Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jed-Zilla Now Probable?

It's never a good thing to see your starting TE on crutches. Especially a TE who happens to lead all Pac-10 TE's in catches with 52 (did you know Collins ranks 6th in the entire conference in catches per game? Not bad for a guy who ran a "wind-aided 5-flat 40"!). But things are looking up for Collins, as Doba says he is now probable for Saturday.

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.


Anonymous said...

love Jedzilla and hope he's game on saturday even if nobody will be there. Great. I think Gibson will have his best game as a coug and look for us to go deep. if Bonell can burn them for 230, why can't Alice?? Ok, sorry, Alex, happy now?

Sedihawk said...

Nothing like an "Alice" comment to boil up the blood! But seriously, I think we're collectively over the Brink debate anymore. Why? Because it just doesn't matter. We're now 2 games (probably) from the end of his WSU career, so, what's the point anymore? Let's just hope they can win on Saturday no matter what Brink or anyone else does.

But good point about throwing on OSU. Then again, if you watched the OSU game then you'd know that a lot of those yards came on what can only be deemed as good luck, as well as OSU short-handed after the fights. Bonnell didn't exactly slice-n-dice them, there was one long ball that was tipped and went for over 80 yards, in typical Bonnell fashion he just seems to get the breaks on those kinds of throws.

Plus, UW had to throw a lot to keep from being blown out, and had the refs made the correct call on the phantom Bernard fumble, OSU wins that game 36-23 and it's a much different feeling.

But I will agree, OSU's D isn't spectacular against the pass. They are mediocre. However they do lead the conference in sacks and they constantly get great pressure, so that will be a challenge for the O-line. Plus, remember the OSU game last year? Brink was running for his life, and outside of one long running play from Hutsona, our running game was terrible. Our D stepped up for the 13-6 win, but Brink took an absolute beating.