Washington State Football Humpday Hangover: The Biggest Problem the First Two Weeks


As I’ve said before there are many excuses for Washington State’s 0-2 start to this point in the season, but there’s one that particularly stands out the more and more I think about it; the Cougars’ inability to consistently follow up bad plays with good ones.

Football is so unique from other sports in that it offers a shot at redemption in some form or fashion on every play for the entire unit on the field. But the Cougs don’t often get ‘redemption’ from play-to-play, instead they seem to crumble under the new pressure that one mistake puts on them.

When you watch this team, youth is evident and so is the inability to think positively when bad things start to happen. The funny thing is, when good things start to happen, it seems to roll on for long stretches that way as well. Eventually somebody makes a play that fires everybody up and they respond with a rhythmic scoring drive or a stop on defense, but it takes far too long for that to happen and it takes far too little to get them down again.

Examples are easy to find, from WSU’s woeful offensive slumps to start a game, then a burst, then again into oblivion, to any drive that ends up in WSU territory almost assuredly going into the end zone eventually, after four straight possessions of 3-and-out defensive stops. Tracy Clark getting repeatedly burned, Dominique Williams dropping two in a row against Rutgers, Erik Powell missing two straight field goals from the exact same spot, in the exact same fashion against Nevada and the o-line making three crucial mistakes in a row on three drives into the red zone that would have put WSU in control are other examples of what I’m talking about here.

No less than 16 new faces is difficult to get on the same page with the rest of the guys in two weeks, especially because Mike Leach believes in getting his guys on the field, but it has to start happening in week 3. With Oregon coming to town in week 4, the Cougs will have to be firing on all cylinders to even give themselves a shot against the vaunted (and 3rd ranked) Ducks. Even without winning there though, the Cougs need to really get it crankin’ if they’re going to challenge for their second straight bowl game.