Cougar Chalk Talk: Looking into the ‘what-ifs’ of Saturday’s game

PULLMAN, Wash. — Three days after a season-opening loss to Utah State, Washington State football players, coaches and fans are asking the question, what if? 

What if the team didn’t miss a field goal in the first half?  What if they were able to score a touchdown late in the game from inside the Utah State five-yard line?  As it turns out, there were missed opportunities for the Cougars to score plenty of points and put the Aggies away, avoiding the upset.

While the Cougars only scored 23 points in the loss Saturday night, it’s not like they couldn’t get the ball into Utah State territory.  As it turns out they left a lot of points on the field.

Redshirt Sophomore Kicker Dean Janikowski attempted four field goals, making three of those.  All of those kicks were attempted while the ball was within the Utah State 25-yard line or better.  So if the Cougs were able to get into the end zone instead of settling for the attempts, they could have potentially scored 19 more points than they finished with.

Converting on 3rd and 4th down was also a major issue for the Cougars on Saturday night. While Utah State was 6/15 on 3rd down conversions, the Cougars were just 3/11.  On fourth down the Aggies went 2/2 and the Washington State did not attempt to go for it once.  They also made five trips to the red zone, only one of those resulted in a touchdown.

“I love Dean, I love all our kickers, but we need to get the extra point opportunities and not four field goal opportunities when we’re in the red zone,” said Head Coach Nick Rolovich.

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