2018 Football Preview – Pac 12 – Washington State Cougars
Looking for 2018 Washington State Cougars predictions? The Cougars finished last season 9-4, one win better than the year prior and an identical record to 2015. Mike Leach began his time with the Cougs with a three-win season in 2012, a six-win campaign in 2013 and another three-win outing in 2014, so despite not cracking 10 wins yet as the lead man in Pullman, he’s done a lot to turn this program around.
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2018-18 College Football Preview – Washington State Cougars
Head Coach: Mike Leach
2017 Record: 9-4
Washington State Cougars Odds to win the 2018 FBS Championship: +60000
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The question now, of course, is: Can he take this team to another level and reach double-digit wins, or has he capped out as far as his own production goes?
As far as this season? We’re giving a very confident ‘no’ as our answer. Washington State should take a step back, which means—fair or not—Leach’s seat should be warm at best by the time we call it a season.
2018 Washington State Cougars Predictions: Team Strengths
Sneaky run option: If you’re going to call Washington State’s run game a true strength, you haven’t watched this program under Mike Leach. As far as the national or Pac-12 conversation goes, the ground attack isn’t going to be what people are talking about.
But that’s what’s exciting for Wazzu. For the first time in years, this team doesn’t have a sure-fire replacement for its starting quarterback. (More on that later.) The team is going to need someone to step in behind center, but more importantly, it has a back in James Williams who can legitimately take pressure off whoever that is.
Will WSU be a top-tier running team? Not a chance. But Williams is going to use his quickness between the tackles to keep defenses honest if (and most likely when) the Cougars’ air attack struggles in 2018.
Defensive momentum: There are a lot of question marks for this defense following the loss of a coordinator who made this team (almost shockingly) known for its D. But last season, the Cougs were a top-10 team in the country as far as tackles for loss goes—as well as turnovers forced.
Washington State is particularly set at LB, so there’s plenty of room for optimism here despite the loss in personnel both on the sidelines and on the field.
2018 Washington State Cougars Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Who’s at QB?: We’re not ready to officially declare Washington State’s weakness as “the passing game” quite yet. After all, this is still a Leach-led program that goes by Bear-Raid for a reason.
That said, we have to question just how good this pass-first offense is going to be without a true successor ready to take over.
Questions on defense: As we mentioned earlier, defense shouldn’t be considered a weakness, per se. But it should be a big question mark without last year’s coordinator—not to mention the absence of All-American tackle Hercules Mata’afa to the NFL (Minnesota Vikings).
Washington State Cougars Prediction: 5-6
We weren’t kidding when we said we had the Washington State Cougars taking a step back in 2018. Not only will this team struggle to match last year’s win total, we have them missing a bowl game altogether.
That’s not good news for Leach and his job security despite the
2018 Washington State Cougars Football Schedule
- 9/1/18 3:30 PM ET @WYO
- 9/8/18 11:00 PM ET SJSU
- 9/15/18 8:00 PM ET EWU
- 9/21/18 10:30 PM ET @USC
- 9/29/18 TBD UTAH
- 10/6/18 TBD @ORST
- 10/20/18 TBD ORE
- 10/27/18 TBD @STAN
- 11/3/18 TBD CAL
- 11/10/18 TBD @COLO
- 11/17/18 TBD ARIZ
- 11/23/18 8:30 PM ET WASH
What do you think about our 2018 Washington State Cougars predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2018!
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