Wulff sounds off on blogs, message boarders

WASHINGTON STATE COACH Paul Wulff bristled at the suggestion during Thursday's teleconference that Saturday's home opener at 4 p.m. against Montana State is a "must win," particularly where it concerns online blogs and message boards.

"I think the biggest thing we tell our players and coaches is to stay off those things," he said. "Those people have no accountability or any credibility. We're building a program -- I'll say it again -- and it takes time."

Wulff then noted that WSU baseball coach Donnie Marbut did not take his team to the postseason until his fifth year and women's basketball coach June Daugherty continues to rebuild as she enters her fourth season.

"If you look at the history of what it takes to rebuild a program, it doesn't happen quickly," he said.

Wulff said his players understand that.

"Not one of them thought when they were 18 years of age ... that they were going to take Washington State to the Rose Bowl," he said.

RECEIVING IS FAR from the Cougars' biggest problem. But Wulff expects that unit to be intact on Saturday.

Both junior Jared Karstetter (concussion) and sophomore Gino Simone (hamstring) are expected to play as long as neither suffers a setback at today's practice. Karstetter was injured during Saturday's 65-17 season-opening loss, while Simone began practicing Wednesday after missing that game.

He also expects senior defensive tackle Bernard Wolfgramm (shoulder) to play -- he had been questionable but now looks more in the probable category.

Junior middle linebacker Mike Ledgerwood (stinger) remains questionable. As previously reported by CF.C, senior Hallston Higgins received the bulk of playing time at that position during Wednesday's practice.

Wulff said that senior Marcus Richmond likely would replace sophomore Jared Byers, whose season ended when he tore the medial-collateral ligament in his left knee against OSU, and sophomore Andrei Lintz and senior Chantz Staden also could see time at that position.

ONE AREA WHERE injuries are creating depth issues is on special teams. Byers was a key blocker on the punt team, and Ledgerwood also was a contributor. Wulff said the coaches still are determining who will replace them.

He also said there are no immanent changes to the starting lineup. WSU started juniors David Gonzalez (left tackle) and Wade Jacobson (left guard) and senior Micah Hannam (right tackle) in the opener, but all three have been challenged during practice this week. True freshman John Fullington played about 40 snaps at right tackle against OSU, while Tyson Pencer (left tackle) and Andrew Roxas (left guard) also were thought to be competing for starting positions.

"We're still working through a few of the offensive-line issues," Wulff said.

Wulff said the Bobcats are a veteran team that make few mistakes under fourth-year coach Rob Ash, who has a 21-14 record. He said the Cougars must execute on offense, make big plays on special teams and tackle soundly on defense.

"If you're going to beat them, you have to play awfully good," Wulff said.

Quarterback is one position where MSU lacks experience as Denarius McGhee became the first freshman to start for the Bobcats since Rob Stoltz in 1987. But McGhee completed 11-of-17 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns in a 59-10 win against Division II Fort Lewis last week.

"I think he's very athletic," Wulff said. "He's a two-way threat. He runs the ball very well and has a good arm."


  • Mike Kramer, who joined Wulff's staff as a football operations assistant, compiled a 40-43 record in seven seasons with the Bobcats. He was fired following the 2006 season after a string of drug-related arrests involving people with ties to his program.

    "I think there maybe some things he wishes he could've done different along the way," Wulff said.

    But Wulff, who was hired as an assistant coach in 1993 by Kramer at Eastern Washington, said he felt Kramer would be a strong addition to his program. Wulff succeeded Kramer in 2000 as Eastern's coach.

    "He was out of work and he's a good football coach and person," he said. "The timing was right to get him involved."

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