This was going to be a preview of the Washington State-Portland State game, but let's face it, that's boring. The Cougars should destroy Portland State. But then again they should have destroyed Nevada last week.
The Cougar's 0-2 start put me in major panic mode. I gave up on them completely. The Rutgers loss was a gut-punch, but the real agony came from choking at Nevada.
But upon reflection, is it really time to panic?
WSU could easily be 2-0 right now, going on 3-0, and everyone would be saying it's our year to beat the Ducks. We should be 2-0. Rutgers and Nevada didn't beat the Cougs, the Cougs beat themselves. The smallest of things could have turned those games. If they had been played in Pullman, for instance, I am sure the Cougs would have won both games and now be sitting at 2-0.
The Cougars have definitely had some bad luck, but good teams overcome bad luck and still win. It remains to be seen if the Cougars are really a good team. They do play six of their last ten games at home. Just that could be what they need to turn it around.
So let's look at what's wrong with the Cougars. There's the turnovers. There's the inconsistency of the team. Sometimes they are good on offense, sometimes bad. Same with the defense. The penalties that kill drives. The red zone failures. And the special teams. Oh, the special teams.
As bad as all that is, as much as it is, it is all fixable. Easily fixable. A home game will help. Curb stomping Portland State will help a lot. A few changes, tweek this and that, and this team could get rolling.
There is one major problem that is more difficult. What this team needs is for some players, any players to step it up. Take their game to the next level. Become a great player. Can anyone say Deone Bucannon?
It truly doesn't matter who. Let's say the QB throws for 500 yards and no INT's. A receiver has 200 yards and 4 TD's. A running back breaks one for a 80-yard TD. Or a D-back picks off three in a game, returning one for a TD. A lineman has 3 sacks and forces a fumble. How would a few of those things help out?
Somebody has to step it up and be a game changer. Preferably, a few guys will step it up.
The difference in success and failure is tiny. Sometimes the smallest change results in victory.
This is a team with a lot of potential. Yes, they will face some tough teams (Oregon, USC, Stanford and ASU) but say they shock one of them and then beat the rest of the teams they face? That puts them at 7-5 and in a bowl.
A few changes, a few guys stepping it up, and it could easily happen.