COUGAR NOTEBOOK: Injury update and more

WASHINGTON STATE COACH Paul Wulff ran down a list of injured Cougars on Thursday, some of whom will play and some who will sit out the tilt against Oregon State. One starter who will be available hasn't played since Baylor. Meanwhile, Wulff said film study for the coaches is becoming more and more enjoyable of late.

"It's been a good week...Tuesday and Wednesday were good practices. We turn on the film and we see flashes of improvement...It's fun to come to work when you know that's the approach and that's what is going on," said Wulff.

The injury picture is not an overly bright one this week, however. The Cougs could be starting the No. 3 running back on the depth chart against OSU. Starter Dwight Tardy is "banged up", said Wulff and is questionable. Backup Chris Ivory (hamstring) is definitely out.

Elsewhere, OG Steven Ayers (neck/shoulder) is out.

Wulff said he's hopeful WR Daniel Blackledge (shoulder) will be back for Saturday.

Cornerbacks Tyrone Justin and Markus Dawes should play Saturday after messing the UCLA game, though Wulff said he thinks they'll be back "to a limited amount" against Oregon State. MLB Mike Ledgerwood (hamstring) should also be available this week.

OLB Cory Evans (hamstring), who started the first three games but has been out since Baylor, has been cleared to play but may not start. Myron Beck has played well in his absence, said Wulff, and Evans is still getting back into the flow after missing three weeks.

"He's a little rusty and Myron is still competing and playing. The bottom line is whoever is playing the best as we keep moving forward is going to get the opportunity to play the most. Myron did a pretty good job this last week and Cory has been out, we'll see what happens when Cory gets 100 percent healthy," said Wulff.

If Blackledge, Justin and Tardy don't start, a quick check of the depth chart and previous game's starters points to -- at running back, Chantz Staden, followed by Logwone Mitz. At right corner, Dawes is No. 2 behind starter Justin, with the No. 2 left corner Devin Giles.

Jared Karstetter moved over from his No. 2 X receiver spot to start last week when Blackledge couldn't go at the Z, with Marcus Richmond also listed as the No. 2 Z receiver on the depth chart.

DE Mike Graise isn't listed on the depth chart but Wulff said he'll play.

"He's always been a little nicked up..the plan is that he'll play. He's been in and out of the depth chart because he's been injured," said Wulff.

DE Andy Mattingly has also been fighting his way through injuries this season.

"It's been tough for him, he's been a little nicked up. But the plan is he'll play quite a bit," said Mattingly.

THIS WEEK IN practice, James Montgomery has played the primary role of OSU running back Jacquizz Rodgers on the scout team, along with Joe Campbell. "Quizz" is a unique back and is highly adept at turning his shoulders and making himself skinny in traffic, said Wulff.

"(Montgomery) has done a really good job...he's given us a really, really quality look...but it's tough to emulate someone like that," said Wulff.

WULFF SAID HIS picks for players of the half year would be Kenny Alfred on offense, with Brandon Gibson a close runner up, and Greg Trent, with Matt Mullennix right there as well, on defense.

"It's hard (to choose) because there are other kids who could be there too," said Wulff.

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