WSU Cougars(0-1SU,0-1ATS)vs. Nevada Wolf Pack(1-0SU,1-0ATS)
Date and Time:September 5, 2014 10:30 p.m. EST.
Where:Mackay Stadium,Reno, Nevada
byWilson,Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread:WSU -2.5/NEV +2.5
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The Washington State Cougars football team will try and rebound this week at Nevada after a disappointing loss to Rutgers last week in their season opener at Century Link Field in Seattle. College football is in full swing and the Cougs are already in a must win situation according to many fans. It was not a defensive display at all by the Cougars, but offensively WSU did what everyone expectedpassed the ball for a ton of yards and only rushed for a few. However, Rutgers was no early season pushover as they came out and scored early and often. The Cougars and QB Connor Halliday will need to continue their air attack and get a few receivers onboard who dropped perfect passes for would be TDs and or big gains. Its not the offense that worries most fans but rather the D which was non-existent especially against the run and the deep ball.
Nevada is coming off of a close win against Southern Utah in week one but it doesnt scream successful season just yet, theyll need a convincing win against the WSU Cougars to earn praise from their beloved fans. These two teams last faced each other in 2005 in Reno when WSU won 55-21. We all know that new coaches and clientele will certainly make a difference. Nevadas program has been stronger since the 2005 season although they struggled last season with just 4 wins which snapped an 8 consecutive bowl game appearance streak. The Wolf Pack will definitely look to get back on track by beating a Pac 12 team.
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The Cougars are most definitely one of the toughest teams to contain through the air. Coach Mike Leach is infamous for his gun-slinging approach that took him to ten bowl games when he was at Texas Tech. WSU QB Connor Halliday opened the season last week by throwing for over 500 yards and 6 TDs. The Cougs were just one punt reception from winning the gamethey fumbledthen lost in the last minutes. For the Cougs to when this game they will need to clean up special teams and crank up the defense. Offensively, the Cougars should be fine but they will need to establish some sort of running game or at least a few successful run plays to keep defenses from totally playing the pass.
The Wolf Pack will be another tough early season test for the Cougars. Nevadas QB, Cody Fajardo is dynamic in the fact that when hes not hitting his receivers hes using his legs to attack and hes real good with his feet and the running game. Fajardo has been the key target for many defenses when they prepare for the Wolf Pack and to other defenses credit they have slowed him down or at least contained the QBs running game. WSU showed last week against Rutgers that they are vulnerable to stop the rush as Rutgers rolled up a ton of rushing yards with an average of 8 yards per carry. WSU will have to clean up their defensive attack quickly or they may find it difficult to win on the road in Reno.
I like the Cougars to accept the gut check from the early loss and rebound for a convincing win at Nevada. Connor Halliday stays on track to break all kinds of passing records and hopefully gets some help from his defense this week. The Wolf Pack will come out strong but the Cougars defense learned their lesson last week and will fill the holes to contain any run attack from the Pack. I look for the Cougs to light up the scoreboard in this one and send a message to the Pac 12 that they are back on track and ready to get the rest of their season going.
WilsonsPick to Cover the Point Spread:The bottom line here is that even a low end Pac 12 team will outclass a team from a lesser conference as they simply have better athletes. Cougars minus the points. Luck to ya