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Oregon State Football: Opponent Spring Preview - Washington State Cougars (Game 4)

Can the Cougars capture last mid-season’s success?

NCAA Football: Washington State at Colorado
Last year Luke Falk led the Cougars to a second half comeback against the Beavers.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Game Information

  • Date: Saturday, September 16th
  • Time: 2:30 PM PT
  • Location: Martin Stadium (Pullman, WA)
  • TV Coverage: Pac 12 Network

2016 Recap

Washington State started out 2016 just like they started 2015, losing to a Northwest FCS foe (Eastern Washington). But after an 0-2 start, the Cougars went on an eight game winning streak where they embarrassed a ranked Stanford team. Mike Leach’s team was able to break into the Top 25 before running into Colorado and Washington on consecutive weeks to end the regular season. Then they fell flat when playing against Minnesota in the Holiday Bowl to finish the season 8-5.

2017 Outlook

Well Mike Leach is still the head coach, so you know they're going to air it out. Question is, who's going to catch all those balls? The Cougars are going to have to figure out who's going to step up and replace the production of departed wide receivers Gabe Marks and River Cracraft. But then again, it's Mike Leach's team and so there is someone in line to step up alongside Tavares Martin Jr., the teams best returning receiver.

Players To Know

Luke Falk, QB - Falk returns for his senior year after throwing for the third most yards in the nation last year. In last year's game against the Beavers, he led a second half comeback by throwing for over 400 yards and five touchdowns.

Tavares Martin Jr., WR - Martin is the de facto number one this year after the departures of Marks and Cracraft. As long as the other wide receivers are ready to step up (the talent is certainly there), expect Martin to have a big year.

Jamal Morrow, RB - Yes, Washington State had something resembling a running game last season, running for over 200 yards in three games last year. While it's primarily a committee approach, Morrow is the do-it-all man of the bunch after leading the team in all-purpose yards last season.

Hercules Mata’afa, DE - The talented pass rusher led the team in tackles and sacks last year on his way to becoming a second team Pac-12 performer (and first team Pac-12 Best Names). If some of his teammates can help out (Wazzu only had 19 sacks last year, one more than OSU's anemic pass rush), Mata'afa could be in for a bigger year.

What To Expect

Well, Luke Falk is still slinging the ball up on the Palouse, and he's 3-0 against the Beavers, so it doesn't already look good for the Beavers in that aspect. Then there's the fact that the game is in Pullman and in the Gary Andersen era the Beavers still have yet to win an away game. Look for this one to be a back and forth contest through all four quarters.

Prediction: Washington State 42, Oregon State 38

More Opponents Previews?

Day-by-day over the next two weeks, we’ll be taking a look at all over Oregon State football’s upcoming opponents for the 2017 season. Links to all the other teams previews can be found below.