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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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2014 Washington State Cougars Football Schedule, Preview

Washington State football seems relevant again, thanks to Mike Leach, who guided them to their first bowl game in 10 years last year. This year he has 14 starters back and momentum from last year, but will the defense keep them from a second bowl game in a row. Preview & schedule below.

Mike Leach’s “Air Raid” offense took flight last year as the Cougars piled up 368 ypg through the air. Most of the pieces are back this year as Connor Holiday returns to lead the offense, after throwing for 4597 yards with 34 TDs, but he must cut down on his INTs, after throwing 22 of them last year. Connor will have back his top 8 pass catchers from a year ago, including Gabe Marks and Dom Williams, who combined for 114 catches for 1454 yards and 14 TDs last year. Marcus Mason is the leading returning RB with 429 yards, but he also was the 2nd leader on the team in receptions with 52. The OL has just 2 starters back and is very young, so they should struggle this year and actually are rated the worst OL in the league by Phil Steele. The defense is where this team will have some problems this year after allowing 32.5 ppg last year and bringing back just 17 lettermen this year. Defense is not something that Leach seems to take much interest in. Even his recruiting is geared more towards the offense. The DL line is the strength of this defense, but is still weak compared to the other teams in the Pac-12. The LB corps has experience, with 3 juniors and a senior, but they have little depth and are still a below average group. The secondary has struggled the last few years and will so again as it has just 1 starter back and is rated worst secondary in the league.

Mike Leach has done a very nice job in Pullman so far, but he may have to take a step back before moving forward. The offense has a chance to put up plenty of points this year, with Connor Holiday throwing to a very talented group of WRs, but they really need the running game and OL to step up for that to happen. The defense will struggle for the Cougars as it just doesn’t seem to be a priority of Mike Leach. It just may be the defense that keeps them from a Bowl games, especially vs what looks like a tough schedule for them.  KEY TREND: 1-10 ATS in the 2nd of back-to-back road games.    

2014 Washington State Football Schedule

Thu, Aug 28th, 2014 Rutgers 

Fri, Sep 5th, 2014 at Nevada 

Sat, Sep 13th, 2014 Portland State

Sat, Sep 20th, 2014 Oregon 

Sat, Sep 27th, 2014 at Utah 

Sat, Oct 4th, 2014 California

Fri, Oct 10th, 2014 at Stanford

Sat, Oct 25th, 2014 Arizona 

Sat, Nov 1st, 2014 USC 

Sat, Nov 8th, 2014 at Oregon State 

Sat, Nov 22nd, 2014 at Arizona State

Sat, Nov 29th, 2014 Washington 

Info gathered From Phil Steele's CFB Preview and Athlon Sports

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Steve Fezzik from takes a look at some the games of the year tat have been released by the Golden Nugget, along with some tips for handicapping them.