Saturday Night Pullman

Saturday Spotlight

(12) Oregon Ducks at (25) Washington State Cougars

Oregon: You can say they’ve been getting lucky all you want, but hey when you think about it, a win is a win at the end of the day. The Stanford loss was ugly especially after being up for most of the game and then to lose the lead late in the fourth that definitely hurts but we won’t dwell on it because they’ve moved on and bounced back nicely since then. The win last week at home against the Washington Huskies. You talk about a wild game, that was the definition of it but they got the big win. When I watch this football team, there are two things that really stand out to me. The first is the offensive line and how they really go above and beyond to keep Justin Herbert on his feet and if you think about it, you hardly ever see Justin in pressure-like situations or when you do, he just moves away and moves the pocket. The second is their efficiency in the passing game and how consistent they are at keeping the chains moving. They have it all as an offense. They have the line to be physical up front, they have the quarterback to sustain long drives and they have the pieces to keep up with any team even if it seems to be a shootout. Another big game down, one more to go tonight.

Wazzu: They just quietly go about their business and I don’t think many people realize that they are ranked 25th in the nation and they have a record of 5-1. They also have a quarterback that nobody really discusses and his name is Gardner Minshew. When I watched the tape on him, the first thing I took away was how he doesn’t get phased by pressure because he can stand tall and fire the football away and not get touched. It’s one thing when a quarterback can move out the pocket, but I feel moving within the pocket and shifting around to stay up on your feet is more important and that’s what we call pocket awareness. The Washington State Cougars were able to get the right guy to fit within their offensive scheme and he’s thrown 19 touchdown passes and four picks. The offense is so one-sided because of the passing attack as they average 413 yards a game in the air but when it comes to the running game, they only average 71 a game. This is one of the best offenses in the Pac-12 by far. I know they may give up quite a few points per game, but they can get after you as a unit and they’ll pressure, get a takeaway here and there and they will make their presence known. This is a huge game for them tonight with the Ducks from Eugene, Oregon coming in for a showdown.

Oregon Player To Watch: Dillon Mitchell– This is just one of the many weapons that Justin Herbert has to use in his arsenal. He can line up in the slot, lines up wide, helps in the running game by blocking. Next to Breeland, he’s the best receiving option in the redzone.

Wazzu Player To Watch: Will Rodgers III– He’s one of their best defensive players and he’s needed for this one. Someone has to get after Herbert in this game. He’s a 6’5 defensive end that can rip blockers and get to the ball carrier and feels he can win every battle when he’s on the field.

Final Analysis: Whoever thought that Pullman, Washington would be the center of the college football universe for one weekend? College Gameday had their first show at the university and this is an absolutely humongous game in the Pac-12. Next to Stanford, this will be one of the better defenses that the Ducks will have faced all season long. The home-field for the Cougars has always been special and what makes you think that the crowd won’t be electric for this one. I’m ready for the kickoff for this one!

Prediction: Wazzu 41 Oregon 35