Time to Travel

With the regular season over, and the Cougs awaiting word on which Bowl they will play in, recruiting now takes center stage. The head man at Washington State discusses his schedule, the Apple Cup and what coaches and players will be doing between now and the Bowl game. There's also an injury update - and one of the injuries is not good news at all.

Some players will use this week and most of next to heal up.  Unfortunately, it appears WR Chris Jordan will need more time than that to come back from his injury.

"They think it might be an ACL (tear), they'll do an MRI this week.  We watched it this morning on tape and nobody hit him.  He just made a cut and you could see that knee wobble and that's (usually) a bad sign.  As he was going down he dropped the ball and I don't blame him, I would've too," coach Bill Doba said on Sunday.

If it does turn out to be an ACL tear, Jordan is obviously out for the Bowl game.   And Doba said he might be out for Spring Ball as well; it depends on what the MRI shows.

There were the usual assortment of "bumps and bruises" after Saturday, but everyone else is expected to be available for the postseason.

"Al Genatone re-injured his ankle a bit, couldn't go in the second half.  And Don Jackson missed that last series with a hip pointer."

"Matt Kegel was pretty sore - and he just looked out of sorts.  He wasn't really bringing that arm through in his throwing motion so we thought it best to go with Josh Swogger." 

But I think he'll be ready for the bowl game, he'll get a good two weeks rest.  That'll give him a chance to get back in the groove again."

Jermaine Green's status for the Bowl game will not be determined until the players return.  Doba declined to discuss the nature of the violation on Sunday.

"We'll talk to Jermaine when the team (returns).. but right now, he's suspended.  He violated a team rule.  He didn't break the law or anything, he just violated a rule."

WITHIN 24 HOURS after the regular season came to a close, coach Doba had already sent the majority of his assistants out on the road.  They're getting in place for the last two days of this Evaluation Period. 

Coaches Mike Levenseller, Timm Rosenbach and Doba were in the office on Sunday, and will remain in Pullman this week.

"Coach Levy, Rosie and I are in this week.  The rest of the coaches are (already) gone."

"This is an evaluation period, we've got two days left so we're going to evaluate Monday and Tuesday.  They'll come home Tuesday night, and they'll be here Wednesday and Friday," said Doba. 

Then the following week, after Thanksgiving, is the first week coaches can make home visits - and Doba will be out on the recruiting trail himself.   "We'll leave on Saturday (the 29th) and start making the home visits on Sunday.. The coaches will be on the road, and I'll be on the road." 

"So I'm going to leave Saturday (the 29th), and we'll be on the road Sunday through Thursday.  Back on Friday (Dec. 5th).  So we'll probably not practice until that Friday," Doba said.

REGARDING THE APPLE Cup loss, Doba said there were quite a few key plays that fell under the ‘What if..' category but it doesn't do a lot of good to dwell on it.

"I thought both teams at times played pretty well, and at times were pretty sloppy - offensively..  It was a disheartening loss. We tried to give it to them, they tried to give it back, and eventually they took it (in the end).. I thought both defenses played hard."

Doba expects the Cougs to bounce back, as they have all year.  "That old saying, ‘Time heals all wounds'..  Of course, we were pretty low after the ballgame." 

"But it wasn't a bunch of guys crying, throwing a bunch of things around.  They were very professional - And angry.  They were (angry) after our other two losses too.  And I think that's a good sign."

"We've still got a lot to play for.  We still can win 10 ballgames."

ONE PLAYER WHO shined in the losing effort was D.D. Acholonu.  "I thought he was outstanding," said Doba. 

"In fact, he'll be our nominee for Pac-10 Player of the Week defensively.  He had five tackles for loss, three sacks, and a fumble recovery.  I thought he had an excellent ballgame."

"We had expected him to (perform as well as he has but) he has improved as the season has gone on.  He's a special kid.. he has a lot of natural strength.  He hasn't played a lot of football, he only played about a year and a half in high school and he didn't redshirt here." 

"If some NFL team gives him an opportunity, I think he could develop into quite a football player (for them)."

BUT BEFORE ANY of that takes place, a 9-3 regular season record still means a top flight bowl game for D.D. and his teammates.  And its important to note the practices afforded a bowl team are highly beneficial to the development of next year's squad.

"For the young kids, we've got an "extra" Spring Ball, we've got a good 8-9 practices (at home before leaving for the Bowl game) that we can really work with the guys that are coming back.   And we'll keep the seniors sharp - We'll work (the seniors) lighter, not as many reps, but we'll do enough that they stay at the top of their game," said Doba.

"It sounds like it might be the Holiday Bowl, and that's a great Bowl.  That's a lot of fun down in San Diego, our kids will have a good time."

Until the BCS announces their selections, the other bowls cannot make an official announcement.  If it is indeed the Holiday Bowl, Washington State has already let their officials know the Cougs will need more tickets than the initial allotment - that's pretty much already spoken for through pre-sales.

BUT A MAJOR focus, with the regular season now over, lies in recruiting.  And this is shaping up to be a great year for the Cougs, regardless of the season-ending loss.

"Recruiting has been going well!  I don't think (the loss) helps us, but its been going well," Doba said. 

"We've got several kids who have committed verbally, in fact we're getting full.  Some are wanting to commit, we're waiting on others - and that's a touchy thing.

"Because you want to wait for this guy, cause he's a little bit better, but this other guy you can get now.  Then if you don't get the first guy, and you lose the second guy who wanted to commit, then you have a hole." 

"But recruiting is going very well."

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