Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 10:30pm EDT
Autzen Stadium, Eugene
Written by Benjamin Hayes
Washington State broke a rare three-game losing streak last week after they defeated Colorado, 41-10. They'll face No. 11 Oregon on the road, who has won six straight since losing to Auburn in their opener (27-21). The Ducks improved to 4-0 in the Pac-12 after edging Washington on the road, 35-31 this past Saturday.
Last year, the Cougars took this game at home, 34-20 against the Ducks. They've won four straight games in this series and have covered nine straight games.
See Full Analysis with Predictions
Expectations not met in Pullman
Maybe head coach Mike Leach knew from the start. He scheduled New Mexico State (58-7 win), Northern Colorado (59-17) and Houston (31-24) as non-conference games. The Houston win was solid, especially considering it was on the road, but that's not exactly a murderer's row of teams. But after beating Houston, they were stunned at home by a bad UCLA team (67-63). Utah blasted the Cougars on the road (38-13) and they were edged by Arizona State (38-34).
Last week, the Cougars got back on the winning track, crushing Colorado at home, 41-10. But questions still remain on the defensive side of the ball where coordinator Tracy Claeys
resigned after the Utah loss. Roc Bellantoni
has taken over and while they did give up 38 points to Arizona State, they showed some improvements against the Bufaloes last week. Washington State held Colorado to just 320 yards of offense, including 141 in the air. They also forced three turnovers in and held them to 5-of-15 on third downs.
The bottom line is that they need to get better on defense to make a bowl game, because they aren't going to win the Pac-12 at 1-3 in the league. The Cougars are allowing 439.1 yards per game overall and 261.9 in the air. That's not a good sign against Justin Herbert and that Oregon passing offense.
Offensively, it's all about the pass in Leach's Air Raid offense. Quarterback Anthony Gordon leads the Pac-12 with 425.9 yards per game and has 29 TDs with just seven picks on the season (2,981 yards). The running game is usually an afterthought under Leach, but that's not the case this season. Sophomore Max Borghi has amassed 512 yards rushing and has 36 catches for 328 yards receiving with nine TDs.
We currently do not have a prediction for this team, check back closer to the game day!