Midseason report: Washington State

Washington State

Record: 2-5, 0-4

Things have not gone to script in Pullman, Wash., so far this season. Maybe it was us for thinking that Mike Leach was going to be able to turn things around so quickly. After all, the pieces were in place -- or so we thought.

But those pieces have been jumbled and scrambled in an effort to find the right combination. And the most important piece of the Leach offense -- the quarterback -- has been a constant point of contention as neither Connor Halliday nor Jeff Tuel seem able to keep the job.

Worth noting, however, that Tuel has the better numbers.

They've given up too many points on defense and not scored nearly enough on offense. That's a recipe for disaster.

The Air Raid offense has twice been kept out of the end zone this season -- the Cougars failed to score a touchdown in the season opener against BYU, and again in a loss to Oregon State. We suspected that the defense would take longer to come around than the offense -- simply because Leach had Tuel, Marquess Wilson and a cast of other solid wide receivers to work with. But you could probably make a case that the defense has been more consistent than the offense.

Either way, there is much work still to be done on both sides of the ball for a team that is still searching for a Pac-12 victory.

Offensive MVP, Marquess Wilson: Despite the drops and early season sour attitude, Wilson has still been the most productive offensive player. He's hauled in 38 balls for 640 yards and a team-high five touchdowns -- which includes an 81-yard touchdown reception.

Defensive MVP, Travis Long: One of the league's most underappreciated players, Long has been a real bright spot for the Cougars' defense. In making the switch from defensive end to the hybrid linebacker, or "buck" linebacker, Long is fourth in the conference in sacks (seven of them solo), and eighth in the conference with 11 tackles for a loss.