Home Dog Bet: Washington St. at Wyoming
Washington State Cougars (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) at Wyoming Cowboys (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
College Football Week 1
Date/Time: Saturday, September 1, 3:30 PM EDT
Where: War Memorial Stadium, Laramie, WY
Point Spread: WSU -1.5/WYO +1.5
Over/Under Total: 47
The Washington State Cougars will open their football season on the road this Saturday afternoon when they travel to Laramie, Wyoming and take on the Cowboys. Wyoming already has a win under their belt as they beat New Mexico State 29-7 in Las Cruces last week. This will be an interesting matchup as the WSU Cougars have yet to announce who will start behind center. With the departure of record-setting QB Luke Falk, who is now with the Tennessee Titans, Cougar coach Mike Leach will need to decide but be warned—Leach might just list all three of his QB options and then let the fans figure out who’s inside the helmet come game time. Although the Cougs are favored and rightfully so given they’re from the higher-level conference it is Wyoming who has one game in for a W and an offense that has nine returners. WSU is in somewhat of a rebuilding year which makes for a very dangerous opener on the road against the Cowboys.
The Washington State Air-Raid Offense: The Cougars offense is under construction. The Cougs are likely the more talented team however they have a lot of holes to fill at nearly every position especially the game changer spots—QB, RB, WR, and of course the O-line. Perhaps the positive aspect here is the fact Head Coach Mike Leach is known for his Air-Raid system which traditionally utilizes as many as 8 different receivers. This is a challenge for defensive coordinators as they can’t really focus on one or two threats. In addition, the Cougs used three different RBs last season and managed to rack up over 2100 yards on the ground to balance the air attack. This will continue to be the case, with three RBs can get the job done—the top two as of this writing are James Williams Jr. and Max Borghi. The Cougs are stacked with wide receivers, but the one who has grabbed attention is SR. Kyle Sweet. Sweet, according to Coach Leach, is probably slower than the rest but he’s so efficient at running his routes that he’s always open. The QB battle remains an unknown but it looks like Sr. Gardner Minshew has the upper hand and Trey Tinsley is likely the backup. Look for the Cougs to spread the field and attack both through the air and on the ground.
The Wyoming Offense: Who Let the Dogs Out? The Cowboys athletic Border Collie retrieves the kicking tee at the beginning of games—consequently, it’s safe to say the collie was on the field longer than the New Mexico State Aggies offense. The Cowboy offense possessed the pigskin for nearly 43 minutes as they handled the Aggies last week. Redshirt Freshman QB, Tyler Vander Waal was 13/22 passing with no TDs and no INTs—he was solid and made good decisions for a freshman. The bigger story here is the play of former backup RB Nico Evans. Evans rushed for two TDs (one for 56 yards) on 24 carries for a total of 190 yards. Wyoming’s offensive attack might be a bit of a challenge for the WSU defense in their first contest of the year.
The Key to this Matchup: The bottom line is this; even though the Cougars are rebuilding this season due to the loss of critical players in Luke Falk, Hercules Mata’afa, and Alex Grinch they are still the more talented team. WSU has better position players, and that is the difference in this matchup. However, we see Wyoming good enough to cover the 3.5 points at home.
We like the Wyoming Cowboys to cover the points at home.
Wilson’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The Cowboys cover the spread. Luck to ya.