Another change set for offensive line?

WASHINGTON STATE MIGHT be out of the doldrums -- as opposed to coach Paul Wulff's first few seasons where just about every position seemed in transition on a regular basis. But even with enhanced depth, Wulff said Thursday afternoon that one position could feature a third starter in as many games when the Cougars play their Pac-12 opener Saturday at Colorado.

Sophomore Matt Goetz likely will make his first start at center in Boulder, (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. TV: Fox College Sports Pacific, DirecTV: Channel 617, and possibly also 617-1 HD)

While Goetz mostly has played guard since signing with WSU in February, Wulff said he practiced at center in 2009 at Texas Tech and also saw some time at that position last year at Navarro College in Texas.

"Right now, Matt Goetz is taking the reps with the 1s," said Wulff. "The plan is he's going to start."

Senior Andrew Roxas started the first two games, but suffered an ankle injury during practice before the Sept. 17 game at San Diego State. Wulff said Roxas is 75 to 80 percent healthy.

Another junior-college transfer, Taylor Meighen, started in his place against the Aztecs. As previously reported by CF.C, Wulff said Meighen struggled during the 42-24 loss as senior quarterback Marshall Lobbestael was sacked six times.

Containing the rush will be a challenge again for the Cougars at CU. The Buffs (1-3) have 14 sacks, which is tied for 10th among 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams. Wulff cited Josh Hartigan (four sacks) and Chidera Uzo-Diribe (2 ½) as players WSU must contain.

"Their two defensive ends are the most active players we've seen to this point," he said, adding that CU is effective at providing pressure inside and outside. "Josh Hartigan is an excellent pass rusher."

The Cougars (2-1) ran on just 40 percent of their plays at SDSU, which makes blocking an important function in the backfield. Wulff said that is a significant reason why redshirt freshman Rickey Galvin and junior Carl Winston have earned the majority of playing time.

"It's a combination of who runs well and who blocks well," he said. "Those two guys have been the most consistent in that area."

On the defensive side, junior-college transfer Lenard Williams will get his first WSU start at d-end opposite of junior Travis Long.

Junior Adam Coerper (knee) started the first three games, but injured his knee against the Aztecs and is out this week.

While much attention has been focused on sophomore wide receiver Paul Richardson -- he had 284 yards and two touchdowns on 11 receptions on Sept. 10 against California -- Wulff is concerned about senior running back Rodney Stewart. He has 304 yards on a team-high 23 receptions.

"They're very good in their screen game," Wulff said. "(Stewart's) quickness and speed is a little bit scary. We've got to tackle him well."

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Wulff said redshirt freshman Kristoff Williams, who suffered a bruised left knee during fall camp, now is healthy and he expects the wide receiver's role to grow.

  • Once Texas A&M announced it was leaving the Big 12 to join the Southeastern Conference next season, there were reports that Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and possibly Texas and Texas Tech would move to the Pac-12. But after adding CU and Utah to the conference this year, Wulff said he is "very happy" no further additions were made.

    "I just didn't know if we were ready to take that big of a jump," he said.


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