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ESPN graphic: It’s Stanford vs. Washington State’s no-name defense – literally

We know Washington State’s defense has some question marks, but…

In the first quarter of Wazzu’s matchup at No. 25 Stanford, ESPN posted its usual Impact Players graphic, letting fans know which players they should keep an eye on throughout the game.

But apparently, ESPN couldn’t in good conscience endorse a Cougar defender worthy of its graphic.

While ESPN suggested Cardinal wide receivers Ty Montgomery and Christian McCaffrey were impact-worthy, it did not have a similar recommendation for Washington State’s defense, placing a question mark over a generic silhouette of a head rather than singling out a Cougar defender.

It could have been a graphical slip-up by ESPN, but we don’t think it was. Washington State surrendered 60 points in a home loss to Cal on Saturday, costing the Cougars a victory in a game in which WSU quarterback Connor Halliday broke a single-game NCAA record with 734 passing yards.

To its credit, the Cougars’ defense rebounded a bit on Friday — albeit in a 34-17 loss to the Cardinal.