#104 Washington State Football 2012 Preview

Washington State Cougars

2012 Overall Rank #104
#12 Pac-12 Conference

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The 2011 campaign was a season to forget for Washington State, compiling a less than stellar 4-8 record, including an abysmal 2-7 conference record. Moving on from this poor showing has been the mission of the Cougars this offseason.  Their 2012 campaign will be a season of new for them. They have a new head coach, Mike Leach, unveiled new Nike uniforms, will have a new quarterback under center, and even have stadium upgrades and new facilities.

2011 Record: (4-8, 2-7)
2011 Bowl: None
Coach: Mike Leach (0-0 at Washington State, 84-43 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Leach
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Breske

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Rickey Galvin, RB, 621 yards
Passing:  Connor Halliday, QB, 960 yards
Receiving: Marquess Wilson, WR, 1388 yards
Tackles: Deone Bucannon, LB, 60
Sacks: Travis Long, DL, 4
Interceptions: Damante Horton, DB, 4

Other Key Returnees:  RB Carl Winston, K Andrew Furney

Key Losses: QB Marshall Lobbestael, WR Jared Karstetter, WR Isiah Barton, LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis


The Cougars had one of the most prolific passing attacks in the nation last year, led by now departed quarterback Marshall Lobbestael and returning wide receiver, Marquess Wilson, who will now have even more pressure. This speedy spread attack that troubled defenses all season long will, despite losing many seniors to graduation, look to light up the scoreboard again this season.  Under new coach Mike Leach, who made his name turning the Texas Tech offense from dormant to one of the most prolific spread attacks in the nation, the Cougars will test defenses again this year by spreading them out and attacking the weakness of a thin defense with their aerial assault.  Their attack nets lots of yards and is also very efficient. A season ago they ranked 9th in passing offense and 36th in passing efficiency, although resulting in just under 30 points per game. This passing attack is the best trait that Mike Leach inherited from this team and in 2012 it will be the catalyst to any success the Cougars will have.


The Cougars may have been able to throw on everyone in the nation they encountered, but everyone could throw on them as well. Their defense was picked apart on a weekly basis, giving up a whooping 409 yards per contest. But giving up yards in and of itself is not a problem, but surrendering nearly 32 points a game is. If Washington State wants to turn around their record they need to start playing defense.
On the other side of the ball the Cougars need to protect their quarterback to help elevate their offense.  Their offensive line was weak a season ago as they watched their quarterback hit the dirt over three times per game. This unit ranked 116th in sacks allowed in the nation and dead last in the conference.


The Bottom Line:
Washington has a new coach and a new look in 2012 but has an uphill battle. They have some talent, especially on offense, but still have many weaknesses. They likely will not be competing for a spot in the coveted Rose Bowl but still should be an improved team from a season ago. Much of their success will depend on how improved the defense is. They got thrashed a season ago through the air and on the ground. Their offense will have to score more points as well and limit the turnovers. Although the Cougars are not likely to compete for the Pac-12 championship, they still have some talent and can pose a threat and upset a team who takes them too lightly.

Projected Bowl: None

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 100.17 (111th in nation, 10th in conference)
Passing Offense: 322.25 (9, 2)
Total Offense: 422.42 (33, 6)
Scoring Offense: 29.83 (45, 7)
Rushing Defense: 157.17 (63,7)
Pass Defense: 252.42 (93, 6)
Total Defense: 409.58 (82, 6)
Scoring Defense: 31.75 (95, 9)
Turnover Margin: -.33 (85, 9)
Sacks: 1.42 (94, 10)
Sacks Allowed: 3.33 (116, 12)

Madness 2013 NFL Draft Rankings:

#20 Marquess Wilson

Madness 2012 NFL Recruit Rankings:

#141 Gabriel Marks

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