Yarno less than satisfied w/ OL vs. Grambling

SEATTLE –- Simply looking at the final stats, it would be hard to imagine frustration with WSU's 48-7 win over Grambling State. On an evening highlighted by Jerome Harrison's three touchdowns -- and sixth straight 100-yard game -- plus Jason Hill's two aerial scores, there seemed little to quibble with. Unless, like Bill Doba or George Yarno, you were on the sidelines dissecting every move and picking up every nuance. And in that case, Saturday's work was far from sterling.

Asked at game's end if he was pleased with the offensive line's performance, Yarno didn't mince words: "No. We have to get better if we're going to beat Oregon State."

The Cougars have a bye this week and then open Pac-10 play the following Saturday in Corvallis against the Beavers.

The O-line's work wasn't all bad, however. Harrison collected 117 yards on the ground and backup DeMaundray Woolridge surpassed 100 yards rushing for a second straight week.

But Yarno said his troops were "flat" and far from delivering on their potential, though he was pleased that the big lead allowed the entire second-unit O-line to play virtually the entire fourth quarter.

Doba said he "was happy with the win," but thought his troops "became a little lethargic, particularly at the end of the second quarter. We spoke with the kids at halftime and said you either get better or you get worse, don't remain the same. I thought we lost our focus a little bit."

Intermittent sloppy play was sprinkled throughout the night, starting with WSU's first play from scrimmage when quarterback Alex Brink fumbled the ball away deep in his own territory.

"It probably wasn't (Brink's) best game," Doba said. "He made some good throws, some good checks, but we just weren't sharp. Not that I am unhappy with the win, but we have to play better than that in the Pac-10 to survive."

There wasn't any disagreement from Brink.

"I would agree with him," said Brink, who ended the night 19 of 29 for 262 yards and three touchdowns. "We're disappointed we didn't play 60 minutes of solid football. To come out and play a solid second half was important to us."

Brink felt the offense was at times better against Grambling State than it was against Nevada the week before, and improved from the season opener against Idaho.

PRAISE FROM THE TIGERS
While the Cougars may have found holes in their game, the assessment from the Grambling side of the Qwest Field locker rooms was most complimentary.

Defensive end Jason Hatcher, whom Doba said is as good as any lineman he's seen, lauded the Cougars' offensive linemen for "staying on their blocks -- they're fundamentally sound, well coached."

"They're a great team," added Tiger QB Bruce Eugene. "The defensive line kept getting pressure on me. They're good."

Head coach Melvin Spears echoed the chorus. "They're an outstanding team. Hopefully, in the end, you'll see them in the Rose Bowl."

THE YOUTH MOVEMENT
The two recent blowouts have given younger Cougs a chance to come off the bench and shine. Woolridge has certainly taken advantage, backing up his 133 yard effort against Nevada the week before with 111 against Grambling.

"We have pretty good depth," Woolridge said. "We can do what the first string does. I wanted to break it, to tell the truth. I was looking for the seam. I wanted to go all the way this time."

Woolridge took some of his fourth quarter handoffs from third-string quarterback Gary Rogers, who didn't throw any passes.

Quarterbacks coach Timm Rosenbach said it was important to get Rogers time in an actual game situation, even without any throws.

"Anytime you get a guy reps it's good," Rosenbach said. Rogers said he was just itching to air one out, but realized the situation and just pleased to get real-game snaps."

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