What You Need To Know About The Washington State Offense
– As always, you know what the Cougars are going to do. They’re going to throw and throw some more, the running game will be an afterthought, and there will be a whole lot of ball-control midrange pass plays to keep everything moving. The question will be the triggerman to run it all.
Luke Falk is off to the NFL, and heir apparent Tyler Hilinski tragically passed away, making it an all-out scramble to find the right guy.
East Carolina transfer Gardner Minshew should be an interesting fit come fall camp, but it was juniors Trey Tinsley and Anthony Gordon who fought it out this spring to have a leg up in the race. Freshman Cammon Cooper might be the future, but this should be Minshew’s gig the moment he steps on campus. The bigger problem than quarterback? Wide receiver.
Top two targets Tavaras Martin and Isaiah Johnson-Mack transferred from the program, meaning JUCO transfer Easop Winston has to quickly become a factor, and leading returning receivers Renard Bell and Kyle Sweet have to start doing a whole lot more.
– The running game was along for the ride, finishing with just 884 yards and eight scores. Leading rusher Jamal Morrow is gone, but James Williams fits the Cougar mold. Block well, catch passes, come up with an occasional burst.
Star guard Cody O’Connell is gone along with with the whole right side, but left tackle Andre Dillard is a good one to build around. The pass protection, though, has to be a whole lot stronger after giving up 44 last season – 15 more than in 2016.
Biggest Key To The Washington State Offense
Slow down the interceptions and turnovers. For the most part, the Cougars were able to overcome the turnover problem, but the interceptions were coming fast and furious over the second half of last season. The five against a mediocre Cal team turned into a disaster, and the four against Arizona led to a loss. In all, the Cougars gave away 16 picks over the final seven games.
After losing just 17 turnovers in 2016, they gave up 31 last season. And now the offense has to be sharper with a new quarterback, several key new parts to the receiving corps, three new starting linemen, and a new starting running back.