Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Washington State Cougars season with what you need to know.
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
– What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Washington State Previews 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
2018 Record: 11-2 overall, 7-2 in Pac-12
Head Coach: Mike Leach, 8th year, 49-40
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WASHINGTON STATE OFFENSE
– Is it really just plug-and-play at quarterback? The Washington State offense was the Washington State offense, finishing 27th in the nation, second in the Pac-12, and led the nation in passing averaging 374 yards per game. Gardner Minshew left East Carolina for Alabama, and then for Washington State where he stepped in and threw for 4,779 yards and 38 scores, but now he’s a Jacksonville Jaguar.
Record-setting former Eastern Washington bomber Gage Gubrud comes in as a grad transfer to keep it all going, but he has to push out Anthony Gordon, a veteran in the system coming off a great spring. It’ll be a battle between these two in fall camp.
– It’s not a bad problem when you have too many reliable receivers to work with. The Cougars not only have productive veterans coming back, but they have a few real pro prospects in the 6-3, 190-pound Davontavean Martin – he caught 69 passes for 685 yards and eight scores – along with 6-4, 225-pound Dezmon Patton, who left the team with 816 yards on 61 catches with five scores.
As good as Martin is, third-leading receiver Eason Winston might be the better option on the inside. Throw in Jamire Calvin – who caught 42 passes for 497 yards and a score – and rising junior Renard Bell on the inside, and the weapons are there.
– The offensive line was terrific. It allowed just 13 sacks on the season, was good for the ground game when the offense actually tried to run the ball, and it did it with a whole lot of talent, including Philadelphia’s first round draft pick, Andre Dillard.
Abraham Lucas has an NFL frame and skill, too, as a tremendous pass blocking right tackle to work around. Liam Ryan can play inside or out – he’ll likely take over for Dillard – and in all, four starters are back up front.
– Top back James Williams left for the NFL, but Max Borghi is an interesting speedster who ran for eight touchdowns last season and can catch, too. It’s a very, very thin group in the backfield after him, needing good recruit Jouvensly Bazile to lead a group of untested reserves.