact, Marks did not even travel to Seattle and I think that if he travels to Nevada they will use him, if not, I think he will be redshirted for sure. Leach and the coaching staff don’t release information on injuries but he has talked about the possibility of using a redshirt year for him. We will dive more into the positives and negatives of him redshirting later this week.
On the defense side of the ball there will be a few changes. I will be going strictly off the depth chart from Rutgers and Nevada.
Last week we had Xavier Cooper and Darryl Paulo at tackle where we saw Cooper get 4 total tackles including 1 tackle for a loss and Paulo not record one. Daniel Ekuale will be taking over that backup spot with Paulo moving to defensive end. Ekuale is a redshirt freshman and is one of the recruits that the Cougars got from American Samoa.
The next position change we will see is at the defensive end position. Last week we saw Destiny Vaeao starting with Lyman Faoliu being his backup. Vaeao recorded just 1 tackle on the evening. This week we will see Vaeao still with the starting spot but we will see Paulo get moved from backing up Cooper to backing up Vaeao. Faoliu will still possibly be in the mix as he as listed as “or” with Paulo but is listed behind him.
Aug 28, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights running back Paul James (34) is tackled by Washington State Cougars defensive back Kahshan Greene (34) and Washington State Cougars cornerback Daquawn Brown (4) during the first half at Centurylink Field. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
At SAM backer the Cougars saw a lot of Mitchell Peterson running with the first team even though Cyrus Coen was listed as the starter. Peterson was not even listed on the depth chart last week as Paris Taylor was listed as the backup. This week we will see Coen back at the starting position with both Peterson and Taylor listed as his backups. It would not be a surprise to see Peterson get a decent amount of playing time as he led the team last week in tackles with 16.
The secondary struggled a lot last week and this was the one place we all figured we would see changes. Teondray Caldwell came out starting at Safety even though he was listed as the backup. He is still listed as the backup but the difference between last week and this week is that he is running with the two’s.
Tracy Clark started at boundary cornerback (BCB) and Daquawn Brown at field side cornerback (FCB). This week we will see Brown start at BCB with Clark backing him up. Jeffery Farrar, who joined the team in the middle of August, was listed as Clark’s backup but is not even listed on the depth chart this week. It would not surprise me to see him get some playing time.
At FCB, since Brown got moved, we will see Charleston White starting. White, who backed up Brown last week, is a redshirt freshman and will be starting his first game this week. Backing up White we will see Marcellus Pippins who will also be making his first start. Pippins is a true freshman who enrolled at WSU early in January and has been with the team since then.
The Cougars defense could still see come changes as they still have a few more days before heading down to Nevada for the game on Friday against the Wolf Pack.