Updated Apr 11, 2012 - 3:46 pm
ESPN's Ted Miller likes WSU's bowl chances in 2012
Ted Miller's recent conversation with Steve Sandmeyer and Jim Moore should be of interest to Washington State fans hoping to see the Cougars in a postseason game for the first time since 2003.
Miller, who covers Pac-12 football for ESPN.com, thinks Washington State will reach the six-win threshold to become bowl-eligible in Mike Leach's first season.
"I don't think they can make much more of a jump because I still think they have questions on the lines and the defense, but I think they're going to get to a bowl game," Miller said.
Below is a sampling of Miller's thoughts on Washington State.
Linebacker concerns. Leach has dismissed starters Sekope Kaufusi and C.J. Mizell following separate arrests since last season. With Alex Hoffman-Ellis graduating, the Cougars aren't returning any of their starters. Miller: "That's not a really good recipe when you also have questions on the defensive line. They're adopting a 3-4 defense so they even need more linebackers. So I think the defense is going to struggle to keep up."
Jeff Tuel's development. Miller said that while senior Jeff Tuel possesses NFL talent, he doesn't have the accuracy that Leach typically likes in a quarterback. Tuel, who will compete with sophomore Connor Halliday, has completed just under 60 percent of his passes during his three-year career. Miller: Maybe he's going to develop that in Leach's system, which is a more controlled passing game."
Leach was a 'great' hire. Miller called Leach's hiring "great" and said he is the "perfect" coach for Pullman, citing the success Leach had while coaching in a similarly remote environment in Lubbock, Texas. Miller said Leach's personality should remind some fans of former Washington State coach Mike Price. Miller: "I think people like the quirkiness. I think that will play well and get attention for a school that sometimes doesn't get [it]."
You can listen to Miller's conversation with Moore and Sandmeyer here.
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