Cougs earn high marks from Doba; two DEs injured

COUGAR HEAD MAN BILL DOBA said Saturday night there was little not to like in WSU's 55-21 win over Nevada. The Cougs prepare for Grambling State in fairly good health, though defensive ends Adam West and Lance Broadus are expected to miss the Seattle game. Doba singled out a number of players for their performances Friday, including a senior receiver who might have earned more PT. Also, Grambling's size and speed has Doba putting his game face on now.

In addition, Doba said fifth-year senior receiver Thomas Ostrander of Yakima, out of action since summer with a back ailment, has been in a Seattle area hospital since Thursday and will remain for at least a few more days with a possible infection.

"Tommy's hurting a little bit," said Doba.

When the problem flared up, Doba said Washington State's medical staff promptly consulted with a number of doctors and made arrangements for Ostrander to be cared for by one of best spinal doctors in the country over in Seattle. Upon his return to Pullman, the normal procedure would be for Ostrander to continue to receive treatment for another six to eight weeks, which would wipe out the rest of his season.

Adam West and Lance Broadus could both miss next week -- West suffered a concussion against Nevada and Broadus has an AC joint sprain in his shoulder. Both will be reevaluated Monday.

Tight end Cody Boyd and fullback Jacob McKinney will both see limited time this practice week and could return for Saturday's game at Qwest Field.

All in all, the Cougs are in good health for having played two games --- something Doba said is a tribute to conditioning coach Rob Oviatt and the strength and conditioning program at Washington State.

DOBA HAD TO SEARCH a little bit for things the Cougs could have improved on in their rout of Nevada, but there's always something. The perimeter blocking along the point of attack and the play of some of the defensive second stringers were two Doba mentioned. But when one of the main items is the second string defense didn't shut down the No. 1s on offense as well as hoped for, that's a pretty good deal.

"It was a good game for us to get some valuable experience," said Doba. "I wasn't unhappy with too much of anything."

Among the plethora of bright spots Doba saw -- being able to get the backups extended playing time, the play of Alex Brink, the quarterbacks in general, the play of the defensive line and defensive tackles Bryan Olson and Fevaea'i Ahmu, each of whom had a sack, Michael Bumpus's night and the special teams as a whole.

Doba said sportsmanship and the fear of injury led him to pull Bumpus, 10 yards shy of the school record for most punt return yards in a game, for the last two punts. The sophomore finished with 157 return yards.

AMONG THE ROOKIES who earned high marks from Doba, running back DeMaundray Woolridge (133 yards rushing) and wide receiver Brandon Gibson (44 yard TD reception). Another wide receiver also put a smile on the coach's face.

"I was happy to see Trandon Harvey make some catches and he's playing well," said Doba. "I think Chris Jordan's knee is still bothering him (but hopefully it's not.) It doesn't look like he's making the break as sharp as he did before... But I think Trandon Harvey deserves a little more playing time."

GRAMBLING STATE isn't sure they want to exchange tape with WSU, Doba said. The Tigers have the same staff as last year and Washington State has tape from last season so it didn't seem to concern Doba too much.

Asked if he was worried about a letdown, Doba said the Cougs better not let complacency settle in against D-IIA Grambling State. The Cougs will need to be prepared for the mammoth size of some of their linemen -- at least three offensive linemen weight over 350 pounds, including 6-foot-8, 360 pound offensive tackle Jonathan Banks. And quarterback Eugene Bruce (6-1, 260) is a budding star.

"They're going to be a big football team," said Doba. "You can't take anybody lightly."

Grambling State had a 34-0 halftime lead over Alabama A&M at press time.

The Cougs, as is their custom the day after a game, did some running Saturday. They'll take Sunday and Monday off before returning to the practice field Tuesday.

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