WSU Head Coach Paul Wulff is doing just about everything he can to lose his job.
I simply couldn’t shake that thought while watching a terrible Oregon State team whip the Cougars 44-21 Saturday night at Century Link Field.
Players certainly deserve some of the blame for their current three-game skid, but I’ll be damned if I have to sit among fellow Cougs another year and watch this team be totally outcoached by every other staff in the Pac-12.
I’m fed up. Boosters are fed up. Students are fed up.
To come out flat in a must-win game against the worst team in the conference is totally inexcusable. To readily admit in the post-game conference that they weren’t ready for Oregon State’s schemes is an embarrassment.
In his post-game interview, Wulff said the Cougars didn’t play all that poorly in a game where his defense forced one punt.
Give me a break coach.
While Wulff calls zero plays on offense or defense, his coordinators are an extension of his coaching philosophies.
Thus, he deserves blame for Chris Ball’s inability to create any sort of defensive package that effectively disguises a blitz. The Cougars haven’t registered a sack the last two games. On Saturday, Oregon State freshman quarterback Sean Mannion had 10 “Mississippis” to throw on obvious passing downs. He ended the day with 376 passing yards and four touchdowns despite struggling for much of the season.
Watching him carve up the WSU secondary made me cringe in the second half. Just imagine the damage Oregon will inflict when they play the Cougars on Saturday in Eugene.
Even though WSU’s offense has shown substantial improvement this year, offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy still deserves criticism.
On crucial plays in meaningful games, Wulff’s offensive “mastermind” consistently makes head-scratching play calls.
Look no further than how WSU’s offense begins to stall once entering the red zone. On the opening drive against OSU, the Cougars burned a timeout on fourth and two while sitting inside the Beavers’ 25-yard-line.
After talking things over, Sturdy and Co. chose to run the ball straight up the gut without any sort of lead blocker against a decent OSU run defense. Running back Carl Winston was stuffed and minutes later the Cougars were down 7-0.
Wulff is making a critical mistake by not taking more risks on offense and defense. He is coaching for the right to remain the head man at a university he loves more than anything.
Yet, on Saturdays, he stands stoically on the sidelines and watches as the Cougars fail to execute gameplans that are too conservative.
Would it kill him to throw in a few gimmick plays or a corner blitz every so often?
While these specific complaints can be fixed with a shift in philosophy, the Wulff regime is beyond repair.
The former Eastern Washington University Head Coach isn’t someone who can lead the Cougars to a Rose Bowl.
He lacks charisma. His postgame press conferences are horrific, and his constant excuses about his players being too inexperienced are falling on deaf ears.
During Wulff’s short tenure, the Cougars have had to replace their offensive line coach, defensive line coach, linebackers coach and special teams coach.
After this season, it is time to replace their head coach.