After rising up to stun the vast majority of their PAC-12 conference rivals a year ago, the Washington State Cougars would like nothing better than to repeat their double-digit winning campaign from a year ago. Now, as they get set for the upcoming 2019 regular season, there’s a bunch of change taking place with the conference championship hopefuls.
If you’re planning on betting on or against Washington State this coming season, then you need to know all there is about there is about the Cougars. Let’s get started with my expert 2019 betting guide right now!
Washington State Cougars 2019 College Football Season Betting Guide
- ATS: 11-2 (W-L) / 11-2-0 (ATS) / 6-2-0 (Home) / 5-0-0 (Away) / 4-0-0 (Grass) / 7-2-0 (Turf)
- O/U: 7-6-0 (W-L) / 3-5-0 (Home) / 4-1-0 (Away) / 2-2-0 (Grass) / 5-4-0 (Turf) / 60.8 (Total)
Not only did Washington State record a stunning 11 victories last season, bu8t the Cougars also went an identical 11-2 ATS to finish the 2018 campaign with the best ATS mark in the nation. Washington State covered the chalk six times at home while going a perfect 5-0 ATS on the road. The Cougars also topped their Over/Under total odds seven times, while going 4-1 O/U on the road.
2018 Team Leaders
- Touchdowns: James Williams (16)
- Rushing: James Williams (560)
- Passing: Gardner Minshew (4779)
- Receiving: Dezmon Patmon (816)
- Interceptions: Marcus Strong (3)
A year ago, junior running back James Williams led the team with a modest 560 rushing yards, but he managed to find the end zone 16 times. Senior transfer quarterback Gardner Minshew had a record-setting season in passing for a whopping 4,779 yards and 38 TD strikes en route to winning the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year award. Junior wide receiver Dezmon Patmon hauled in 61 passes for a team-high 816 yards and five scores while junior cornerback Marcus Strong racked up a team-high three interceptions. The good news is that both, Patmon and Strong are back in 2019, but the bad news is that Williams and Minshew are off to the NFL.
- Total Yards: 452.5 / Rank 27
- Passing Yards: 373.8 / Rank 1
- Rushing Yards: 78.7 /Rank 129
- Points Scored: 37.5 / Rank 15
- Field Goal %: 66.7 / Rank 100
Under offensive-minded head coach Mike Leach and Gardner Minshew’s direction, Washington State finished a fantastic 27th in total offense while leading the nation in passing. The Cougars also ranked a dismal 129th in rushing, but stellar 15th in scoring (37.5 ppg).
- Total Yards: 358.9 / Rank 42
- Passing Yards: 216.9 / Rank 56
- Rushing Yards: 142 /Rank 39
- Points Allowed: 23.3 / Rank 42
- Field Goal %: 85.7 / Rank 120
Although Leach’s teams have never been known for their defense, Washington State was actually quite impressive on defense in finishing 42nd overall, 56th against the pass, 39th against the run and an impressive 42nd in points allowed (23.3 ppg).
The first thing you need to know about the Cougars before they take to the gridiron in 2019 is that there are going to be a bunch of new faces playing prominent roles for head coach Mike Leach this coming season.
First, while the Cougars return four starters from one of the nation’s best offensive lines last season, they’re also going to be blocking for a new starting quarterback and starting running back with 2018 starter Gardner Minshew now suiting up for the Jacksonville Jaguars and all-time program rushing leader bolting to the NFL early.
While Leach is following the graduate transfer quarterback route for the second straight season after Minshew lit up the PAC-12 a year ago, no one really knows just how well former Eastern Washington star and FCS All-American Gage Gubrud will perform in his first season in Division I football. While Gubrud will have an experienced offensive line in front of him and some serious talent at the wide receiver position, the Cougars only have five returning starters on offense with four of those coming on the O-line.
Defensively, the Cougars need to replace five starters from last year’s squad, including linebacker and defensive leader Peyton Pelluer, who led the team in tackles last season with 87. The good news is that Washington State’s defense had a phenomenal debut season under first-year defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys. In addition to that, the defensive backfield returns three starters from last season, including two-time All-PAC-12 safety Jalen Thompson.
I’ve always like Mike Leach’s offensive genius and I believe the Cougars could be poised to surprise again if their new transfer starting quarterback and clearly underrated defense can play anywhere near close to the level they both did a year ago. The Cougars have what looks like tricky matchups at Utah and Oregon, not to mention they’ve dropped six straight Apple Cup meetings against in-state rival Washington. Still, I’m thinking nine wins isn’t out of the question for the Cougars in 2019.