Washington St Cougars 2021 College Football Preview
Created July 24, 2021
Record – 1-3
ATS – 1-3
The Cougars started the Nick Rolovich era with a road win over the Beavers (W 38-28) but then dropped their next three decisions. Those losses came against TOUGH foes (Oregon, USC, Utah) and only one of those defeats came in blowout fashion (at USC; L 38-13). Let’s see how things look heading into the 2021.
Washington St Cougars 2021 Outlook
The Cougars only managed to average 27 PPG (#10 PAC 12) and 384 YPG (#10) but as noted above, they didn’t get the easiest draw last season. QB Jayden de Laura had his ups and downs LY (5-4 TD to INT, 2 rush TD) and will be challenged for the starting gig by Tennessee transfer Jarrett “Pick 6” Guarantano. Last season’s back-up Cammon Cooper is also in the mix. They should get excellent production out of the WR group in this offense and the top-two targets (Travell Harris, Renard Bell) are back for duty. Deon McIntosh emerged as a legit #1 RB LY (323, 6.2, 3 TD) and note that Max Borghi had a MASSIVE 2019 season (817 rush yards, 86 receptions! for 597Y). Four starters return up front and they should be better in year two of the system.
Washington St was ripped apart for 38.5 PPG (#118 FBS scoring defense) and were particularly brutal vs the pass (last P12, pass D, 307 YPG). Essentially every player that had more than five tackles LY returns for duty so it’s likely we’ll see improvement. The LB group is experienced and seniors Jahad Woods and Justus Rogers were both in the top-three in tackles back in 2019. The secondary needs some work but add CB Chris Jackson (Michigan St) and CB Kaleb Ford-Dement who booked 13 PBU and 2 INT in 2019 at Old Dominion. We still worry about their ability to stop the run (5.0 YPC LY, #8 PAC 12) but the Coogs did manage to book 8 sacks LY in 4G.
They need to find replacements for both parts of their excellent P and PK duo. Hopefully they can harness some AUSTRALIAN MAGIC with P Nick Haberer.
Overall – It’s CUPCAKE CITY the first two weeks when they face Utah St and Portland St. Their first two PAC 12 tests are nasty (USC, at Utah) and three of their last four games are road contests.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – BYU (October 23rd)
This game is a PAC 12 SANDWICH SPOT (Stanford, at Arizona St) and BYU is tougher than a $3 steak.
Season Win Total
per 5Dimes July 24
Over 6 -120
Under 6 +100
They’ll start 2-0 but it won’t be easy to bag five more wins the rest of the way. Note the road games at Arizona St, Oregon, and Washington late in the year.
Washington leads the Apple Cup series with the Cougars to the tune of 73-32-6 and have won seven straight. They first played back in 1900.
We have confidence in Mike Rolovich’s ability to turn this team into a legit PAC 12 North contender but it looks like it’ll need more work. The offense should be really good this year but the defense still looks like one of the weaker stop units in the conference. There’s definite upside with this team but the schedule doesn’t do them any favors. We’ll call for anywhere between five and seven wins including at least one decent upset along the way.
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