Notebook from Pullman

PULLMAN -– Tight end Cody Boyd, out of action since the Arizona game, was smiling from ear to ear earlier this week –- a stark contract to starting corner Alex Teems. Indeed, the two players were seemingly going in opposite directions 24 hours ago. Boyd is still set to return to action this weekend at UCLA, and Teems was all but certain to be staying in Pullman nursing a neck sprain, or so it appeared..

Boyd ran nice routes and caught most balls thrown his way at practice on Tuesday. "It felt good to be out here again, I'm excited to play," he said, "It's good to be with the team rather than in the training room."

Troy Bienemann, the Cougars' No. 1 tight end, has been banged up the last two weeks and is still having problems with a deeply bruised shin.

Jesse Taylor has been getting the PT at tight end with Boyd and Bienemann sidelined and figures to see considerable action again in Pasadena.

Teems, meanwhile, was considered out with a sprained neck on Wednesday. Twenty-four hours later, he is feeling significantly better and will travel.

"Teems' neck finally started to loosen up to where he can turn his head a little bit, so we're going to travel him and see how he warms up," said coach Bill Doba. Twenty four hours ago, it seemed a foregone conclusion the Cougs would be without Teems, as well as wide receiver Chris Jordan. "Wednesday, we didn't think either one of them would travel but they feel a whole lot better today." Teems, like Jordan, is considered questionable for UCLA.

Wally Dada will likely start in his place Saturday and Tyron Brackenridge will rotate in. "We're gonna have a chance to see what they're all about," said secondary coach Ken Greene. The Cougs could be doing plenty of rotating due to the Southern California heat although the latest forecast hints at a chance of rain.

The Bruins have a potent corps of pass catchers in tight end Marcedes Lewis and senior receivers Craig Bragg and Tab Perry.

Quarterback Alex Brink, making the third start in his young Cougar career this Saturday, has looked good in drills this week. On Tuesday, of instance, the redshirt freshman made precision passes on multiple occasions and displayed a better command of the offense.

NOTES: True freshman quarterback Gary Rogers is expected to see his first action as a collegian this weekend.

Running back Chris Bruhn returned to action Wednesday after sitting out the last two weeks with an injury.

The Cougars 3-5 overall (1-4 Pac-10) while UCLA is 5-3 mark ( 3-2 Pac-10). A week ago the Cougars were pasted 42-12 by USC. UCLA downed Stanford 21-0.

Kickoff is at 12:30. The game will not be televised live. UCLA is a 14-point favorite.

Saturday's game will be the 51st in the series that started in 1928. The Cougars have won the last three meetings between the two teams, and four of the last five games and six of the last eight. Last year at home the Cougars prevailed 31-13. WSU's last trip to UCLA, in 2002, resulted in a 48-27 win -- a victory that clinched the Pac-10 title for WSU and a return to the Rose Bowl to face Oklahoma.

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