Washington State Win Total Prediction
After winning 10 games a year ago, will the Washington State Cougars build off their 2015 campaign or take a step back in 2016?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the over/under for number of wins the Cougars will have in 2016 has been set at 7.5. This coming off a 10-win season in 2015 when Washington State capped its season with a 20-14 win over Miami in the Hyndai Sun Bowl.
Quarterback Luke Falk was named a 2015 All-Pac-12 first-team player after starting 12 games and throwing for 4,561 yards with 38 touchdowns in Leach's Air-Raid offense. Granted, he attempted 447 passes, but his 69.4-percent competition percentage and 145.9 quarterback rating speak for themselves. Receiver Gabe Marks was another first-team All-Pac-12 player and linebacker Peyton Pelluer finished fifth in the conference in tackles with 101. He also added 11 tackles for loss, which was tied for 14th in the entire Pac-12.
Left tackle Joe Dahl is gone and that means the Cougars need to find someone to protect Falk's blindside. The defensive line also needs to find replacements for Destiny Vaeao and Darry Paulo, who were Washington State's top two players along its defensive front. That said, the Cougars should build off last year's improvement now that Alex Grinch heads into the second year of his tenure as defensive coordinator.
The biggest question the Cougars face in 2016 is whether or not they can live up to the hype. Nobody is confusing Leach's team with a national title contender but some believe the Cougars are a legit top-25 program after they beat Oregon and UCLA on the road last season. They also came within a missed field goal of upsetting Stanford.
Washington State has 14 returning starters, which makes the Cougars the second most experienced team in the conference. They also have five Pac-12 home games and two of their four road games in conference are played versus teams that had a combined one Pac-12 win last year. They should win over 7.5 games last season, especially with Falk returning to lead Leach's Air-Raid attack.
2016 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON WIN TOTAL PREDICTION: WASHINGTON STATE OVER 7.5