Cougars "down in the mouth" after OSU loss
Will Derting, the Cougars' star linebacker, will be sidelined 2-4 weeks and possibly longer with a knee sprain suffered in Saturday's agonizing...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Will Derting, the Cougars' star linebacker, will be sidelined 2-4 weeks and possibly longer with a knee sprain suffered in Saturday's agonizing loss at Oregon State.
Washington State coach Bill Doba said X-rays were being taken yesterday to determine the extent of the injury to the medial collateral ligament in Derting's left knee.
The injury occurred late in the 44-33 defeat when the Beavers ran a quarterback sneak near the goal line. Doba called the injury "ugly" and preventable.
He said the Cougars' defensive line "was not very set and played too high" and got pushed back. Derting, who was rushing forward to try to make the tackle, got his left foot caught in the pile. Doba said he discussed the mistake with the linemen yesterday.
Doba also said standout receiver Jason Hill is considered "probable" for Saturday's home game against Stanford with a thigh bruise. Hill had caught eight passes for 190 yards and one TD when he left the game in the third quarter with the Cougars leading 30-16.
The other injured starter, cornerback Alex Teems, is doubtful for this week.
Doba said the loss of Derting "is going to hurt." He said he doesn't want to move outside linebackers Scott Davis or Steve Dildine to the middle because they are playing well where they are. He said the middle spot may operate "by committee." Derting's backup is true freshman Greg Trent.
Doba said some of the freshmen who had done well on coverage units in nonleague games "got blown up" by large, experienced members of OSU's return units. He said in retrospect he should have used other personnel.
But Doba was quick to defend the nonleague menu of Idaho, Nevada and Grambling State, saying it wasn't what beat the Cougars on Saturday.
"I don't think the schedule beat us," he said. "I think Oregon State beat us. And I think we beat ourselves."
Doba said he didn't realize after the game just how many yards the Cougars gained. The Cougars finished with 638 total yards, quarterback Alex Brink completed 31 of 59 passes for a school-record 531 yards; Brink also set a Pac-10 record for a conference game with 515 yards of total offense once yardage from his two sacks was subtracted.
Brink threw four interceptions in the second half, but Doba said receiver mistakes factored in two of them.
Asked to describe the team mood, Doba said his players are "down in the mouth" about the loss.
He joked, "The sun came up this morning. I didn't think it would."
Asked to comment on how the loss affects the chances of the Cougars (3-1, 0-1) winning six games to qualify for a bowl, Doba said, "We better worry about Stanford. Bowls will take care of themselves."
• Defensive tackle Ropati Pitoitua, out since late August with a broken leg, ran with the team yesterday. Doba said Pitoitua won't play against Stanford unless he is able to participate in contact drills this week.
• Backup running back DeMaundray Woolridge, who was coming off a pair of 100-yard rushing games, didn't play Saturday. Doba said it wasn't by design. He said it was a matter of coaches getting "caught up in the game" and leaving Jerome Harrison on the field. Doba said in retrospect he wishes Woolridge had seen some action. Harrison rushed for 124 yards and scored three TDs but only had 21 yards in the second half.
• Doba praised the performance of Trandon Harvey, who caught four passes for 92 yards after deep-threat Hill left the game.
• About 1,500 tickets remain for the Stanford game and 1,800 for UCLA's visit Oct. 15.
Craig Smith: 206-464-8279 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.