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WSU football: Cougars turning the corner against Auburn?

The Washington State Cougars looked like a competitive football team in a hostile SEC road environment. We chatted with Keenan Bowen of 247Sports to learn more about the Cougs.

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

1. What were the differences in Washington State's offense between this year and last?

The first thing that stood out in the first game against Auburn was the offensive line play. Halliday had plenty of time to throw and the running backs had some lanes to run through. There were still plenty of turnovers through the air, so those will need to be addressed.

2. How do you feel about Connor Halliday as the WSU starting QB? Do his weaknesses cancel out his strengths?

I do think his strengths outweigh his weaknesses. He is a true gunslinger, which can be good and bad. He just needs to minimize those calculated risks where it matters most, especially in the red zone. If he can do that, he'll be fine in the air raid.

3. What was the biggest surprise in the Auburn game?

Biggest surprise in my opinion was the way the offense came out and established themselves on the first drive. Doing that on the SEC stage was big for this squad after some of the seasons they have endured. Takeaway some of the big plays (kickoff return and 75 yard run) and that is a W for this Cougar squad.

4. What do the Cougars have to work on the most between this game and next?

As Wazzu prepares for USC, they have to shore up some of the mistakes that led to the final result of the Auburn game. Specifically, kickoff coverage. I also think quarterback pressure will be a big key heading into the game, given the USC QB carousel.

5. Have your projections for the season changed based on the first game?

I think for the most part, Cougar fans were encouraged with what they saw week one. Limit the big plays and they are right there. I think Wazzu fans will be cautiously optimistic until they can see improved performances week to week... something they haven't seen throughout the last couple seasons.