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Wildcat Radio Podcast: On Arizona’s Spain tour, and the Washington schools football preview

Listen to the latest Wildcat Radio Podcast

Mataro All-Stars v Arizona Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Basketball in August??!! You know it! Wildcat Radio watched the Arizona Wildcats basketball Spain games. We break them down, talk the latest from Arizona football camp, and preview Washington Football and Washington State football.

Stay for the Washington State preview. Trust us.

Purchase our Completely Uncalled for 2017 Pac-12 Preview

https://wildcatradio.wordpress.com/

— 95 Pages

— 12 full team previews

— USC coaching jokes

— Depth charts

— UCLA coaching jokes

— In-depth 2016 player stats including defensive statistics

— Over/Under Win total predictions

— A breakdown of the assumed breakfast habits of Kyle Whittingham

— All Pac-12 Team

— Regular jabs at bad coaches

— Predicted conference standings

— Lots of frowney faces in the Arizona sections

— A focus on 2017 rather than rehashed 2016 information

Enjoy a sneak peak of Washington State below...


Overview

AAAARRRRR! Is there a more entertaining coach than Washington State’s Mike Leach? The answer is no. No! Never. No! Quiet, you. Never.

It’s a cliched truth that teams adopt the personality of their coach. Mike Leach is a space cadet. So his teams lose to FCS Portland State and Eastern Washington in back-to-back years then turn around to beat Oregon and cold-cock Stanford. His special teams are a mess but, hot damn, the guy has no problem comparing his quarterbacks to Civil War generals and once claimed to have a classified “ninja formation” in the playbook.

Fortunately for Wazzu fans, Mike Leach’s antics are accompanied by improved play. And passing. Lots of passing. This year, the Cougars return nearly all of the major pieces of a decent 2016-17 season. He even started to *gasp* run the ball, and, *keels over and dies* play decent defense. Look for the Cougars to take yet another step forward in the Pac-12.

Quarterback

Luke Falk returns for his 15th 4th season at the helm. He is a good fit for the Air Raid system that Mike Leach runs. He is accurate, he can throw deep (although it would be nice to see him throw deep more often), and, for the number of passes that he throws, doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. With Falk at quarterback, the Washington State offense shouldn’t miss a beat. Look for Falk to flirt with 4,500 yards and 35 touchdowns again this season.

The only question at quarterback is who cleans up during garbage time behind Falk. In 2015, Mike Leach snagged Tyler Hilinski, the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in his class. Hilinski saw minimal time on the field. He faces off against Anthony Gordon, an unheralded JUCO commit who rain an Air Raid offense at the City College of San Francisco. Whatever, Falk is the guy. Let’s hope for a long and healthy season, because he is fun to watch.

Grade: A

@WildcatRadioAZ Projected Depth Chart:

Luke Falk, Senior: 70% completion percentage | 7 yards per pass | 38 td | 11 int

Tyler Hilinski, Red Shirt Sophomore: 80% completion percentage | 8.1 yards per pass | 2 td | 1 int

Anthony Gordon, Junior | Junior College transfer familiar with the Air Raid offense

Running Back

It is tempting to think that a wizard appeared in Mike Leach’s dream and bestowed onto him the gift of the run game. That’s probably how he remembers it. Regardless, after years of teasing fans, Leach has begun to incorporate the running game into his offense. Last year, Washington State running backs ran for a combined 1,560 yards – 114th in college football. That’s not a big deal until you realize that Wazzu ran for 478 total yards in 2014. THAT IS INSANE. Committing, even just a tiny bit, to the run game gives defenses another variable to consider.

Washington State returns their top three running backs, all of whom were efficient and logged significant playing time. At 6’0, 228 lbs, Gerard Wicks is the biggest of the group. But, while smaller, James Williams and Jamal Morrow were slightly more productive. All three catch. One of the open secrets about Wazzu’s offense is that it features heavy production from its running backs in the passing game. This should continue. Look for slightly improved numbers moving into the 2017 season.

Grade: B

@WildcatRadioAZ Projected Depth Chart:

Jamal Morrow, 5’9, 200 lb, Senior | 90 carries – 575 yards | 6.4 yards per carry | 5 td | 488 receiving yards | 5 receiving td

James Williams, 5’11, 192 lb, Sophomore | 102 carries – 584 yards | 5.7 yards per carry | 6 td

Gerard Wicks 6’0, 228 lb, Senior | 88 carries – 475 yards | 5.4 yards per carry | 11 td |184 receiving yards | 1 receiving td