Bye week? Not for coaches

THE HEAD MAN at Washington State reflects on Saturday's victory, injuries and the upcoming week. The bye comes at a good time for the Cougs. There are a few injuries that need time to heal. And while the players will be getting a few days off, that doesn't mean the coaches will be doing the same - oh, to the contrary.

As in the New Mexico game, after viewing tape on Arizona, the Cougs did better on offense than coach Bill Doba initially believed.  "We stopped ourselves a few times.  And we moved the ball better than I thought," he said. 

The Cougs' running game also improved Saturday.  "We're getting closer to breaking those long runs.  Chris Bruhn ran the ball hard, hit the line quickly," said Doba.  About Bruhn's fumble, Doba half jokingly said, "He needs to take half the man, take a glancing blow," (rather than meeting the defender head on.)

The Cougs will be off until Thursday.  Using that time to heal up will be running back Jermaine Green (ribs), who left the game in the first half and did not return.  Doba said X-rays on Green were negative, but that doesn't mean he'll necessarily be ready for Stanford. 

Doba said, as of right now, Green would be doubtful.  "He's pretty sore today," he said.  (Without getting too technical, the cartilage, where it attaches to the sternum, was injured.)

For those concerned about quarterback Matt Kegel, (slight separation of throwing shoulder), there is good news.  The senior had "full range of motion (Sunday)," said Doba.  Still, when the team resumes practice on Thursday, Josh Swogger will in all likelihood get the reps in practice for precautionary measures.  The plan is for Kegel to start throwing again on Saturday.

Both quarterbacks graded out well against Arizona.

RT Sam Lightbody (knee) gutted out the game against Arizona.  On Saturday, Lightbody "was about 65, 70 percent", said Doba.  The bye week will be a good time for big Sam to heal up.

Center Mike Shelford (neck stinger) remains in a holding pattern; waiting for that nerve to begin firing again and telling the muscle to contract.  It is not known when he will return.  Doba went on to say that after a month from when it was first injured, if the nerve is still not firing, another test will be performed, (standard procedure).  Stay tuned.

Besides the fact Shelford makes the line calls, and the communication aspect of it, "He's good," said Doba.  "He's the quarterback of the offensive line."  While Doba went on to further praise Shelford's play and ability, he also mentioned that Nick Mihlhauser has played better each week in Shelford's absence.

Doba said RB Jonathan Smith, who had 152 all-purpose yards against 'Zona, was "a little sore" on Sunday (ankle), but nothing that should keep him out against Stanford, especially with the benefit of the bye week.

Special teams play on Saturday caught the eye of the head coach.  In particular, one bone-crushing hit on a kickoff involving linebackers Aaron Wagner and Steve Dildine.  "That one hit, where the ball went flying - Wagner and Dildine; those two guys on special teams have been awesome", said Doba.

No less impressive was the performance by kicker Graham Siderius.  The redshirt sophomore boomed FIVE of his kickoffs into the end zone.  Why the sudden improvement?  An adjustment.

"We moved the plant foot a little farther away from the ball," said Doba.  Both Doba and Siderius came up with the technique change.  The result was quite noticeable against Arizona.

This coming Saturday, the coaching staff plans on having a rookie scrimmage and some individual work.  But before then, there's work to be done on the road.  "It's a bye week for the kids.  Not for the coaches," Doba said, a smile in his voice.

Doba will send the coaching staff out on recruiting this week.  "On Monday night, they'll all head to their recruiting areas, recruit on Tuesday and Wednesday, and get back here Wednesday night," said Doba.  So goes the life of a college football coach.

THE 84-YARD strike to Devard Darling tied for the fifth longest pass play in school history.  Kegel now has two of the Top 5.  Kegel's 88-yard pass to Marcus Williams against USC is No. 2 on the all-time list.

IF THE SOUND of the Victory Bell sounded sweeter than normal on Saturday, it may have been due to the fact that the Senior Editor of CF.C was ringing the bell.

JASON DAVID SET a new INT TD record with his third career touchdown.  JD is now tied for second on career interceptions with Rick Reed (1966-68) with 14.

Cougfan Top Stories