Cougar Chalk Talk: Limiting turnovers is the key to a win over USC

PULLMAN, Wash. — There are not many people who thought a month ago, that the Washington State Cougars would be 4-1 at this point in the season. 

But here we are, two wins from bowl eligibility and in the thick of the conference race. However, their play hasn’t been as clean as the coaches would have liked as turnovers have plagued the offense time and time again this season. 

That is what has got to change if they want to beat USC this week.

After turning the ball over just 18 times last year, the 2022 Washington State Cougars are on pace to blow that statistic out of the water by season’s end. But, just how bad have they been at protecting the ball this year?

In each of the first five games, the offense has coughed it up at least twice and hasn’t won the turnover battle a single time. The defense has only been able to get eight takeaways themselves, which is also down from 2021. 

So, to be sitting with a positive record at this point is quite remarkable.

“Our turnovers margin, to be 4-1 and to be probably the last in the league in the turnover margin, it’s going to be hard to continue that success,” said Head Coach Jake Dickert. 

“For a quarterback, it’s ball security, it’s job security. I live by that every day and that’s something that I didn’t do today, so just clean things up in the film room,” said Cam Ward. 

The team has their work cut out for them. They’ll be studying film this week as they prepare to go up against a USC team that has been absolutely dominant in this category, forcing 15 turnovers on defense, and allowing just one of the offensive side of the ball.

In order for the Cougs to stay in the game, Cam Ward and company will have to stay out on the field and not force, like we’ve seen so far. 

If we see more of this, maybe, just maybe they can pull off the upset win.