A BAKER'S DOZEN: Washington State

SOME OF THE numbers are hard to believe - and not in a good way if you're a Washington State fan. Thirty-one touchdowns already given up including 24 on the ground. Just 50 points scored against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. And a roster ravaged by injuries.

FIRST TIMERS AND YOUNGSTERS:  Through the first six weeks of the 2008 season, 22 WSU players have registered their first collegiate start, 14 on offense and eight on defense.  Of those twenty-two players, 19 are underclassmen, 11 on offense and eight on defense.  Additionally, five true freshmen have seen action this season: WRs Jared Karstetter and Kevin Norrell, LBs Mike Ledgerwood and Louis Bland and S Tyree Toomer.


MR. CONSISTENT:  Despite the Crimson offense averaging a conference worst 16.3 points per game All-Pac-10 WR Brandon Gibson Gibson ranks second in the Pac-10 in receptions per game (6.0), first in overall receptions (36), second in total receiving yards (460) and third in receiving yards per game (76.7).  He has caught at least one pass in 29 straight games, tied with Arizona WR Mike Thomas for longest current string in the Pac-10. 

MORE GIBSON:  Gibson is about to crack into the top three of several school records.  He needs 162 yards to become school's leading receiver, 16 receptions to move into second for career receptions, one touchdown to move into a tie for third for most receiving touchdowns.  He is currently tied for first on the WSU list for career 100-plus yard games with 11, placing him alongside his current wide receivers coach, Mike Levenseller as the only two Cougars with more than 10 100-yard receiving games.

HONORING RANDALL SIMMONS: During the 2008 season, Washington State University players are wearing “RS” on the back of their helmets, honoring the late Randall Simmons. Simmons, who played at WSU from 1976-78, was a member of the SWAT team in Los Angeles when he was killed in the line of duty, Feb. 7, 2008.

THIRD TIME'S A CHARM?:  Much like their Pac-10 green and yellow brothers to the south the Cougars have had a difficult time keeping their starting quarterbacks healthy.  Senior Gary Rodgers started out the season atop the depth chart before being knocked out with a spine fracture injury.  Junior Kevin Lopina stepped up only to he sidelined with a fractured vertebrae injury after two starts.  Redshirt freshman Marshall Lobbestael is the third quarterback to start a game for WSU this season and will be the first to make three consecutive starts this year when he takes snaps at Oregon State.

FILLING UP THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE: Through the first six games of the 2008 season, 15 of WSU’s 41 players to start a game in 2008 have combined to miss 27 games this season due to injuries - that includes an injury-riddled offensive line, which has used four different lineups through the first six games.  This past week the Cougars were without CBs Tyrone Justin and Markus Dawes, each of whom has started this season, OT Steven Ayers, who started three games earlier this year, RB Chris Ivory and LB Cory Evans, who missed his third straight start.

A COUPLE OF BRIGHT SPOTs:  Sophomore K Nico Grasu has been a bright spot for Washington State connecting on all 10 extra points and five of seven field goal attempts with both misses coming from more than 40 yards out.  The coaches say they are confident giving him a shot at a 55-yard attempt.  P Reid Forrest is tied for second in Pac-10 with nine punts downed inside the 20-yard line.   He holds a 40.0 per punt average.

A CHANCE WITH THE BIG BOYS:  Injuries have decimated the quarterbacking depth so much that Wulff recently held open campus tryouts for a walk-on spot on the team.  Freshman Peter Roberts of Woodinville High in Washington - the same high school UW great Marques Tuiasosopo went to - won the competition and will run the scout team.

ONE OF THE BEST: Redshirt junior C Kenny Alfred is on both the Rimington Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award Watch lists.  He has 25 career starts under his belt, including 10 straight, the second longest streak on the team.

STADEN IMPACT: Through the first six games of 2008, junior college transfer Chantz Staden already has 541 kickoff return yards, breaking a 38-year-old single-season record for a junior. Staden already ranks fifth on the WSU single-season list and His 25.8 kickoff return average currently ranks fifth on the all-time single-season list.

ROUGH TIMES:  WSU's offense has scored just 50 points in five games against Bowl Subdivision teams while the quarterbacks are last in pass efficiency averaging just 193.2 yards per game and throwing just six touchdowns all year.  The ground game isn't that much better averaging a measly 2.9 yards per carry.  The defense has been just as bad allowing 31 touchdowns in six games. including 24 rushing touchdowns which averages out to four a game.

A YOUNGSTER AND VETERAN: In Saturday's contest at UCLA, LB Louis Bland had his best day as a Cougar. The true freshman recorded eight tackles (seven solo) including two tackles-for-loss, in just his second start. In his two starts this season Bland has registered 11 tackles and now has 18 tackles for the season.  Senior LB Greg Trent , who has 30 consecutive starts, currently has 271 career tackles which places him 13th on the all-time list.

YOUNG GUN:  Although he has already spent eight seasons as a head coach head coach Paul Wulff at 41 years old is the 12-th youngest Football Bowl Subdivision head coach in the nation, and the youngest in the Pacific-10 Conference.  He sports a 2-2 record versus OSU.

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