Cougar Football Notebook

WHEN JEFF McQUARRIE produced his remarkable feature film on the colorful history of Washington State football, he devoted a segment to great players who starred for the Cougs when the Ws were few and far between. Bernard Jackson and Jerome Harrison were among those featured. After this season of woe, I think two more names could qualify for the list. Brandon Gibson obviously is one of them.

Middle linebacker Greg Trent is the other.

The 5-11, 231-pound fourth-year senior from Keller, Texas, plays with unbridled passion, no matter what the scoreboard reads, and he's productive as all get out. He leads the Cougars with 65 tackles this season and ranks No. 10 on WSU's all-time tackles list, with exactly 300 stops.

He'll likely move past Ron Childs (1991-94) and Artie Holmes (1985-88) on the career ladder this weekend at Arizona State. Trent has a shot at cracking the top five on the career list, but would need to average 12 tackles per game over the final three to do it.

No. 1 on the all-time tackles list is Lee Blakeney (1980-84) with a breathtaking 524 stops -- 84 more than the No. 2 guy (Anthony McClanahan, 1990-93).


As for Gibson, he needs just four catches this weekend to pass the legendary Phantom of the Palouse, Hugh Campbell, for No. 2 on WSU's career receptions list. Gibson has made 173 catches over the last four years and has a shot at top cat Michael Bumpus, who concluded his crimson career with 195 receptions.

A few weeks back, Gibson supplanted Campbell for the No. 2 spot on WSU's career receiving yards list and needs just 34 more hashes to move by Jason Hill into the No. 1 spot.

Despite the Cougars' offensive ineptitude this season, Gibson has so far racked up 48 catches for 587 yards. He's also dropped a number of balls. The reason, according to those close to the program, is pretty simple: Given the offense's inability to score, Gibson feels like he needs to turn every touch into something big.

No matter how sluggish the Cougar offense is, though, Gibson's pro status remains solid. NFL draft guru Mel Kiper last week called Gibson the most underrated offensive player in the nation. "I like guys who deal with adversity," Kiper told ESPN's Hannah Storm. "The stats are down (this season) but Brandon Gibson, wide receiver at Washington State, can get it done and the NFL has their eye on him."

Gibson, the Pride of Puyallup, considered leaving school early for the NFL after last season and decided to come back when scouts told him he'd be a fourth- or fifth-round selection. currently rates him the No. 7 receiver in the upcoming draft and a third-round pick. ranks him No. 97 on its overall list of draftees.


• McQuarrie, the filmmaker, recently produced a 57-minute-long version of his three-part, six-hour documentary "Legends of the Palouse." The short version includes dozens of colorful tales that weren't included in the original. To order this new film -- or the original three-part masterpiece, for that matter -- click to LEGENDS OF THE PALOUSE. While you're there, be sure to note the memorabilia Jeff has on sale that would make great holiday gifts for the Cougars on your list. The autgraphed replica helmet from 1972 is especially enticing.

• WSU's loss to Arizona on last Saturday dropped the Cougs to 1-9 for the first time since 1969. A loss this weekend to ASU would make them 1-10 for the first time since 1970. In case you missed it, CF.C recently visited with Jim Sweeney, the coach of those two dreadful Cougar teams of yesteryear, to get his insights on Paul Wulff's burden. Here's the link: Sweeney knows Wulff's pain.

• Kickoff for this Saturday's WSU-ASU game in Tempe will be 2:30 Pacific Time. No TV coverage is planned. Of note: Cougar coach Paul Wulff played under ASU coach Dennis Erickson when Erickson was at WSU from 1987-88. The 3-6 Sun Devils are 36 ½-point favorites.

• The Apple Cup on Nov. 22 will be televised by FSN with a noon start time from Martin Stadium. It will mark the 101st meeting between the Cougs and Dawgs. WSU has won three of the last four.

• USA Today recently ran a fun little piece on the beloved Ol' Crimson flag. Here's the link: 'Game Day' flag is worth salute.

• Paul Wulff's rebuilding plan at WSU has not escaped national notice. ESPN recently fired up this story about it all: 7 way to turn it around.

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