Jason Radowitz gives you his best bet for No. 20 Washington State against Houston in a Cougar Showdown for Week 3 on Friday.
Washington State had an easy schedule these first two weeks. That’s about to change as No. 20 Washington State Cougars (2-0) visit the Houston Cougars (1-1) on ESPN Friday night at 9:15pm EST. Washington State scored an average of 58.5 points per game in their first two games against low quality opponents. Houston, on the other hand, began their season against Oklahoma and lost by 18. Houston won their cupcake game for Week 2. And so now we’re here. I’ll be using WSU and Houston to talk about the two teams since they have the same. damn. mascot. My best bet for this game will be given at the bottom of the article.
Washington State is coming off two cupcake victories against New Mexico State and Northern Colorado. Currently, Washington State has ranked as one of the top offenses in the country. Quarterback Anthony Gordon’s YPA was close to 12 in their game against Northern Colorado. Houston’s defense tends to give up chunks of yards on defense. This is an area where WSU can exploit.
Gordon has a lot of talent at wide receiver to help in Brandon Arcanado and Easop Winston Jr. The most glaring stat for Washington State in their first two weeks is that they’ve only come out empty handed on four drives (not including kneel downs.)
They can score. But it’s not all well at WSU. Their defense is in question. They’ll need to step it up defensively against Houston’s D’Eriq King, a versatile quarterback with a lot of playmaking ability.
That guy… D’Eriq King scored 50 touchdowns last season, 14 on the ground. He looks just as good this season with three touchdowns on the ground in two weeks. Houston averaged about six yards per play in their game against Oklahoma, which isn’t spectacular knowing how spotty Big 12 defense can be. The Sooners and Washington State defense are ranked around the same.
With all the good that King has done, the passing game has been pretty poor. He’s completed about 55 percent of his passes for 306 yards in two games. Thankfully, his run game has been on point which has allowed him to continue to play very good as quarterback. Houston will likely run the ball plenty behind Kyle Porter (and King).
King has been sacked seven times in two games after dropping back 54 times. WSU has a chance to be disruptive and get pressure on King. But even though King hasn’t been great, this will be the largest test for WSU to date. King is explosive and can make any defense pay for mistakes.
The line is currently sitting at -9 for Washington State. I really believe Washington State will claw this one out, but I think there’s some bias to what Washington State has done recently. They’ve beat up on two low caliber teams and their defense has been spotty. D’Eriq King is explosive offensively. I expect him to keep this game close. This game will be a shootout, but it’ll be a one score game at the end. I’ll take NINE points for King and Houston.