PULLMAN--A number of questions surround the Cougar offense with the No. 16 Oregon Ducks about to roll into town. Coordinator Mike Levenseller sheds light on some of those issues including the topics of offensive confidence and execution, who could take over for injured holder and backup QB Gary Rogers if the sophomore can't play and if freshman quarterback Cole Morgan is ready for the No. 2 spot.
Morgan looks to be the back-up to Alex Brink
if No. 2 Rogers (AC joint sprain, shoulder) is held out for Saturday's contest.
"He just needs to keep working," Mike Levenseller
said of Cole Morgan
. "He hasn't had a lot of reps, hasn't had a chance to see a lot. He'll clean up more and more when we get there."
The 6-2, 198 pound freshman out of Seattle looked fairly comfortable in the pocket during Wednesday's session.
Levenseller said there was no medical update on Rogers, who watched nearly all the session from the sidelines. More could be known later today.
If Rogers doesn't suit up Saturday, the Cougs would also need a new holder on field goal attempts for kicker Loren Langley
. Punter Darryl Blunt
is among the candidates.
"We're looking at several guys-Blunt is a good holder. Bump (WR Michael Bumpus
) and Blunt can hold, Cole Morgan can hold, they are all good enough," Levenseller said.
Since Saturday's 21-3 loss to Cal, head man Bill Doba
, Jason Hill
and Brink have all pointed to offense's recent red zone woes as an issue of execution, and not one of confidence. The Cougars finished the day with three trips inside the Bears 20-yard line, but came away with only 3 points.
Levenseller was succinct on Wednesday, reiterating that the unit's confidence is not the issue.
"It's just execution, it's just executing the play," Levenseller said. "Make the catch, make the throw, and make the block. That's all it is."
As Doba said they would earlier in the week, the offense has spent extra time in red zone drills Tuesday and Wednesday.
In addition to Rogers, there could be injury updates today on tight end Cody Boyd (ankle), wide receiver Chris Jordan (knee), and Hill, who continued to practice Wednesday in a no-contact jersey. Hill has an AC joint sprain, but is expected to play against the Ducks. Doba earlier this week said Jordan is out for Oregon, and that Boyd was not expected back this week either.
Although cold and rainy on Wednesday, the forecast for Saturday's game is mostly sunny with a game-time temp expected in the upper fifties.
Washington State senior defensive end Mkristo Bruce, who leads the nation in sacks, is one of 12 finalists for the Lombardi Award recognizing the nation's top college lineman or linebacker. Bruce is the only finalist from the West Coast. Four finalists will be announced in November.