Grid Notes: WSU

The Pac-10 season begins on Saturday. The Wildcats host Washington State in a game that is critical if the Wildcats hope to have any chance at post season play. It is a 12:30 kickoff as the Wildcats return to ABC Television.


WR Biren Ealy and DT Yaniv Barnett are probable. WR Anthony Johnson is doubtful with a minor knee injury. If Ealy plays it will be his first action of the year. He's been out since July with a stress fracture in his foot.

The Wildcats also get OL Brandon Phillips back from a three-game NCAA suspension. Phillips signed with an agent before learning that he would be granted a sixth year of eligibility.

There has been no official word if injured WSU QB Josh Swogger will be able to make the start against Arizona. CONNECTIONS

For the third straight week a Wildcat coach will have ties to the opposing team. Running backs coach Kasey Dunn was on Mike Price's staff at Alabama. Last week Mike Stoops faced Barry Alvarez, the coach who recruited him to Iowa. Two weeks ago Mike Tuiasasopo faced Utah, the team he coached for in 2003.


Stoops indicated that he would continue to use three running backs. He feels that the combination of Mike Bell, Gilbert Harris and Chris Henry. Stoops and Dunn both indicated that they like the diversity of the three backs and feel that by mixing it up they can keep the defense on their toes.

"We really like what we're doing with our backs," Stoops said.


Keith Jackson makes his return to Tucson for the first time in four years. The last time Jackson called a UA football game the Cats fell 33-25 to Washington in 1999.


Stoops was critical of the officiating and indicated that the team sent a number of video clips to the league office to point out the crew's mistakes.


The Wildcats are posting similar numbers to the 1993 ‘Desert Swarm' team. In 1993 the Cats surrendered 11.0 points a game after three contests. This year they have surrendered 11.7.


The Cats lead the series 20-12 and are 11-7 at home. The Cougars own a three-game win streak over the Wildcats.

Arizona is 16-10 in conference openers and are 9-6 when beginning the conference slate at home.

Arizona is averaging just 11.3 points a game, WSU has surrendered just 15.0 ppg.

This will be the fourth straight home game to open the season. The last time the Wildcats did that was 1981. They went 2-2 beating Cal State Fullerton and Stanford, while losing to UCLA and Cal.

WSU is 13-12 in Pac-10 openers.

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