WSU Game Week: Cougs Prep For Oklahoma State

News and notes on the 2010 Washington State Cougar football team. For the latest Seattle sports news, opinion and analysis, follow SB Nation Seattle on Twitter.

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WSU Game Week: Heavy Youth Presence For Cougs

The Washington State Cougars will rely heavily on young players in the 2010 season, with true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, and junior college transfers seeing plenty of time for Washington State as they take the field against Oklahoma State to open the season.

Spokesman-Review reporter Vince Grippi has been following the team and wrote about the youth movement in the Palouse today.

The Cougars will take 20 freshmen to Stillwater, including nine fresh out of high school.

Besides Bucannon, who is backing up senior safety Chima Nwachukwu, other first-year freshman who will probably see significant action include right tackle John Fullington, wide receiver Marquess Wilson, cornerback Damante Horton, linebacker C.J. Mizell and running back Rickey Galvin, along with others on the special teams.

The amount of young players seeing action to start the season would usually worry Washington State fans, but the players Grippi lists have made quite the impression in camp so far. There’s no question coach Paul Wulff has the utmost confidence in his young players and feels they’re ready for the hostile environment that awaits them in Stillwater.

The Cougs kick off the season Saturday at 4 p.m. against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

For more on Washington State, check out SB Nation’s CougCenter.


WSU Football News And Notes: Oklahoma State Game Provides Tale Of Two Quarterbacks

The season-opening matchup between Washington State and Oklahoma State features an interesting storyline between the two starting quarterbacks. On one side, a sophomore with starting experience takes the field. On the other, a 26 year-old quarterback with 27 career passes under his belt.

Vince Grippi, of the Spokesman-Review, takes a look at the striking differences between the two.

Brandon Weeden’s led him into the grow-up-fast world of minor league baseball, a playground of pressure he experienced for five years. Jeff Tuel’s was put away in high school, giving him more time to develop as a football player.

And, despite a seven-year difference in age, their paths converge Saturday, as both will be holding down the most critical position in college football.

They’ll be the starting quarterbacks for their schools, Weeden making his first for Oklahoma State and Tuel, younger but more experienced, his sixth for WSU.

There’s no doubt Weeden has the athletic prowess to capably play the part for the Cowboys. What he doesn’t have is starting experience at the college-level. Can he handle the pressure while playing in a non-garbage time situation?

Check out both of these quarterbacks in action Saturday at 4 p.m.

For more on the Cougars, see SB Nation’s CougCenter.


WSU Game Week: Cougs Prep For Oklahoma State

With the season-opener just around the corner, the Washington State Cougars are looking to rebound from a one-win 2009 campaign by getting off on the right foot against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys bring a high-powered offense, but have plenty of personnel questions as they open the season. With 15 freshmen on the two-deeps and a new quarterback, Oklahoma State is looking to find an identity as they take the field on Saturday.

Over at CougCenter, our own Craig Powers does a fantastic job previewing the Cowboys.

26 year-old junior Brandon Weeden takes over at quarterback, having only thrown 27 in-game passes in his career. Those 27 passes have been impressive, as he has connected on 16 of them for four touchdowns. Brandon went to straight to baseball after high school, and spent several years in the minor leagues before deciding to come to college and be a quarterback for a BCS school (I for one, would take either of those options in a heartbeat). Brandon may not be as mobile as his predecessor Zac Robinson, but he throws bullets and is fully expected to excel as the full-time starter.

Even though he’s new to the starting role, Weeden should step-up and play just fine for the Cowboys.

Should OSU be worried about a Cougar team hungry to prove themselves? SB Nation’s Cowboys Ride For Free doesn’t think so, but they do have some doubt.

Please stop sending messages to the rest of my brain and clouding my judgment. It has been a while since Oklahoma State has lost to a terrible team, and outside of the restructuring year of 2005, we have been a much more stable program of late. This is not the 90’s. Bob Simmons is as distant of a memory as losses to Tulsa and La Tech. This is the new era of Oklahoma State football… we are reloaders, not rebuilders.

So “That part of my brain that is trying to convince me that Oklahoma State will be 3-9”, when I am reading or writing a piece about the Washington State game, or the season in general, please stop interjecting with your negativity and planting seeds of doubt in my head. I just want to believe we are a good program that is going to perform well and finish at least 8-4. Stop ruining this for me.

The OSU-WSU matchup could be closer than it looks on paper. It’s a classic case of a team looking to prove themselves against one that’s much better on paper, but has plenty of unknowns.

Can Washington State pull-off an upset? We’ll find out on Saturday in Stillwater.

For more on the Cougars, check out SB Nation’s CougCenter.


WSU Depth Chart: Initial Two-Deep For Oklahoma State Game

It’s depth chart day around college football and the Washington State Cougars joined the party, releasing their depth chart this afternoon. For those following the Cougs, the players listed on the two-deeps should be no real surprise.

You can find the depth chart in PDF format here.

Spokesman-Review Cougar beat reporter Vince Grippi takes a look at the depth chart and gives an insider perspective on his blog.

There are six true freshmen listed. Besides Fullington, there is receiver Marquess Wilson on offense, Damante Horton and Deone Bucannon in the secondary and Rickey Galvin (punt return) and Andrew Furney on special teams. All are backups.

Also of note, former Bellevue High standout Jamal Atofau has moved from safety to SAM linebacker. Atofau’s position change came at the last minute, leaving him with some work to do in order to get acclimated to the position.

The Cougs take on Oklahoma State Saturday at 4 p.m. live on Fox Sports Northwest.

For more on the depth chart, see our breakdown of the two-deep at CougCenter.

For more on the Cougars, check out SB Nation’s CougCenter.


WSU Football News And Notes: Injuries Mounting Up For The Cougs

The Washington State Cougars are looking to improve in the 2010 season after a dismal year riddled with injuries and painstaking play in 2009. Head coach Paul Wulff is in his third year and finally has some of his recruits hitting the field after a year of redshirting, and while there is some talent in the starting units, the depth to weather the injuries that come during the rigors of a college football season just isn't there.

In 2009, the Cougs were the most injured team in college football, and it wasn't even close. These injuries, coupled with a talent drain on both sides of the ball, led to a season of blowouts and games that became painful to watch. As the Cougs head toward their opening game in Stillwater, Okla., against the Oklahoma State Cowboys, they're looking to stay healthy and improve on both sides of the ball.

Training camp has been rolling along in Pullman, with the usual nicks and dings affecting the team. While they had avoided major injuries early, the injury bug has hit Pullman hard in the last few weeks.

First, WSU lost promising defensive end Jordan Pu'u Robinson to a torn ACL in the second scrimmage.

The first casualty of the season was Jordan Pu'u Robinson, who tore his ACL during the scrimmage on Saturday after getting tangled up in a pile. He will miss the 2010 season and is scheduled to have surgery when the swelling goes down.

Freshman tight end Aaron Dunn -- a highly touted recruit from Spokane's Mead High School -- was lost for the season with a broken hand that required surgery. Dunn was expected to contribute at the tight end spot, but instead will redshirt this season. Spokesman-Review reporter Vince Grippi had his report on Dunn.

"It was kind of a freak thing," Wulff said of Dunn’s injury. "He was blocking somebody, put his hand in there and some how (his wrist) popped."

The freshman from Mead High, who watched practice with his casted arm encased in a foam pad, is scheduled for surgery next week and will redshirt.

News about the saddest injury for the Cougs came last week, with safety LeAndre Daniels having to retire from football after fracturing his neck. Daniels is the latest in a line of Cougs that has had to hang up the pads due to injury, something I wrote about on Friday.

I'm not upset by the implications of LeAndre Daniels' injury for the Cougars on the field. I have little doubt that Tyree ToomerChima Nwachukwu, and Jamal Atofau can step up in the inexperienced secondary. What bothers me the most is seeing another Cougar player have to hang it up with such a promising future ahead of them.

For the Cougars to have any chance of digging out of the cellar, they need to stay healthy. Injuries happen in football, but with a lack of depth they can quickly cripple a team. Heading into the season, Washington State needs to stay healthy and continue to progress in order to be competitive in the always tough Pac-10.

The Cougs take the field this Saturday against Oklahoma State at 4 p.m.

For more on the Cougs, visit SB Nation's CougCenter.

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