The Washington State Cougars are looking to make serious strides in year two under Mike Leach in 2013 and a big part of that will be opening up the offense and scoring more big plays down the field in the passing game. While WSU nearly set the school record for passing yards and completions last season, they finished 2012 with just 56 plays of 20 yards or more, which is one fewer than the 2011 Cougars had under former coach Paul Wulff. Can Dominique Williams take the top off defenses in 2013?
He certainly flashed that kind of ability in 2012. During his freshman season, Williams led the team with a 16.06 yards per catch average as he hauled in 34 passes for 546 yards with three touchdowns. He spent most of the year without a significant role in the offense, but once Marquess Wilson finished his unceremonious departure from the program, Williams flourished. In Wazzu’s final three games last season, Williams caught 18 passes for 303 yards and two touchdowns.
That kind of performance could make him a favorite for the Washington State passing game when they stretch the field next fall. Defenses will have their hands full with a deep receiving corps for the Cougars, making it more difficult to shift safety help to the deep threat. Gabe Marks has been turning heads all offseason with the work he has put in to be a dynamic pass-catcher and will attract plenty of defensive attention in 2013, opening up the deep routes for Williams.
Having that kind of deep threat could be the missing ingredient that gets the WSU offense on track. Leach’s most successful teams have been ones that attack down the field. If Williams emerges as the burner that he appears to be, then the Cougars passing attack could take off in 2013.