Hill to jog Wednesday and hope for Saturday

STAR RECEIVER JASON HILL said Monday he is out of the protective boot shielding his high ankle sprain and will start jogging Wednesday. What the week holds and whether the senior captain will be able to play in the Apple Cup remains to be seen. Hill also weighs in on "must win" games plus the pressure to come out on top in a rivalry game that also holds bowl implications for the Cougs.

Jason Hill Michael Bumpus Hill said he thought Bumpus was also out of his boot but couldn't say for sure. For his part, Hill said the litmus test for whether he can play Saturday is a relatively simple one.

"I'm working towards it, there is no 'plan' right now," said Hill. "I have to be able to run, not jog, not walk, I have to be able to run. It's been getting better but it's a little weird walking without the boot...I'm still going to do what's best for me. Like I said if I can run, I'm going to play. If I can't run, I'm not going to play."

Players and coaches generally stay away from the term "must win" but with the regular season finale, that the Cougs' bowl hopes could depend on getting to seven wins and the amount of pressure and significance attached to the Apple Cup, Hill said the game against Washington is exactly that.

"The feeling (Sunday) was we have to win this game," said Hill. "You know, the coaches are feeling pressure, the players are feeling pressure from everywhere. It's time to win."

That pressure Hill talked about is coming from a variety of angles, he said.

"From everyone," said Hill. "From the players. From player to player, from coach to coach, from player to coach, from coach to player. From the media and you guys, from everyone. From alumni. It's a lot of pressure.

"The last couple of years we struggled...And this season, we've been really close to doing something great. And I hear that word a lot: 'close'. All last year, this year, about us being close. Close doesn't quite cut it. In some instances, close it's okay because you learn and you draw positives from it. But right now, close isn't good enough.

Asked to explain the last two losses to Arizona and ASU, teams Washington State was favored against, Hill pointed squarely at the injury list.

"Guys are getting more beat up and more beat up," he said. "Guys are injured, it's killing us not having a bye week...I understand that this is football and that everybody is banged up but everyone's not injured (on other teams) -- our team has a lot of people injured. It's hard when you look to your left and you look to your right and there's a guy that's not normally there."

Washington State will go for their third straight win over Washington this week, something that has never been done.

"Coach Doba brought that up to us...we could be the first to win three in a row," said Hill. "That's huge."

NOTABLE NOTES AND QUOTES:
  • The complete medical update is due out later today. Among the items of import will be news on Scott Davis. The senior linebacker's initial X-Rays on his wrist were inconclusive. DT Aaron Johnson injured his other elbow against ASU and did not return, while receiver Chris Jordan re-injured his knee.
  • Hill looked at the film on offense Sunday and said the effort was there, but consistency was not. "Offensively it didn't look that bad, guys were trying, guys were trying to make plays, it just got ugly early. It was just collectively mistakes being made at kind of crucial times. It was just all over the board."

  • Hill said he listened to the first five minutes of the game with his mom, who came up last weekend and will stay through the Apple Cup, but found it too difficult to listen to the game. "That made it (harder) than listening to how the game was going...It's just hard listening to it on the radio, I'm a player, not a fan, I love to be there."

  • "This game means a lot more now. We've put ourselves in position where we have to go out and fight..and come out on top in this game."

  • Reporter: Is the confidence, it has to be down a couple levels after...
        Hill: Yeah, I think the confidence is down, but guys have got to pull through. There's bumps in every road. It's just about how you respond.


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