| Cougars (2-5) vs Bruins (5-2)|
AT A GLANCE
3:30 pm Pacific Time
What can be said is that Mattingly, in addition to a penchant for sacks, has made good use of his time on the field. He's racked up 26 tackles in the last two games, both of them coming as starts.
He is also the Cougs' second leading tackler this season, with 48 tackles (22 solo and 9 for loss) with a pair of forced fumbles.
Mattingly has either six or seven sacks depending on which official stats you read, Washington State's or the NCAA's. WSU counts an assist as half a sack, the NCAA counts an assist as a full sack.
Regardless of all the figures, there's much that goes into the making of a good linebacker that can't be quantified on a stat sheet and Mattingly has certainly opened some eyes this year in that regard.
Monday, Mattingly ran with the first team defense during practice and after the session, Bill Doba indicated the sophomore will definitely get a good amount of playing time Saturday.
Not unexpectedly, Doba stopped short of naming Mattingly a starter against UCLA, the defensive coordinator preferring to keep his cards close to the vest, similar to how he kept mum on the Cougs' defensive plan against Oregon during that practice week.
"This is Monday, and we've got a long way to go before we play the ballgame," Doba said.
ONE STARTER WHO will return to action on Saturday after missing the Oregon game is Brandon Gibson (heel). The Cougar receiver participated in full contact drills on Monday, and was the recipient of an Alex Brink bomb.
Backup receiver Keith Rosenberg, who just recently returned after missing about a month due to a knee injury, went down hard on the turf and was helped off by trainers.
Sitting out practice on Monday were Micah Hannam, Christopher Ivory, Nick Cantlon, Alfonso Jackson and Mike Graise. Hannam did run and was lifting during practice, and hasn't been ruled out. If the starting right tackle can't go, it's likely guard Bobby Byrd will move outside with true freshman Andrew Roxas coming in at guard.
WASHINGTON STATE at 2-5 is in dire need of win and a breakout game on offense would go a long ways towards achieving that objective. Washington State has frustrated UCLA of late, winning five of the last six games. In 2006, Alex Brink went 28-38 for 405 yards and 3 TDs in the Cougs' 37-15 win in Los Angeles.
That might, however, be a tall order this season against a stout UCLA defense. The Bruins are also surrendering but 79.6 rushing yards a game. Doba said he expects Saturday a more physical defense that the Cougs have yet gone up against.
"Defensively, they're much better and more aggressive then they've been in the past," said Doba.
Co-captain and free safety Husain Abdullah said everyone in the locker room is on the same page.
"We've got to finish strong," Abdullah said. "We just gotta go 1-0 this week. That's all that matters."
J.V. Holland contributed to this report.