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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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College Football Washington State Cougars at Nevada Wolfpack Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

Washington State Football: Breaking Down the Cougars' Potential Bowl Outlook

The Washington State Cougars take on the Nevada Wolfpack in college football action Friday night. The game is scheduled for a 10:30 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Washington State favored in this one on the road.

Nevada welcomes in a power conference school in Washington State in their second straight home game. Washington State isn't the best team coming in from one of those power conferences, but the Cougars should bring a very nice offensive attack with a lot of flash. Nevada is hosting a BCS conference opponent for the first time since the 2010 season when they knocked off California.

The Cougars, however, aren't the best when it comes to their road openers. Wazzou has dropped eight straight home opening battles and they've been drilled by an average of more than three touchdowns in those games. The Cougs covered just two of those eight games, as well.

In their opening week of the season Washington State lost in Seattle to Rutgers because they can't play any defense. The Cougars scored 38 points but gave up 496 total yards and 41 points to the Scarlet Knights. 

There's no doubting Washington State's ability to score and run an offense — they threw for 532 yards against Rutgers and Connor Holliday pitched five touchdowns. But another thing that hurts the Cougars is their inability (or lack of interest) in running the football — they had just 14 rushing attempts for six yards in the loss.

Nevada beat Southern Utah 28-19 in their first game. It wasn't a pretty win, but a win to start the season. Cody Fajardo threw for better than 300 yards in the win, including tossing 13 completions to Jerico Richardson. The Wolfpack ran the ball pretty effectively, as well, totaling almost 250 yards on the ground in this one. If they can be balanced on offense Nevada is going to have a chance.

Washington State is just brutal defensively and because of that, it's going to be hard for them to keep their opponents from putting up points themselves. If the Cougars can ever figure out how to tackle consistently and keep teams from scoring points, they could be a pretty good team.

Washington State has won both career meetings in this series, including a 55-21 beatdown the last time they met in 2005. They're favored by a little bit in this game tonight and should win, but it's going to be close. It's possible one defensive stop in the second half could determine who wins this one.

Free Pick: Washington State 41, Nevada 35

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