Wulff: Focus on getting a W, recruiting hard

THE COUGS HAVE a much needed bye week before facing Stanford on Nov. 1. On Tuesday, head coach Paul Wulff talked about the team's No. 1 priority for the last five games of the season. He also addressed recruiting, and said WSU's long-standing scoring streak that ended on Saturday was never something all that high on his or his staff's list.

Washington State finishes the season with three road games -- at Stanford, ASU and Hawaii, and two home contests in Arizona and Washington. A winning record over that stretch is ambitious given that the Cougs are winless in the Pac-10. But it's still Priority No. 1.

"No question the priority is to find some ways to win some games and try to come out of this with a winning record these last five games," said Paul Wulff.

On Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Washington State coaches will hit the recruiting trails, primarily focusing on Washington, California and Oregon. Cougar players will practice in the indoor facility on Tuesday and Wednesday in a session closed to the media, and then work on conditioning and weights Thursday before getting the next two days off.

THE END OF the consecutive games scoring streak, a mark that started in 1984 and ran for 280 games, has been a hot topic among Cougar fans in the wake of the 69-0 shutout vs. USC on Saturday.

Wulff, who as a four-year starting center for the Cougs in the late 1980s was part of the streak, said he didn't attach the same level of importance to it as some had.

"It's never been something I paid attention to -- it sounds like more fans and people had than I had. No, I didn't give it much thought. We just didn't. Obviously any time a streak is broken you don't like it...At this point we have bigger issues," said Wulff.

A POPULAR QUESTION the last several weeks from the media has been if the recruiting prospects for WSU this year have been hurt by the way the Cougs have lost games this season.

Wulff answered it on Tuesday in much the same way he has from the first time it was asked.

"It concerns you that some people and kids will see that from a recruiting standpoint but the kids we're recruiting aren't playing on this year's football team," said Wulff. "This year's football team is going through a new staff, new change, a tremendous amount of injuries and it's not going to be the same kind of team these new kids we're recruiting are going to come to because we are redshirting a number of players, we'll have a number of injuries back and this team will be an improved team as we move forward.

"So kids just obviously need to see through that, that we'll be an improved football team as we keep moving forward and they're not going to be part of these types of losses in the future.

ON THE INJURY FRONT, Devin Frischknecht has a high ankle sprain and will not practice this week. Wulff said it is very questionable he'd be ready in time for Stanford. The news is better on the Cougs' top two running back.

Dwight Tardy and Chris Ivory have missed the past two and three games, respectively, but will have limited practice this week with the plan that both will be able to get after it in the practice week leading up to Stanford.

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