Cougar Gameday: News and notes

JEDZILLA WILL PLAY in the final home game for Washington State, but the question on the Cougars' tight end is how much. The success of the Wazzu running backs going against the No. 1 rushing offense in the nation won't just found only in how many yards they gain. Today is the last Cougar home game for the seniors and they will be missed, says their coach, and the Iceberg cometh.

Chris Ivory looks to gets his second career start this week coming off his 15-carry, 104 yard performance against the Cardinal.

The challenge for Ivory and the Cougar o-line is simply this: Oregon State has the No. 1 rushing defense in the nation.

The Cougs, a virtual 50-50 run-pass offense over the last decade plus, have gone to the air more this season with a senior QB and deep receiving corps -- it's what they do best, says Bill Doba. Washington State this season has thrown it 58 percent of the time, with 317 rushing attempts to 439 pass attempts.

What does all that mean for the running backs?

That it won't just be the number of hashes Ivory and Kevin McCall pound out against a stout Beaver D that will measure success -- it will also depend in large part in how well they block when staying home.

Jed Collins' ankle, injured against Stanford, kept him out of practice until the Thursday session but he did some running the day before. Collins told Doba he's going to go.

"He told me he's playing," said Doba, who added he expects Ben Woodard and Devin Frischknecht to get more turns on Saturday. "It's kind of a day to day thing and we'll see how he feels when he warms up on game day..he'll play some."

Doba said d-tackle Matt Eichelberger has been practicing well and has worked himself into the d-tackle rotation.

The 6-4, 312-pound junior out of Bellingham saw his progress this season stymied when he was out a couple weeks after injuring a knee in practice before the 'SC game but "The Iceberg" could see more action over the next two weeks behind starters Fevaea'i Ahmu and Ropati Pitoitua.

Starting right cornerback Brandon Hughes, starting safety Bryan Payton and special teams player James Dockery will sit out the first half to complete a one game suspension for fighting in the Washington game. Doba said he doesn't expect much of a drop off.

"They're all juniors and experienced guys," said Doba. "...They won't have the depth obviously but I don't think it will really change them all that much. The reason we might throw it more is because of that front...We're going to do...whatever we can do best, to get some points on the board."

Twenty Washington State seniors will be honored before the kickoff on Saturday, the last home game of the Cougar careers: Romeen Abdollmohammadi, Husain Abdullah, Chris Baltzer, Christian Bass, Alex Brink, Lance Broadus, Michael Bumpus, Bobby Byrd, Jed Collins, Charles Dillon, Aaron Johnson, Ryan Kensok, Loren Langley, Kevin McCall, Matt Mullennix, Finas Rabb, Ropati Pitoitua, Scott Selby, B.T. Walker and Brian Williams.

"They become like your sons, really...there's something special about Washington State," said Doba.

NOTABLE NOTE:
The Cougar Football team took in the first half of the hoops game against Idaho to show their support for Tony Bennett's crew before going to their evening position meetings on Friday night.


Cougfan Top Stories