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Originally published August 25, 2012 at 8:05 PM | Page modified August 25, 2012 at 8:24 PM

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Five keys to the Washington State Cougars' football season

In the four-year Paul Wulff regime, Cougars surrendered 186 sacks. That puts not only down-and-distance, but your quarterbacks, in peril...

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Hold those blocks

In the four-year Paul Wulff regime, Cougars surrendered 186 sacks. That puts not only down-and-distance, but your quarterbacks, in peril.

Be stout up front

The dismissal of Anthony Laurenzi thins a defensive line that was already a question mark. Cougars need some breakthrough performances here.

Kick it deep

The defense was continually put in bad positions in 2011 by short kickoffs. Transfer kicker Michael Bowlin should help improve that deficiency.

Minimize mistakes at linebacker

Travis Long moves from end to "Buck" linebacker spot in the new 3-4. He joins three who don't have a start yet at WSU, so the youngsters will need to grow up quickly.

Stay healthy

Easier said than done, but as coach Mike Leach has noted, depth is generally lacking on this roster. Either the front-line guys have to stay on the field, or WSU has to get quick help from incoming players.

Bud Withers


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