Wasted Optimism

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Who is Even Ready-er For Washington State?

Welcome to Part 2 of the one-part series: The Official wastedoptimism Washington State Preview

If you missed Part 1, Click Here.  Also click that link if you are a Hawaiian that is looking to be linked to the Steeler world.

Part one of the preview focused mainly on the Washington State offense (to recap: it’s bad).  Today I will tie up some loose ends from yesterday, take a look at the Cougs defense, then conclude with one of my patented, dead-the-eff-on predictions. On to the preview…

The Washington State O-line

I didn’t make it around to this when previewing the Cougs offense yesterday as I had to cut the post a little short thanks to a toxic combination of cran-tinis and pepper spray, so you get it today.  If I may use a pun to sum up my opinion of the Washington State offensive line… they are really “line” (I don’t think I did that right).  However, what the Cougars o-line lacks in run blocking ability, pass blocking ability, and not being horrible ability, they make up for in experience.  Every member of the line that allowed 53 sacks, as well as cleared a path for their RB’s to to rack up 2.4 ypc last season, returns with the exception of 4-year starter Kenny Alfred, who was widely considered their best blocker, and was the only Cougar to be named to the All Pac-10 team last year.  To sum all that up: The Wash State o-line lost their best player, and they have a lot of valuable shit-xperience.

The Defense of Washington State

Alright…now we get to heart of the Cougars….the meat…the badboys of Pullman… the Washington State Defense…. that it says here finished 2009 ranked dead last in total defense.  They allowed 38 points per game, 7.1 yards per play, and opposing QB’s averaged an astonishing 151 QB rating against the crimson and grey disappointment machine.  I don’t know what else to say here..I mean every stat I look up is more bleak than the previous.  I never knew that a team preview could be this depressing.  Every Wash State statistic site should play Elliot Smith songs in the background.

The one bright spot of the Cougs defensive unit is Sophomore DE Travis Long who started all 12 games last season as a freshman and racked up 47 tackles and 2 sacks.  After that, the rest of the defense is mostly unsettled as the Cougs return a bunch of below average dudes from injury, and their backups that saw the field more than the has-to-be-prozac-addicted Paul Wulff would have preferred.  So, like the offensive line, they have a ton of depth and experience, but that experience is what allowed 35 rushing TDs last year.

Oklahoma State would be well served to stick to attacking the main weakness of the Wash St defense, stopping the run… oh, and they are really terrible at stopping the pass too.  This is a defense that “held” opposing teams to 6 yards per carry and 275 yards per game through the air, and created the need for a press box gentleman’s rule that opposing offensive coordinators would stop screaming things like “That play has never worked before!” and “My daughter just texted me that play…honest to god…my 7 year old daughter!”.  And let me reiterate…this season they have the same defensive unit, running the same defensive scheme that the Cougars ran last season.  I see no reason that Brandon and Kendall don’t have monster games. And speaking of Grandpa Weeden…this is a great matchup for him to get his feet under him as this Wash St defensive unit only managed 13 sacks all of last season.  THIRTEEN! all caps exclamation point.

So that is it for my “analysis” of the Washington State defense.  Really what else is there to say… they have few strengths, a lot of weaknesses, and at most show potential for very slight improvement.  I would set the over/under for O-State total points at a yet-to-be-invented number that I can best describe as the number 50 blowing a division sign…. and I would still take the over.

Washington State’s Special Teams

As expected they have a good punter, and terrible kickoff coverage.  When you out-punt your opponents 87-43 your punter is bound to be good, and when you only kickoff 37 times your coverage team is bound to get rusty.  Opposing teams averaged 28 yards per kick return last season, good for a ranking of (say it with me), dead last in the nation.


No need for words here, I think I will let a collection of 2009 statistical rankings sum this whole thing up for me. Warning: Reading the following rankings may render you flaccid for the next three days.

The Prediction

Given the tone of this writeup, you probably think I am going to say O-State by 40 or something along those lines.  Well first off… quit thinking you know what I’m gonna do..I am my own man, Dad.  Secondly, you are right.  My iron clad, can’t miss, dip it in bronze and put it on the mantel next to your Jamal Fobbs autographed Nathan Simmons card, is:

Now stick that in your Wazzou! (sorry)

4 comments on “Who is Even Ready-er For Washington State?

  1. Clark Matthews
    July 15, 2010

    Washington State may be the worst team in the history of the world, and I still wouldn’t pick OSU to cream them. This will be the first start for a new quarterback playing in a complex new system, the whole defense graduated, and the o-line is brand new. Throw in that the system being implemented is wide receiver oriented and the receiving corps sucked last year, and I’m less than optimistic about this upcoming season.

    Oklahoma State Cowboys – 2010 Big XII South Champions

  2. Samuel Bryant
    July 15, 2010

    Agree. I’m really not a fan of score predictions but the readers expect it. And if I am obligated to make a prediction…it is going to be a blowout prediction. That being said, I am opposed to Phil Steele and all the others that are predicting O-State will have a down year. I don’t want to step too much on a planned future post but, in a lot of areas we have superior talent to last years team, and I have a ton of faith in 2 coordinators that are running proven schemes on both sides of the ball. They are inexperienced though… no arguments there..so it could be a rocky start (hence why I can understand your apprehension at a Wazzou blowout prediction), however I just think O-State has too much talent operating in too good of a system to be as bad as most of the predictions say they will be.
    Washington State probably is the worst team in the history of the world,
    I fixed that for you

  3. Samuel Bryant
    July 15, 2010

    Wow.. what happened with the formatting there? I have been traveling all day so I could only view the site on my phone where it looked fine. Well I went ahead and put some paragraphs in there instead of making you read a 1000 word post all as one sentence. You are welcome.

  4. johntitmansonjr
    July 15, 2010

    Sam is that your subtle way of rubbing in the fact that you are currently the only WO staffer to own one of those new fangled palm pilots?

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This entry was posted on July 15, 2010 by in 2010 Cowboys, Team Previews.
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