Cougs win big, lose big

Sep 4, 2011, 9:23 AM

Jeff Tuel didn’t start today’s shellacking of Idaho State due to an illness. Marshall Lobbestael stepped in and looked great, hitting on 7 straight passes and marching the Cougs out to an early 14-0 lead.

Then, for some reason, Jeff Tuel entered the game. Five plays later, he exited the game with a broken collarbone.

Whether or not it was a good idea to play Tuel while he was sick and when the team was having NO trouble whatsoever is up for debate, but one thing is clear: You don’t play the game fearing injuries or you won’t play the game very well.

Still, injecting a bit of intelligence in to your personnel decisions isn’t a bad thing.

Unfortunately, the Tuel injury overshadows the 6th win of the Paul Wulff era, and the first 1-0 start since 2005.

Sure, it was Idaho State, but you’ll want to note that ISU plays in the same conference as Montana State and last year’s Cougs could hardly handle that team. This time, they did what they should do: Dominate from kickoff.

WSU scored on its first four possessions and added on a nice “Pick 6” from LB Alex Hoffman Ellis and never looked back.

Marshall Lobbestael went 14-19 for 230 yards and two TDs. Marquess Wilson had four catches for 91 yards and a touchdown. Freshman receiver Bobby Ratliff had a nice college debut with four catches for 46 yards. Beyond that, it seemed that everyone else who suited up caught at least one pass.

The Cougs spread the wealth running the ball as well. Freshman Marcus Mason had six carries for a team-high 88 yards, which included a 65 yard touchdown scamper. Starter Rickey Galvin had seven carries for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Logwone Mitz and Carl Winston also had nice games, racking up 58 and 42 yards, respectively.

On defense, the Cougs looked less impressive, especially in the secondary. Once again, the players looked hyped up, fast and athletic, but unfortunately they seem to still have a habit of being out of position. What scares me is that if ISU rolls up 430 passing yards on you, what’s Stanford going to do? Now, before we get too crazy, yes, many of those yards (320 of them, in fact) came after halftime when the benches were cleared, but there’s really no excuse for getting carved up that bad against an FCS opponent.

The good news is that the front seven looked better, and C.J. Mizell was a mad-man, seemingly involved in every play. He finished with four tackles and two sacks. Deone Bucannon picked up where he left off last season, leading the team with seven tackles.

The D-line showed better penetration, but still allowed Bengal QB Kevin Yost enough time to have a great day, going 32-45 for 386 yards, one TD and an interception. The line’s best performance was against the run, holding ISU to 23 net yards on 25 attempts.

On special teams, PK Andrew Furney was 2-2 on field goals, hitting from 23 and 51 yards. Backup kicker Alex Gauper also hit one from 30 yards out in the 4th quarter. Punter Daniel Wagner had a nice game, averaging 43.8 yards on his four punts.

Overall, it’s easy to dismiss this game as being one they should win by a big margin, but realistically, this was an important win. These types of games are necessary, mostly because for the past three years, it’s been WSU who’s taken the big beatings. For this team, a win like this provides a shot of confidence going in to a stretch of games where they can make some serious headway in the “W” column. The loss of Tuel is very hard, and if this team is going to continue to win and not revert to past performances, they need confidence-builders like this game.

Next week, they’ll face a UNLV team that opened their season getting stomped by #11 Wisconsin 51-17. It will certainly be a tougher test for the Cougs, but by no means unmanageable. Without Tuel, confidence will be key.

For now, let’s just take a day a soak up “1-0.” Man, that sounds good.

Go Cougs!

WSU

UW Huskies...
The Associated Press

AP Top 25: UW Huskies rise, two new teams join top 10

The UW Huskies jumped three spots to No. 15 in The Associated Press college football poll after a convincing win over Stanford on Saturday.
2 days ago
WSU Oregon...
The Associated Press

Nix leads No. 15 Oregon to 44-41 comeback win over WSU Cougars

Bo Nix threw a 50-yard TD with 1:21 left to give No. 15 Oregon its first lead as the Ducks scored 3 late TDs to defeat the WSU Cougars 44-41.
3 days ago
WSU Cougars...
The Associated Press

Henley leads WSU Cougars vs No. 15 Oregon to open Pac-12 play

Through three games at WSU, LB Daiyan Henley has been one of the top transfers in the country, and he'll look to continue that vs Oregon.
4 days ago
UW Huskies Kalen DeBoer...
Brent Stecker

Huard: Why UW Huskies, WSU Cougars are both back on rise

The UW Huskies are 3-0 and ranked, and the also undefeated WSU Cougars aren't far from the Top 25 themselves. Brock Huard on the role their coaches are playing.
8 days ago
UW Huskies...
The Associated Press

UW Huskies move into AP Top 25 at No. 18 after beating Michigan St

The UW Huskies made their season debut in The Associated Press Top 25 college football poll on Sunday at No. 18.
9 days ago
WSU Donovan Ollie...
The Associated Press

Cameron Ward throws 4 TDs, WSU beats Colorado St 38-7

Cameron Ward threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns Saturday as WSU pounded Colorado State 38-7 to move to 3-0 on the season.
10 days ago
Cougs win big, lose big