October 14, 2014

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) Washington State has opened the season with a disappointing record and the Cougars head into their first bye week with coach Mike Leach hoping his team can mature quickly in its remaining five games.

Washington State (2-5, 1-3 Pac-12) has had 23 players make their college football debuts this season, and starts three freshmen in the secondary.

''We've got to quit being young,'' Leach said. ''Part of young is young but the other part's a state of mind and we've got to come out of that.''

''We've got a bunch of guys that could be really good players down the road, but they're close to being better players than they are right now,'' Leach said. ''And we as coaches got to make that happen.''

If not for a fumbled kickoff return against Rutgers and a missed 19-yard field goal in the final seconds against California, the Cougars might have been 4-3 at this point.

''We've just got a lot of guys right now that haven't played Pac-12 football,'' quarterback Connor Halliday said. ''They don't know quite what it takes to win.''

''They're young, but they're talented. They need to grow up and realize we don't have time for them to be freshmen,'' Halliday said.

After a 34-17 loss to Stanford last Friday night, the battered Cougars could use a one-week break to get healthy.

Where Washington State stands at the bye:

HALLIDAY'S NUMBERS: With five games left in the regular season, Halliday already has posted ridiculous numbers in the Air Raid offense. Halliday has completed 292 of 438 passes (66 percent) for 3,344 yards, with 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is averaging 477 yards passing a game.

RECEIVERS: Somebody is catching all those passes. Vince Mayle (57 catches), River Cracraft (57), and Isiah Myers (53) already have more than 50 receptions each this season, and all are on the Biletnikoff watch list. Four others have at least 20 catches. Cracraft set a team record with 14 receptions against Stanford.

GROUND GAME: Washington State has a one-dimensional offense. The Cougars have gained only 313 yards on the ground in their first seven games, an average of 44 per game. Running backs Jamal Morrow and Gerard Wicks have not shown the ability to generate yards when the team really needs them.

DEFENSE: Through seven games, Washington State is scoring 35 points per game and allowing 35 points per game. They are giving up 163 yards rushing and 280 yards passing per game.

NEXT GAME: The Cougars play Arizona on Oct. 25 in Pullman.

You May Like

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)