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ASU Football: First look at Washington State

What do the Washington State Cougars bring to the table?

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils hit the road this weekend for a matchup in Pullman against the Washington State Cougars. Mike Leach had his squad within a field goal of topping No. 8 Stanford last week as he continues to turn around the Washington State program. Here is your first look at the Cougars.

Head Coach - Mike Leach

The former Texas Tech head man is in his fourth season as the head coach of Washington State. Leach holds a 17-28 record at Washington State and a career record of 101-71 as he took the Red Raiders to a bowl game in each of his 10 seasons their as head coach.

After going 3-9 in his first season in Pullman, Leach led the Cougars to a bowl game in 2013 after a 6-6 regular season. Washington State fell 48-45 to Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl. Just when it seemed as if the Cougars were making progress under Leach, WSU went 3-9 last season and dropped their season opener in 2015 to Portland State.

However, the Cougars won five of their next six games including wins over Oregon and Arizona on the road. Washington State had a chance to beat No. 8 Stanford at home last week, however kicker Erik Powell missed a 43-yard field goal as time expired and the Cardinal survived.

Washington State currently sits at 5-3 and tied with Oregon for second place in the Pac-12 North.

Quarterback - Luke Falk

Falk broke onto the scene late in 2014 after an injury to Connor Halliday. The redshirt sophomore threw for over 1,800 yards and 13 touchdowns in the last four games of 2014, including throwing for over 600 yards against ASU (although he did throw four interceptions).

Falk hasn't missed a beat this season, tossing 28 touchdowns and throwing for 3,239 for a quarterback rating of 149.4. He has thrown for at least 300 yards in seven straight games and has thrown for at least 500 yards twice already this season.

Key Defensive Players

Defensive Lineman Darry Paulo - The redshirt senior from Sacramento leads the Cougars with five sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss.

Safety Shalom Luani - The Cougars only have seven interceptions as a team this season and Luani has three of them. The junior is second on Washington State with 59 total tackles and he has also forced two fumbles, broken up four passes and recovered a fumble.

Linebacker Peyton Pelluer - The redshirt sophomore leads the Cougars with 67 total tackles, including seven tackles for loss. Pelluer has also broken up two passes, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble.

Team Stats

Pac-12 Rank
Scoring Offense 35.4 PPG 7th
Scoring Defense 30.9 PPG 8th
Rushing Offense 90.8 YPG 12th
Rushing Defense 206.6 YPG 11th
Passing Offense 407.4 YPG 1st
Passing Defense 205.4 YPG 1st
Total Offense 498.1 YPG 3rd
Total Defense 412.0 YPG 7th