The Washington State Cougars are led by senior captain Alex Brink. The 6-3,
207 quarterback is one of the top signal callers in the Pac-10. In 2006 Brink
passed for 2899 yards and was a second-team All-Pac-10 selection.
Brink has gotten off to a very fast start this year passing for 947 yards and ten touchdowns in the first three weeks. Brink's main target is senior wide receiver Michael Bumpus.
On offense the Cougars like to spread the ball around, and at this point, they already have three wide receivers with over 100 yards receiving on the year.
Against the Trojans the Washington State offense will rely heavily on Alex Brink trying to get in rhythm with short and intermediate passes.
So far this season the Cougars are averaging 160 yards rushing per game, a steady improvement from the 128 yards that they averaged in 2006. The Cougars rushing attack rests largely on the shoulders of redshirt sophomore Dwight Tardy. Tardy has been a very steady performer for the Cougars averaging just over 100 yards on the ground this season. Backing up Tardy is 5-11, 213 sophomore Chris Ivory and 5-11, 208 senior Kevin McCall.
Coming off a dominant performance in Lincoln, Nebraska the USC defensive line should be able to control the line of scrimmage and force the Cougars into third and long situations should Washington State insist on running the ball.
Replacing Jason Hill as the Cougars top playmaker is senior wide receiver
Michael Bumpus. The senior wide receiver from Culver City, California led the
Cougars with 60 receptions in 2006 and already has 22 catches this season.
At flanker, junior Brandon Gibson is another big play threat. Gibson leads the Cougars with 279 receiving yards and four touchdowns. Senior Charles Dillon starts at split end for the Cougars and has been a very consistent player thus far.
With Bumpus, Gibson and Dillon at wide receiver, quarterback Alex Brink has a very dangerous trio of playmakers to throw to. Look for the Cougars to come out throwing early this Saturday.
Senior tight end Ted Collins is a real weapon in the Cougars passing game. As a back-up in 2006, Collins had 22 catches for 306 yards and three touchdowns. So far this season Collins has 12 catches and one touchdown. Behind Collins on the depth chart is 6-5, 244 junior Ben Woodward.
The Washington State offensive line has some good experience and talent but
lacks any real depth. The Cougars return four players who started at least one
game last season. The Cougars have one of the top centers in the Pac-10 in Kenny Alfred.
The 6-2, 310 pounder was named to the preseason Remington Award Watch List. If Washington State is going to have any chance at pulling off an upset Saturday, the offensive line will have to establish a consistent running game early and keep pressure off of quarterback Alex Brink.