Late Saturday Night the Washington State Cougars will head to the blue turf in Boise, Idaho to take on the Boise State Broncos. How the Cougars bounce back from their week one loss to Eastern Washington will go a long way in determining how good of a season they have. This will be a test for the Cougars, as the Broncos are thought of by many to be one of the best non-power five teams in the whole country.
Players to watch for the Broncos: Quarterback Brett Rypien threw for 347 yards in the season opener and both Thomas Sperbeck and Cedrick Wilson were over 100 yards receiving. This does not bode well for the Cougars, as their secondary was shredded all day last weekend by the Eastern Washington passing attack. They will have to make a quick improvement from week one. What does bode well for the Cougars is that the Broncos don’t have a great rushing attack. It’s not bad, but it is not as dangerous as the Eagles’ was last week. The Broncos potentially being a little one dimensional could help the Cougars on defense because they won’t have as much to think about and can focus more on trying to slow down the passing attack.
Keys for the Cougars: Washington State is going to have to obviously make life tougher on the opposing offense this week. To do that they have to start by contesting more balls in the secondary, but I don’t expect the secondary to make a drastic improvement in just one week. To help the secondary, the front seven is going to have to put more pressure on the quarterback this week. If they are able to do that it will take pressure off of the secondary. The two units really need to work together and feed off of each other. The Cougars don’t really have a lot they need to do better on offense, but the Broncos will likely give the Cougars offense more resistance than they faced last week. Washington State actually ran the ball fairly well last week for their standards, and that is something they need to do again. Obviously they are never going to pound the ball 35+ times, but if they can at least show they can do it a little bit it will open things up big time for Luke Falk and the Cougars receivers in the passing game. Luke Falk needs to avoid throwing an interception to give the opponent good field position. Last week the Cougars had momentum until Falk threw an interception to give Eastern Washington really good field position and the game changed from there.
Other info: The game Saturday Night has a 7:15 P.M. PT kickoff on ESPN2. The Broncos are 11-point favorites and the over/under for the game is set at 74.