The Cougars will look to extend their hot start to three straight games as they head to San Diego this Saturday to take on the San Diego State Aztecs.
WSU currently sits at 2-0 on the year with two big wins that have the Cougars ranked first in the nation in points scored. The Cougars have outscored their opponents this season by a combined score of 123-28 and will look to continue that trend this weekend.
Head Coach Paul Wulff said the offensive onslaught all ties back to experience.
“You’re just seeing bigger, stronger, faster athletes,” Wulff said. “You’re seeing a higher level of execution."
After consecutive home games, the Cougars will hit the road for their first away game. Junior defensive end Travis Long said traveling is a different atmosphere, especially for the younger players on the team.
“It’s a different type of traveling,” Long said. “We got to think of it as a business trip as we go down there. We got new guys that are traveling, so the older guys kind of have to set the example and show them how you travel.”
The Aztecs and Cougars have only met once in the schools' histories, with WSU coming out on top 45-17 in 2007.
Redshirt senior quarterback Marshall Lobbastael will once again lead the Cougar offense this weekend. Lobbastael has played well in place of the injured Jeff Tuel and will look to keep his strong start going.
So far this season, Lobbastael has passed for 591 yards and seven touchdowns while yielding no interceptions with a passing efficiency of 217.15. Prior to the season, Lobbastael had seven touchdowns for his career.
He was recognized for his outstanding performance last week nationally when he was nominated for the Manning Award"Stars of the Week."
Lobbastael said the team has been working hard to prepare for their upcoming game with the Aztecs.
“San Diego State is a different team, so we just have to prepare like we did last week only just for a different team,” Lobbastael said. “(We) keep putting in the necessary work and prepare as best we can and practice as hard as we can.”
The Cougars will have their hands full with San Diego State’s sophomore sensation Ronnie Hillman, who rushed for 1,532 yards last season and 17 touchdowns.
Long said the defense must play physical in order to stop the Aztecs power running game.
“They’re physical; they like to run the ball,” Long said. “They run the power on us, so this week in practice, we’re just focusing on being physical and playing physical on all the blocks and filling up our gaps right.”
With the offense scoring 61.5 points per game and averaging 600 yards per game, the Cougars have yet to have their starters in during the fourth quarter, and because of that, some have said the Cougars may have more difficulty in close games.
Lobbastael downplayed that point, simply stating it doesn’t matter what quarter it is, the Cougs will still need to execute.
“When we’re in that fourth quarter, it’s just going to be like first quarter,” Lobbastael said. “We’re trying to take it one play at a time whether those plays are in the first quarter or the fourth quarter.”