With spring practices winding down in Provo, Pullman Washington is just getting going. New Head Coach Mike Leach infuses a new, bright hope at Washington State not seen since Mike Price reigned. With his arrival comes a high octane offense from Texas Tech. The offense at Texas Tech was always fun to watch, but there might be time elapsing before these Cougars begin firing efficiently on all cylinders. Leach himself has said he’s only opened one-third of his playbook so far. Let’s take a look into what the Prove Cougars are measuring in the Pullman Cougars.
Offense– One thing is certain, if Washington State jumps on the Mike Leach bandwagon, and buys in to his system, they’ll blow Matt’s video game stats on NCAA Football 12 out of the water. It will take time for QB, WR and O-Line to come together. And I intentionally didn’t say RB or TE because they won’t be around this vertical offense. The offense only returns 5 starters. Jeff Teul looks to be Leach’s first experimental QB. But Leach is also giving Connor Halliday a full complement of reps in practice. The top target licking hisr chops at receiving 20 balls a game will be WR Marquess Wilson. In their 4-8 adventure last year, he averaged 7 catches, 120 yards and 1 touchdown a game. Imagine how he must be feeling with a juggernaut for an offensive coach.
Defense– Will there be one? Will the offense essentially dictate the defense by attempting to score more than the other teams offense? Probably, but there are a couple of positives going for them. First, they have 9 returning defensive starters which means a core of experience, albeit from a defense that was at or near the bottom of the PAC-12. Second, new defensive coordinator, Mike Breske, brings many coaching successes on defense to Pullman. He’s re-structuring the defense to a traditional 3-4-4 scheme. The defense will be led by senior linebacker Corey Laufasa.
There’s a lot of uncertainty coming out of Washington State and certainly things are subject to change, but you’d expect BYU to look for a track meet on turf come Week 1 in September. Oxygen masks will be necessary on each sideline and BYU fans should expect the scoreboard to light often.