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Let’s take a look at how our prospects did against USC in a close game. It can be tough for anyone playing USC at home, but there were a few bright spots for the Cougars! As we look ahead, it is Homecoming week for the Washington State Cougars football team against The University of Utah.

James Williams– RB

Rushing: 17 Carries, 54 Yards, 3.2 YPR, 1TD

Receiving: 7 Receptions, 34 Yards, 4.9 YPC, 0TD

James Williams had a very solid day in the PAC-12 opener. While I would have hoped for more production against a defense that has struggled against the rush at times, he did an okay job considering the offensive scheme and game plan. I felt he would have more touchdowns, but any help getting on the board is a big help for the offense. This was a good day, but not his best by a long shot.

Williams has taken over for Morrow, while Max Borghi has assumed the role Williams was in a year ago. This kind of gives the offense more power with Williams, while complementing that with more speed from Borghi. This has certainly caused a slight dip in Williams stats as we move throughout the season, but I think this actually helps showcase more of Williams strengths through pass blocking and short-yard situations.

Game Day Grade: B-

Current Draft Stock: 6th-7thRound

Preview Against The University of Utah

Utah allows more rushing yards than passing yards. Expect Williams to play well on the ground on Homecoming. He shines especially well in the redzone, so look for them to call his name a lot while in scoring position. I expect a pair of rushing touchdowns in this one. What a way to celebrate homecoming in Pullman, WA!

Davontavean Martin– WR

Receiving: 3 Receptions, 1 Yard, .3 YPC, 0TD

Martin did not have a good game against USC. 3 receptions worth 1 yard is not the kind of stats you need from one of your playmakers against USC. In fact, it was as if he was not on the field. Granted, Easop Winston had a career high day.

Martin still needs to be dependable late in a game like this. Coach Leach has wondered about his toughness in the second half, and this game will keep him questioning one of his most athletic receivers. Your coaches and quarterback need to know that they can trust you to get the ball more.

Game Day Grade: F

Current Draft Stock: 6thRound

Preview Against The University of Utah

Martin MUST bounce back. I think he can help show that the Utah defense cannot cover him. He needs a 100 + yard day and I think that is not much to ask. Martin needs to continue to play at a high level for the entire duration of a game. Look for a late game touchdown in this one from Martin.

Andre Dillard- OL

USC did not get much pressure on the Cougar offense. Gardner Minshew had plenty of time and was only sacked once. Dillard helped a lot by handling his assignment. His mechanics seem to just get better as the weeks go on. If he can keep handling business up front, Minshew will be in debt to him by the end of the season. While linemen are under appreciated most times, they are vital to the success of an offense.

Game Day Grade: A

Draft Stock: 5thRound

Preview Against The University of Utah

Dillard will play a huge role in this one. Utah has not allowed many yards this season. Expect Dillard to help get a big push up front. He will protect Minshew as well. Minshew stands in the pocket like a statue, so he needs the time that Dillard can create. I expect no QB Hurries in this one.

Nnamdi Oguayo– EDGE

Tackles: 0

Oguyao just doesn’t seem to be playing at the level that the only upperclassman on the defensive line should play at. He has not made any noise at any point this season. He really needs to put in some work to help boost his stats for the rest of the season to increase his draft grade.

Game Day Grade: F

Draft Stock: 7thRound

Preview Against The University of Utah

Oguayo needs to step up. This is the homecoming game for Wazzu, so look for him to try and impress for the home crowd in Pullman. I think he can help get pressure on the QB in this game. I expect a sack in this one or at least a tackle for loss.

Jalen Thompson– S

Tackles: 6, .5TFL

This was not the greatest showing of the season, but against much better competition, I would say that Thompson played very well. The pass defense only allowed 241 passing yards. This issue did become the long pass on some plays. On at least 3 occasions, there was a pass with a gain of 30 or more yards.

Thompson cannot be everywhere at once and the pass went away from him at times, but he might need to improve a little more on his play recognition to look for the deep threat and shade that way.

Game Day Grade: A

Draft Stock: 4thRound

Preview Against The University of Utah

Utah does not have the most high-powered offense, but they tend to pass a little more than they run. Look for Thompson to try and seal off the deep ball threat in this game. I think that he will limit the Utes to having to rely on short passes to stay away from Thompson.

Let me know what you think about these prospects and my predictions in the comments!

Sports Al Dente 2019

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