The Cougars Growl–A Look Into Washington State

Posted by: Avinash on Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

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People might recognize my laxness in posting of late. I assure you if Cal takes care of business Saturday night, they will grow more frequent by next week. I’m not neglecting this on purpose, but some detoxing from Cal football is just plain healthy after the worst October in half a decade.

As usual, the preview for our school comes from the messageboard of choice, this time being CougFan up at Washington State. Coming off a dominating beatdown of UCLA, the Cougars look to keep their faint bowl hopes alive. Your preview starts here and goes through the jump. Consider this an open thread for the game.

Wazzu has had a great deal of success at Pullman (3-1 at home, the one loss being a 3 point defeat to ASU) as opposed to the road (0-4, closest loss by 3 TDs). Even last year I remember the Bears having to struggle to get out with a win. How do you explain the vast disparity in performance?

Young defense, I suppose. Having been at all the games this year at Martin Stadium, I think the defense feeds off the crowd noise (which they don’t get on the road). We are most inexperienced in the secondary.

I think it’s the energy from the crowd and the fact we haven’t played many games in Pullman so far this year. That and the fact that other teams don’t seem to like making the trip up to the Palouse. See UCLA’s whining in the LA Times.

I don’t think you’ll find a good explanation for this aside from the simple fact that we happened to play teams with less complex offenses and immobile QBs at home, but teams like Oregon on the road. plus most of our home games against serious opponents have come recently, and our young defense is starting to improve in general.

Is Bill Doba as good as gone after the year’s over? Do you want him gone?Bill Doba’s career is anything but over. He’s been with WSU forever, has had some great success. Fans are freaking our over a drought, but the athletic department’s response is more measured. Plus he might just win out (knock on wood)… besides, we can’t afford the $2.8 mil to fire him.

Yes, I think it is time for a change but I would like to keep Yarno and some of the other assistants. We need more athletes on defense and more creativity on offense.

Maybe… if we win out or only lose one more I think he keeps his job IF he does some house cleaning with some of the assistances.

Poor Alex Brink. Outside of Dixon and Carpenter he’s been having the best performances in the Pac-10, but it’s hardly mattered because the defense hasn’t stopped anyone. What do you expect from Brink this week, and what does his future look like? NFL perhaps?

I think Brink gets drafted but very late round pick by a team looking for a back up. I think Brink has a good game, especially if our O-line plays as well as they did last week. He needs to have a mistake free game if we are to win.

I would be really surprised if he was drafted by a NFL team. He does seem to manage the game well but he does not have the strongest arm and he gets “happy feet” when the other team blitzes.

Brink’s place in the offense is not as flashy as your traditional star QB. It’s like the 3 yards and a cloud of dust version of passing. He’ll move the ball steadily, rack up 300 yards passing, and you won’t even notice. I think Brink would make a great NFL 3rd stringer. He’s smart, can run the offense, can run, but he just doesn’t have that quick snap deep ball that an NFL starter needs.

With Dwight Tardy now out for the year after a sensational torching of UCLA, would it be prudent for Wazzu to still run the ball or put it mostly in Brink’s hands?

We definitely have to run the ball no matter what. If we put the game in Brink’s hands it has proven to definitely not work in the past. I believe our defense can step it up and continue its stronger play against Cal. I also believe if McCall can get a little room inside or show a consistent ability to get to the edge, our offense will do very well. If we don’t run the ball and Cal covers our receivers well, it will be a long day for the Cougs!

That defense…any bright spots? What’s the strongest part of that team?

Mattingly and Hicks have been playing very well lately. Our D line is solid against the run but has had trouble getting pressure on the QB.

Andy Mattingly, Chima Nwchukwu, the linebackers in general. They are all getting better weekly. Doba may or may not be an ace head coach, but he’s an OUTSTANDING defensive coordinator. Strongest part of the defense? The linebackers.

Turpin and Kooyman need a little more strength but they are good. Our front seven is the strength of the defense (if you can call it that). Although, last week the secondary played pretty well.

Anyone looking to be drafted this April?

Brink maybe as a free agent. Receiver Michael Bumpus for sure… Jed Collins the tight end…Ropati [Pitoitua, the defensive tackle].

What’s the best strategy for the Cougars to send Cal *wince* reeling to a 4th straight loss?

We need to run the ball well and Brink needs to play mostly mistake free… which I think he can do. Our D needs to get pressure on Longshore and make your WR pay after the catch… ie Hicks and Mattingly.

Defense needs to put pressure on the QB and play with confidence. Man up on 3rd downs to force the Bears to punt.

Just play good defense and do what they do on offense.

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