Preview 2019: Washington State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Preview 2019: Washington State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Washington State

Preview 2019: Washington State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

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4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WASHINGTON STATE DEFENSE

The underappreciated Wazzu D allowed just 360 yards per game and led the Pac-12 in sacks. Six of the top nine tacklers are back, and the pressure should come from several spots after 14 Cougars ended up with a sack.

Sophomore Willie Taylor has the talent to blossom on one linebacker/end job after a four sack season, and leading sacker Dominick Sivels – with 4.5 sacks – will work in a hybrid role on the outside, and there’s good depth to keep up the pressure.

The rotation should be fine in the interior, too, with Mission Aiolupotea-Pei and Lamonte McDougle two athletic options at one tackle spot, but they’re need more for their size. 250-pound Will Rodgers is an undersized veteran who can get in the backfield.

Leading tackler Peyton Pelluer is done, but the linebacking corps is okay with Taylor and Sivels handling most of the pass rushing duties, and junior Jahad Woods a rock-solid, do-it-all playmaker on the outside. Juniors Justus Rogers and Dillon Sherman are taking over for Pelluer on the inside.

– The pass defense was decent considering offenses had to fire away to try keeping up, with 14 of the 17 touchdown passes allowed in four games. The corners are a slight question mark with two new starters, but Marcus Strong and George Hicks are veterans who can step in and be fine. Jalen Thompson was one of the Pac-12’s best safeties, but he’s going pro after being ruled ineligible thanks to an NCAA violation. Bryce Beekman is one of three JUCO transfers who should see meaningful time.

NEXT: Top Players, Keys To the Season, What Will Happen

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