Off to 0-2 start, Wazzu faces rough road to bowl season

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Washington State made it to the postseason last year by the slimmest of margins. If the Cougars are going to make a second straight trip to a bowl game it will come in what appears to be in very unlikely fashion.

Washington State limped to a start of 0-2 last night with a Friday night loss at Nevada. The game was also a complete change of pace from a season-opening shootout loss in Seattle against Rutgers. The Wolfpack defended their home turf with a 24-13 victory, thanks in part t a 10-point fourth quarter to pull away from their visitors from the Pac-12. Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo was not particularly effective throwing the football (12-21-0, 110 yards) but he did lead all players with 100 rushing yards. Don Jackson added two more rushing touchdowns for Nevada. Washington State stayed away from the running game as they usually do, and quarterback Connor Halliday passed for 389 yards and a touchdown and was intercepted twice.

The Cougars need to hit six wins just to be eligible for the postseason, per NCAA rules. Washington State may have been banking on winning at least one of their first two games, if not both. Getting six wins is not going to be easy because Washington State plays in the same division as Oregon and Stanford. The Cougs also play Arizona, Arizona State and USC in cross-division match-ups. The way Washington State has started the year, finding three wins might be enough of a challenge at this early stage.

Washington State should get in the win column next week with a home game against Portland State, but Oregon makes a visit to Pullman the following week to begin the Pac-12 schedule.