This last Saturday, September 3 2016, the Washington State University (WSU) Cougars football team played the Eastern Washington University (EWU) Eagles football team. A detailed analysis of the game and all the statistics can be found at WSUCougars.com.
Coming into the game the Cougars were riding high after finishing off last season with a Hyundai Sun Bowl win after an 8-4 regular season. This high did not last long though, as the Cougars lost to the Eagles in the season and home opener in Pullman.
In the game, that finished 45-42 in Eastern’s favor, there were two very vertical offenses on display. WSU is famous for our air raid offense that involves throwing the ball around 40 to 50 times a game, at a minimum. Eastern had a very similar offense on display with their star wide receiver, Cooper Kupp, having most of the Eagles’ offense done through him.
Cooper Kupp turned out to be the puzzle that the Cougars’ defense could not seem to figure out. It seemed like every play that the Eastern offense played, Cooper Kupp was involved in some way. Whether he was catching passes down field or taking a hand off from the back field Kupp seemed unstoppable and he kept carving up the Cougar defense for huge gains.
The other major problem that the WSU team faced was penalties on offense. The offense was constantly backed up through false start and holding penalties that made it near impossible to consistently convert first downs. Not only did penalties make it difficult to get first downs, they also removed a touchdown from running back Jamal Morrow. As he was going into the endzone there was a holding penalty that negated the touchdown and ultimately the offense had to settle for a field goal that drive.
Overall it was a poor showing for the WSU football team. Hopefully this was just a first game slump and the team can come back and play at the level that they are expected to play at.