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Brock Huard shares why he can’t wait to call No. 8 WSU’s game at Colorado

Gardner Minshew and WSU "attack all 53 yards of the field," Brock Huard says. (AP)

The No. 8 WSU Cougars survived an upset bid by Cal on Saturday night, escaping with a 19-13 win thanks to quarterback Gardner Minshew’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Easop Winston Jr. inside the final minute.

Now the 8-1 Cougs take their longshot crusade to make the College Football Playoff to Colorado this Saturday, where they will battle a Buffaloes team that started the year with five straight wins but is now at risk of losing its fifth straight.

Our own Brock Huard will handle color commentator duties for ESPN’s broadcast of WSU’s trip to Colorado, and he already got a jump on his preparation for the game on Sunday night. As Huard explained on the Blue 42 segment of Monday’s Brock and Salk show, he’s especially excited to get a chance to see head coach Mike Leach’s Cougars up close.

“As I was studying it last night, it was so refreshing just to see Leach’s system and the beauty of it,” Huard said. “It’s kind of like the Seahawks’ defense – ‘Well, the Seahawks just run Cover 1 and Cover 3 and they’re just so simple.’ That narrative is so misguided – ‘Well, all Mike does is throw the ball, and it’s just Air Raid, it’s this and that.’ But then when you actually study it and you see that on every play the discipline they have to attack all 53 yards of the field.

“I sent some screenshots last night to our guys back in Bristol (the ESPN headquarters in Connecticut) to put together some video how when (Minshew) throws the ball, the number of times that every sector of the field all the way across it has somebody occupying it. You’re stressing and challenging the defense on every single play, man. There’s a lot of beauty to behold there, and I can’t wait to get an up-close look at it.”

While Minshew has a great story, becoming a Heisman Trophy candidate at WSU as a graduate transfer following time at East Carolina and Northwest Mississippi Community College, Huard hopes to highlight what makes him such a special talent on Saturday’s broadcast.

“I’d really like to focus on some of the incredible things he’s doing. No. 1, fundamentally, how sound he is. No. 2, how quickly that ball gets out of his hand,” Huard said.

Something else worth mentioning is a WSU defense that has made big improvements under new defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys.

“And oh, by the way, a defense (under) Tracy Claeys that is making due with parts that the rest of college football would say ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ (is one of the) huge reasons why this team’s 8-1,” Huard said. “Can’t wait to tell that story Saturday in Boulder.”

You can listen to the full Blue 42 segment in this podcast from Monday’s edition of Brock and Salk.

Coverage of WSU’s game at Colorado will be on 710 ESPN Seattle beginning with the pregame show at 10:30 a.m. and kickoff at 12:30 p.m. Visit throughout the week for more on WSU’s game at Colorado.

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