Cougars Vs. Beavers - Who Has The Edge? - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cougars Vs. Beavers - Who Has The Edge?

Posted: Updated:
PULLMAN, Wash. -

The countdown is on in Pullman, Washington, as the Cougars will host their first Pac-12 game at Martin Stadium. WSU welcomes in 4-1 Oregon State on Saturday for a battle that could have major bowl implications down the road.

Here's a breakdown of the top comparisons for Saturday's game:

 

Connor Halliday vs. Sean Mannion

 

Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion is only a junior, but why does it feel like he's a 6th year senior? The numbers are probably part of the reason. He's caught fire in his first five games of the season, throwing for a Pac-12 leading 403.6 yards per game and a remarkable 21 touchdown passes. The junior is completing two-thirds of his passes, and in a total of 238 attempts he's only thrown two interceptions.

Washington State's Connor Halliday may lead the league in toughness, but his numbers don't quite stack up to Mannion. Halliday is 65% of his throws for an average of 332.2 yards per game. The junior even has 13 touchdown passes already, but the biggest difference is turnovers.

Halliday is at the top of the Pac-12 for interceptions, throwing ten picks in six games. Connor can throw with the best of them, but an ill-advised throw has become too common when watching the Cougars. A decision like that versus the Beavers could make the difference. It certainly did last year, when OSU picked off Halliday three times, leading to a Jeff Tuel appearance, and an eventual WSU loss.

- Quarterback Edge goes to Mannion -

 

OSU Receivers vs. WSU Receivers

 

It's hard to look past Oregon State here mostly because of Brandin Cooks. The junior leads the Pac-12 in receiving touchdowns with nine, receptions per game with 10.4, and receiving yards per game with 161.4. Compare that to the top Cougar wide receiver Gabe Marks. The sophomore averages 6.8 receptions and 79.7 yards per game. Cooks nearly doubles that.

Even Cooks' teammate Richard Mullaney is in the top 11 for Pac-12 receivers, averaging five receptions for nearly 80 yards per game. Unquestionably, the Beavers sport one of the top wide receivers pairs in the league. In terms of a unit though, the Cougars might have the advantage.

WSU sports 11 different players with ten or more receptions so far this season, compared to OSU's seven. That list for the Cougars includes six different receivers who have 180 yards or more this season. Oregon State only sports three receivers with 180 yards.

The Beavers might have the top two, but anyone on the receiving end of a Connor Halliday pass can be a threat. A prime example is WSU's Vince Mayle. The freshman only has 11 receptions this season, but four of those have gone for touchdowns, including a 72 yard touchdown pass last Saturday against Cal.

- Receiving Edge goes to WSU -

 

Beaver D vs. Cougar D

 

The biggest thing when you compares these numbers is that OSU has only played in five games, while WSU has played in six. The Cougars lead the Pac-12 in interceptions with nine on the year. The Cougar defense has also forced five fumbles, 11 sacks, and 40 tackles for loss.

In a game less, Oregon State ranks second in the Pac-12 with eight interceptions, along with a fumble, 12 sacks, and 36 tackles for loss.

More or less, the numbers are identical.

In terms of leaders, safety Deone Bucannon anchors the Cougar defense, while the Beavers also have a safety leading their charge with junior Tyrequek Zimmerman. Both players lead their team in tackles, with Bucannon tied atop the Pac-12 with four interceptions.

Outside of OSU's Zimmerman though, his teammate Steven Nelson has also picked off four balls in just five games and lineman Scott Krichton averages about two tackles for loss per game.

Bucannon might be the best on the field, but the Beavers might have more weapons, especially ones who can pressure quarterback Connor Halliday.

- Defensive Edge goes slightly to Oregon State -

 

X-FACTOR: Special Teams

 

On paper this game looks like it will be a high-scoring affair with little things making the difference. Special teams could be that difference with a return for a touchdown or field goals.

The punting edge might go to OSU with Keith Kostol already booming six punts of over 50 yards this season. WSU's Mike Bowlin has struggled at times this year, especially versus Stanford. Neither team can afford to give the other offense good field position.

In terms of kickers, it's WSU's Andrew Furney versus OSU's Trevor Romain. Furney has made 8-10 for FG's, including 5-6 from 40 yards plus. While for the Beavers, Romain is 6-8 for FG's, going just 1-3 from kicks 40 yards or longer. Furney also struck a perfect 23-23 on PAT's, compared to Romain's 22-23.

Throw in the fact that Furney is a senior compared to the junior Romain, and the edge might go slightly to the Cougars.

For returns, neither team has a return for a touchdown this season, but as a team WSU holds a slight yards advantage in kickoff returns and punt returns.

One other factor to think about is blocked kicks. Both teams have one this year, including Washington State's Toni Pole who came up with a pivotal blocked kick in the Cougar win against USC

- Edge goes slightly to WSU, mostly because of Furney -


Overall


You have to factor in the home field at Martin Stadium, and as of Thursday Washington State was favored by a point over Oregon State. Overall, I think the edge goes slightly to the Beavers though, mostly because of Mannion. Expect a big specials teams play from WSU, possibly coming from Ricky Galvin on a kick return. All and all, turnovers will make the difference come Saturday.

- Beavers win 45-41-

  • John's Sports BlogMore>>

  • Cougars Vs. Beavers - Who Has The Edge?

    Cougars Vs. Beavers - Who Has The Edge?

    Friday, October 11 2013 3:03 PM EDT2013-10-11 19:03:17 GMT
    The countdown is on in Pullman, Washington, as the Cougars will host their first Pac-12 game at Martin Stadium. WSU welcomes in 4-1 Oregon State on Saturday.More >>
    The countdown is on in Pullman, Washington, as the Cougars will host their first Pac-12 game at Martin Stadium. WSU welcomes in 4-1 Oregon State on Saturday for a battle that could have major bowl implications down the road.More >>
  • Are The Cougs Legit?

    Are The Cougs Legit?

    Wednesday, September 25 2013 5:59 PM EDT2013-09-25 21:59:28 GMT
    A new wind is blowing through the Palouse this fall. It's the same coach, but a different feeling. Last year Mike Leach in Pullman brought hype with disappointment, but this season there's something different.More >>
    A new wind is blowing through the Palouse this fall. It's the same coach, but a different feeling. Last year Mike Leach in Pullman brought hype with disappointment, but this season there's something different.
    More >>
  • 3 Reasons Olynyk Will Make it in the NBA

    3 Reasons Olynyk Will Make it in the NBA

    Tuesday, July 2 2013 12:17 AM EDT2013-07-02 04:17:11 GMT
    Kelly Olynyk starts the NBA Summer League on Sunday, will he have a lasting career in the NBA?More >>
    Kelly Olynyk starts the NBA Summer League on Sunday, will he have a lasting career in the NBA?More >>
  • College SportsCollegeMore>>

  • EWU Set To Kick Off All Of College Football

    EWU Set To Kick Off All Of College Football

    Eastern Washington University is ready to kick off the earliest start to the season in college football history when they host Sam Houston State on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 12:35 p.m. PT on ESPN. SWX-TV is all set to bring you unrivaled coverage of Eastern's historic game with a special hour long pregame show starting at 11:00 a.m. and a half-hour long behind-the-scenes look at EWU football, "Inside Eastern Washington Football," at 12:00 p.m. all leading up to the game...More >>
    Eastern Washington University is ready to kick off the earliest start to the season in college football history when they host Sam Houston State on Saturday, Aug. 23, at 12:35 p.m. PT on ESPN. SWX-TV is all set to bring you unrivaled coverage of Eastern's historic game with a special hour long pregame show starting at 11:00 a.m. and a half-hour long behind-the-scenes look at EWU football, "Inside Eastern Washington Football," at 12:00 p.m. all leading up to the game...
    More >>
  • Bill Chaves Visits SWX Before College Football Starts Here

    Bill Chaves Visits SWX Before College Football Starts Here

    Eastern Washington Athletic Director Bill Chaves visited SWX in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about the Eagles historic clash vs. Sam Houston State this Saturday.More >>
    Eastern Washington Athletic Director Bill Chaves visited SWX in the Fasteners Sports Studio to talk about the Eagles historic clash vs. Sam Houston State this Saturday.More >>
  • Inside Eastern Washington Football Sneak Preview

    Inside Eastern Washington Football Sneak Preview

    Before the game SWX will start the festivities with a live pregame show at 11:00 a.m. PT with special ESPN guest Colin Cowherd, all leading up to a behind-the-scenes feature on EWU football at noon. Enjoy the trailer for the Inside Eastern Washington Football special in the video player above!More >>
    Before the game SWX will start the festivities with a live pregame show at 11:00 a.m. PT with special ESPN guest Colin Cowherd, all leading up to a behind-the-scenes feature on EWU football at noon. Enjoy the trailer for the Inside Eastern Washington Football special in the video player above!More >>
  • Washington St.WSUMore>>

  • Jason Gesser Answers 'Ice Bucket Challenge' From Michelle Dapper

    Jason Gesser Answers 'Ice Bucket Challenge' From Michelle Dapper

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:12 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:12:41 GMT
    Last week SWX's own Michelle Dapper challenge Washington State legend Jason Gesser to take the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' and on Sunday Gesser finally answered the challenge. Checkout the video.More >>
    Last week SWX's own Michelle Dapper challenge Washington State legend Jason Gesser to take the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' and on Sunday Gesser finally answered the challenge. Checkout the video.More >>
  • Catching Up With The Cougar Camp

    Catching Up With The Cougar Camp

    SWX's John Collett spent the day in Pullman on Tuesday to catch up with the Washington State University football team as it continues its fall camp this week with the season quickly approaching.More >>
    SWX's John Collett spent the day in Pullman on Tuesday to catch up with the Washington State University football team as it continues its fall camp this week with the season quickly approaching.
    More >>
  • WSU Defense Strong In First Scrimmage

    WSU Defense Strong In First Scrimmage

    Sunday, August 10 2014 1:05 AM EDT2014-08-10 05:05:06 GMT
    Washington State football held its first scrimmage of fall camp, working through roughly 60 plays at Sacajawea Middle School Saturday afternoon.More >>
    Washington State football held its first scrimmage of fall camp, working through roughly 60 plays at Sacajawea Middle School Saturday afternoon.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.