But not only is Collins a productive guy in the passing game, but his blocking on running plays as sort of an H-back is crucial to the ground game. He was excellent against UCLA when Dwight Tardy ran for 200+ on what was one of the best rushing defenses in the conference. The offense introduced a new wrinkle with Collins in that game, where he would motion across the line before the snap in what looked like he would be a lead blocker on a sweep, only to come hard back across the line after the snap and help on some trap plays up the middle. It certainly caught UCLA off-guard that day. But if the Cougs' have any hope of keeping things balanced this Saturday, and we know how important a good running game is to Brink's success, they are going to need Collins out there, maybe more than any other game this year. You have to remember that the Beaver D is flat-out nasty against the run, now ranking number one IN THE NATION against the rush, allowing a mere 62.1 yards per game, and under 2 yards a carry.
With three DB's suspended for the first half, and a passing defense that is in the middle of the pack anyway in regards to Pac-10 rankings, it's pretty obvious that we'll see the ball in the air quite a bit, especially early on.
Some other points of interest for today:
- Mike Riley hopes you don't go to the game on Saturday. Just go home and enjoy that quality time with the family.
- But Doba wants you there. He even mentioned advertising in the Evergreen to get students to the game. Early feel: if the over/under on attendance is 30K, what do you take? I'm leaning strongly towards the under, but I hope I'm wrong.
- Husain Abdullah, your Pac-10 defensive player of the week! Hard to argue against 14 tackles, 1.5 TFL's, 2 pass-breakups and a 55-yard INT return for a TD. He just seems to get better and better every week for a team that has seen an incredible turnaround this year. What's odd is that he's the first weekly Pac-10 award winner WSU has had this year. Last year they had someone win the award on six different occasions, and that was a 6-6 team.
Abdullah and the rest of the secondary will need to be at their run-stopping best on Saturday. OSU's o-line is simply loaded, in fact their entire starting 5 has had some sort of all-Pac-10 recognition at some point in their career. They are a tough, cohesive unit that plays with a major attitude, and there is no doubt that they are going to do everything they can to run the ball, early and often.