When the Washington State Cougars hired Mike Leach to be their new head coach, he not only brought big name recognition to the program, he brought the highly touted Air Raid offense. But seven games into the season, not too much has been clicking for the Cougar quarterbacks and their receivers. There was some improvement against the California Golden Bears two Saturdays ago, and with the bye week to help shore up the offense, things may be getting better quickly for the Cougars.
After going back and forth between Connor Halliday and Jeff Tuel at quarterback against Oregon State and Cal, Mike Leach seems to have settled on his senior Jeff Tuel as his starting quarterback. Despite the quarterback flip-flopping, the Cougs are ninth in the nation in passing at over 322 yards per game. But Cougar signal-callers are only completing 57 percent of their passes and the rushing game isn't helping much. Washington State ranks second to last in the FBS in rushing yards per game, at 40 yards a contest.
So has there been any improvement in the offense through seven games? Brian J. Anderson at CougCenter has an excellent breakdown, showing the improvement on offense for Washington State against the Golden Bears and offers this reassurance to WSU fans everywhere.
While the offense hasn't "clicked" yet and the execution has been inconsistent, the Cougs are starting to nail down some individual concepts. During the bye week, Coach Leach and the Washington State offense has had some time to refine their execution and prepare for a game against Stanford, where all the individual pieces of the Air Raid might finally start coming together.
Although Washington State hasn't put up the flashy numbers some thought they would (their highest scoring output was 35 points in a win over the UNLV Rebels), it seems like the offense is finally getting a much better grasp of the Air Raid system.