Going Green

<b>KASEY DUNN</b>, WSU's assistant head coach and running backs coach, was so impressed with <b>Jermaine Green</b> during the lad's final year of junior college ball that he dubbed him the "Sandra Bullock of Running Backs." Seven weeks into the 2002 season, the 6-1, 220-pound star-in-waiting finally gets an opportunity to take center stage.

Green will make his first start for the Cougars in Saturday night's nationally televised game against struggling Arizona.

Plagued much of the year with a soar knee, Green has watched senior John Tippins and fellow JC transfer Jonathan Smith take many of the handoffs that seemed destined for his arms after flashes of brilliance during spring workouts last April.

Appearing a bit tentative when he did get a chance, he didn't exactly turn heads in that early going either.

But then came Montana State and 25 carries for 123 yards. And then that electrifying 75-yard run to paydirt against USC. And then a big-time, 45-yard TD scamper against Stanford in the last game.

In short, says Cougar head man Mike Price, Tippins has done a great job for the Cougars but Green has earned his way back to the top of the one-back offense.

Fully healthy, people close to the program say Green has what it takes to wake the echoes of the most electric Cougar back of the last 15 years: Steve Broussard. It's a unique combination of speed and power.

Rated a five-star prospect coming out of Butler CC in Kansas, Green racked up more than 1,000 yards a year ago, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. The year before that, he missed half the season with a sprained knee, but still accounted for 646 yards (108 per game) and 3 TDs despite splitting time with All-American Ronald McClendon.

Considered one of the nation's top 20 JC prospects at any position this past recruiting season, he chose WSU over Purdue, Kansas, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

Coming out of Spruce Creek High in Daytona, Fla., two years ago he appeared destined for Virginia Tech. If he stays healthy and performs the rest of the season the way most observers think he can, who knows, he could be leading the Cougars into a BCS bowl game against Virginia Tech.

Saturday's kickoff is set for 7:15 PT. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Northwest, so there will be no conflict with the World Series, which will be carried in the Puget Sound region on KCPQ channel 13.

ABC Sports says it will televise the Cougars' Nov. 2 game against Arizona State in Pullman. Kickoff will be at 12:30 p.m, with CougGrad Keith Jackson on the call.

WSU expects ABC, FOX or TBS to broadcast the Nov. 9 game against Oregon and the Nov. 23 Apple Cup.

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