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2013 Washington State

College Football

Preview

Schedule and Odds

Mike Leach's first season at the head of Washington State could've gone better, but the Cougars had plenty of work to do so immediate results weren't a given. Home losses to Colorado and California were definitely disappointing, although a season finale win over rivals Washington left a good feeling in their mouths. With a tougher schedule in 2013, the Cougars will have to come away with those home wins.

Connor Halliday is expected to lead the way at quarterback, however he is getting some pressure from freshman Austin Apodaca. Halliday was supposed to gel with Leach's all-out passing attack, but it never came to fruition last year as he battled for the starting job throughout the year and finished with 15 TDs and 13 INTs. Their deep on the receiving end as most of their top guys are returning. Even though they had nice numbers last year, the main reason for that was because the only thing Washington State did was pass, throwing the ball 372 more times than rushing. That led to a nation-leading 57 quarterback sacks. Because of the play call and not many improvements on the line, expect more of the same offense this year without much running.

The defense was equally as bad as the offense, but they're returning nine starters so improvement has to be expected. The secondary is led by Deone Bucannon and a slew of seniors. The problem is that they haven't really put it all together yet. The Cougars do have solid special teams performers at kicker and punter. Of course, that can only take you so far.

2013 Washington State Football Schedule

Aug. 31 at Auburn
Sept. 7 at USC
Sept. 14 vs. Southern Utah
Sept. 21 vs. Idaho
Sept. 28 vs. Stanford
Oct. 5 at California
Oct. 12 vs. Oregon State
Oct. 19 at Oregon
Oct. 31 vs. Arizona State
Nov. 16 at Arizona
Nov. 23 vs. Utah
Nov. 29 at Washington


Starting the season with two straight road games isn't what Washington State hoped for, but it's what they'll get. Auburn is in the same spot as them, yet has a tad higher outlook playing in the SEC. USC will likely give the Cougars their first conference loss.

Fortunately, Leach should be able to pick up a couple wins in non-conference play before facing off with Stanford. Their best chances at Pac-12 wins this year will be at California and home to Utah. Considering they lost to both teams last season (Cali at home and a 43-point loss at Utah), neither one is a given.

Unless the Cougars can get their offense rolling and minimize on sacks and takeaways, this could be another disappointing season. The hope from fans is that they can just reach four total wins (obviously more would be nice), which will likely mean two from Pac-12 play.
 

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