Cougars come home to take on Buffs

Football looks for first Pac-12 conference win on Saturday vs. Buffs



Redshirt senior wide receiver Easop Winston Jr. scores a touchdown against University of Northern Colorado on Sep. 7 at Martin Stadium.

SAM GRANT, Evergreen reporter

WSU football will return to Pullman for the homecoming battle against the University of Colorado on Saturday for the first home game since Sept. 21.

The Cougars (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) are coming off a loss against ASU, where they competed until the last whistle, coming up short 38-34 in Tempe, Arizona.

After being blown out by Oregon 45-3 in Eugene, the Buffaloes (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) will come to Pullman hungry for a win.

Cougars will be searching for their first conference win, as they have fallen to UCLA, Utah, and ASU in their last three games despite starting undefeated in their first three games.

The Cougars have given over 31 points per game this season, something that head coach Mike Leach expressed unhappiness about while in a press conference after the loss to ASU.

“I thought we played really hard [against ASU],” Leach said, “and I also thought we improved, because I think we’ve been disjointed on defense. We haven’t totally grasped an identity.”

WSU lost its defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys after the loss to Utah, which came as a surprise to the team. ASU was the Cougars’ first opponent since the absence of Claeys.

Leach said he was optimistic about the future of his defensive backs, despite their performance against ASU, where they gave up over 30 points for the third game in a row.

“I think that we have a lot more to offer there,” Leach said. “I think that we need to define guys’ positions there, but I think that the upside is huge. I think that they can play better than they are by a significant margin.”

Redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Gordon leads the nation in passing, almost 500 yards above the second-place spot for this stat.

Gordon took responsibility for the team’s struggles against recent opponents, noting that it is the offense’s job to make sure that they do not punt, helping keep the defense off the field as much as possible.

Leach also enforced a social media ban on the team for the rest of the season to limit distractions for the team.

“In hindsight, I wished I’d done it in camp,” Leach said. “It’s been a nice vacation. Our team is on a vacation from it. Some actually like it.”

The Cougars homecoming will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Martin Stadium when the Buffaloes come to town.