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2011 Washington St. Cougars Gambling Odds | Predictions

2011-2012 Football Previews – Pac 12 Conference – WSU Cougars

As weird as it sounds, more than two wins in 2011 will be an improvement for the Washington State Cougars who went just 2-10 overall and 1-5 in conference play last season. But it won’t get any easier with the newly realigned PAC-12 that puts them in the North with powerhouses Stanford and Oregon.

2011 PAC-12 | Washington State Cougars Football Preview
Coach: Paul Wulff
2010-11 Record: 2-10 (1-8)
Washington State Cougars Gambling Odds from Bodog.com to win BCS: 150-1

WSU Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2011 Schedule –>

College football pundits are saying that 2011 will be the year of the PAC-12 quarterback, and the Cougars’ Jeff Tuel will certainly have his work cut out for him as he tries to turn around a Washington State football program that are just 5-32 overall and 2-25 in conference play over the past three years.

The returning starter was a big surprise in his sophomore season completing just under 60 percent of his attempts for 2,780 yards and 18 touchdowns on an otherwise hopeless Cougars offense that in spite of improving from 2009, still struggled to win games.

Head coach Paul Wulff returns, hoping to keep his job patrolling the sidelines, and will rely heavily on Tuel and 14 other returnees.

To get a better idea of what to expect from the Cougars in 2011, here is a closer look at who they will be sending to the field on both sides of the ball, plus my prediction on where they will finish the season in the PAC-12.

Offense:

If the Cougars want to improve this season, they will need to start by ramping up their running game that turned in a paltry 91 yards a game on the ground a year ago.

However, it’s going to be a challenge after losing leading rusher James Montgomery, but considering he had just 478 yards and five touchdowns it will be hard for the Cougs to get any worse. Right?

Well. that will be up to redshirt freshman Rickey Galvin who after breaking his arm on just his first carry of the 2010 season, returns to pull duty in the backfield alongside senior Logwone Mitz who returns as the primary backup.

The duo should receive plenty of help from a front line that return three starters, who although may not be the biggest and the best in the conference, do have experience playing as a unit.

While the running game will be a concern, Washington State does return their top two receiving threats from 2010 in senior Jared Karstetter and sophomore Marquess Wilson. Karstetter led the team with 62 receptions and seven touchdowns, while Wilson finished second on the team with 55 catches and six touchdowns, and a team-high 1,006 receiving yards.

With a suspect rushing attack, the duo could expect their numbers to climb. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Defense:

Defense has been the Cougars biggest Achilles over the past four seasons, surrendering 32 points or more per game.

Wulff will hope that eight returning starters can plug the holes in his sinking defensive ship that struggled throughout the 2010 season, especially against the run.

As a unit, the Cougars yielded 220 yards per game last season, and it could get a lot worse as they bring back just two starters along the defensive line. If they can’t step it up it could be a massacre game in and game out.

They will however, be backed by a decent line backing pair in senior linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis and sophomore C.J. Mizell. The two combined for 138 tackles last season and will no doubt be focused on supporting the D-line against the run since the secondary returns four starters that can just about cover the downfield attack on their own.

Junior Daniel Simmons and sophomore Nolan Washington return as the starting corner duo, while junior Tyree Tommer and sophomore Deone Bucannon are back at the two safety spots.
This could be the best pass defenses that the Cougs have had in years and is the one shiny spot on an otherwise mediocre defense.

Matt’s Prediction: 6th Pac-12 North

I expect the Cougars will improve from last year, but I don’t think it will equate to more than four wins on the season, especially in conference play.

2011 Washington Huskies Schedule

9/3/11 5:00 PM ET IDAST
9/10/11 12:00 PM ET UNLV
9/17/11 6:30 PM ET @SDST
10/1/11 12:00 PM ET @COL
10/8/11 12:00 PM ET @UCLA
10/15/11 12:00 PM ET STAN
10/22/11 12:00 PM ET OREST
10/29/11 12:00 PM ET @ORE
11/5/11 12:00 PM ET @CAL
11/12/11 12:00 PM ET ARZST
11/19/11 12:00 PM ET UTAH
11/26/11 12:00 PM ET @WASH

Click here to check out MORE 2011 college football previews for the 2011-2012 NCAA Football Season!

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