Idaho State 101: Bengals dial up T-Mobile

AFTER SERVING ON the WSU staff last season, coach Mike Kramer returns to Martin Stadium through the visitor's locker room this week. The Idaho State Bengals make their inaugural trip to Pullman in what the Cougars hope will be a tune up game for the start of a bowl run. Here's the breakdown…

Cougars (0-0) vs Bengals (0-0)
AT A GLANCE
KICKOFF:
2:00 pm Pacific Time

WHERE:
Martin Stadium (35,117)

TELEVISION:
none

RADIO:
The Cougar Sports Radio Network covers much of the West. Click here for listings.

THE LINE:
WSU by 27.5

LAST MEETING:
First meeting.

THE SERIES:
First meeting.

CF.C PREDICTION:
See below

THE BENGALS ON OFFENSE
Players to Know
Tavoy Moore, RB: Last year, "T-Mobile" was the do-it-all offensive weapon for the Bengals. He ran the ball 62 times for 252 yards, caught a team high 34 balls for 421 yards, and had a huge year on special teams, finishing with over 2,000 all purpose yards. This season he will be featured exclusively at running back, says Kramer. Somewhat undersized at 5-6, 193 pounds, he brings a decent burst of speed and quick feet.

Kevin Yost, QB: A promising newcomer on a young team. Yost is a JC transfer who joined the team in January. He's had success everywhere he's been, but the jump to Pac-12 -level play will be a bit of a quantum leap in difficulty.

Roderick Rumble, WR: The Oak Harbor native used to catch balls from Marshall Lobbestael. He was second on the team to Moore in catches last season and is expected to be the team's leading receiver this year.

Overview
Kramer has indicated Moore will be the featured weapon of the offense. Expect him to catch plenty of passes out of the back field and generally try to find open field. Undersized or not, it's also worth noting that Jacquizz Rodgers was about the exact same size and he left some very large footprints in the Pac-12 before leaving early for the NFL.

The other Bengal receiving targets are very tall but have limited experience with Yost.

Strategy
The JUCO game is a different world and Kramer is unlikely to try and put too much pressure on Yost this early in his career and against a Pac-12 team. Moore is the Bengals' best option and should be the primary focus of the Cougar defense. That said, Kramer fully intends to try and surprise early, and then try and win the football game at the end. His Bengals will be high energy and up tempo. The Cougars will be well served to match their pace and capitalize on mistakes from the young team.

THE BENGALS ON DEFENSE
Players to Know
A.J. Storms, MLB: The team captain was a tackling machine last season. He led the Bengals with 146 stops and 10 tackles for a loss.

Jordan Monga, NT. The Bengal senior earned honorable mention all conference honors in 2010. He's undersized at 5-11, 275 but he understands pad level and will use his leverage base to his advantage.

Overview
The defensive line and secondary are slow, undersized, and inexperienced by Pac-12 standards, but a veteran group of solid linebackers will try to hold it all together.

Strategy
If the Cougars are going to start running the ball with success in the Paul Wulff era, the 2011 season opener is the game it starts. ISU is pretty light on the defensive front and will be fairly protective of its green secondary. Mike Kramer may even invite the Cougs the run the ball regularly and then take his chances nearer to the goal line with run-blitz packages. Expect Jeff Tuel to be chomping at the bit and to shred the secondary anyway.

THE BENGALS ON SPECIAL TEAMS
For all their struggles last season the Bengals tell a good story with their special teams. They return a solid kicker and an all-conference punter not to mention the dynamic Tavoy Moore would will in all likelihood continue the success he had last year fielding kicks.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Talent is present in spots, but overall ISU is grossly outgunned in this game. Mike Kramer will have the Bengals excited and ready to play but the Cougars are bigger, stronger, faster and perhaps most importantly, really thirsty to taste success and put a whoopin' on someone. Expect a very one-sided contest on the field. Whether out of professional courtesy, or health and safety concerns, Paul Wulff, as he did in the Oregon State game last year, is unlikely to try to run up the score even if the opportunities present themselves.

CF.C PREDICTION:
Cougs 40, Bengals 7


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