Friday, November 02, 2007

Daily Cal: A Look at WSU

Despite their subpar record, the Cougars are no slouches on offense. Wazzu is third in the Pac-10 in total offense, averaging 425.2 yards per game, behind nationally ranked Oregon and USC.

• Through eight games this season, the Cougars have fumbled the ball only seven times, the fewest through eight games on school record dating back 56 seasons to 1951. Of the seven fumbles, Wazzu has lost only three.

• With his second-quater interception against Arizona State, senior free safety Husain Abdullah moved into a tie for 11th on Wazzu's all-time list with his ninth career pick. Abdullah has notched three interceptions.

• One of the more unique names in all of college football is Cougars' placekicker Romeen Abdollmohammadi. The 15 letter last name is, not surprisingly, the longest last name amongst Division-I football players.

Player to Watch

Washington State quarterback Alex Brink has good memories from Memorial Stadium. Two years ago, in the Cougars’ last visit to Strawberry Canyon, Brink tossed five touchdown passes and threw for 422 total yards, but Joe Ayoob threw a late touchdown pass and the Bears escaped with a 42-38 comeback win.  Even though Cal did a better job against the Wazzu signal-caller a year ago in Pullman, the Bears’ coaching staff is more than a little wary of what problems the senior might pose.  “He’s mobile, he’s very accurate, the throws the deep ball extremely well and does a nice job with the packaging of plays to get them in and out of plays,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. “Plus, the experience he has, he’s been starting there ever since I can remember.”

A Look at Cal

• Quarterback Nate Longshore—who injured his ankle five weeks ago against Oregon—will not be the only game-time decision for Cal. Senior wide reciever Robert Jordan is also a game-time decision. Jordan sprained his shoulder three weeks ago against Oregon State.

• The Bears are mired in their first three-game losing streak in the Jeff Tedford era. The last time Cal lost three in a row was in 2001, when the team finished 1-10.

• Several Bears athletes have been recognized for their accomplishments this year. DeSean Jackson is a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, which is given to the nation’s top wide receiver. Alex Mack is a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award and Andrew Larson is a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given to the country’s top punter.

Player to Watch

There hasn’t been much positive press lately for the Cal defense. The Bears are surrendering 377 yards per game and have given up 30-plus points in each of their last two games.  However, despite the unit’s woes, sophomore cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson is slowly starting to develop into one of the conference’s better cover men. Thompson has six pass break-ups on the year, twice as many as the next closest teammate, and though he hasn’t intercepted a pass, quarterbacks are beginning to wise up to him and throw the other way.  If Thompson can control the Cougars’ big-play threats Brandon Gibson and Michael Bumpus, Cal should have an easy time keeping the Wazzu offense under 30 points.


Unknown said...

The Cougs are very, very thin at running back this week. That will make it tough to balance the offense. For Cal fans, watch Andy Mattingly on defense. He's an exciting player who has finally been slotted in a defensive scheme that takes advantage of his speed. Best LB at WSU since a healthy Will Derting. If the Bears can score early, they should do well against a team that hasn't shown much when they get down by a couple of scores. Good Luck Cal fans!

Cougar Lew

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Anonymous said...

Brink missed open receivers in the endzone more than once and wide open receivers dropped balls in the end zone more than once.

A 'W' is a 'W' but sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

Go Cal!