WSU Football Notebook | Bruce leader of the sacks
Washington State's Mkristo Bruce is the national leader in sacks with seven following his school-record five-sack outing at Stanford. The senior defensive end...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Washington State's Mkristo Bruce is the national leader in sacks with seven following his school-record five-sack outing at Stanford.
The senior defensive end from Liberty High School outside Renton has a one-sack lead over Jameel McClain of Syracuse and Brian Smith of Missouri.
The Cougars rank third nationally in sacks with an average of 4.5 a game.
Sacks will be harder to get this Saturday when third-ranked USC visits Martin Stadium for a 4 p.m. game that will be televised nationally on TBS. The Trojans (3-0, 1-0 Pac-10) have allowed only four sacks all season, including one in the 20-3 victory Saturday at Arizona.
The Cougars (3-1, 1-0) will be facing a top-five team for the second time this month. They opened with a 40-14 defeat at then-No. 4 Auburn on Sept. 2. Auburn now is No. 2 in The Associated Press poll.
USC has won a Pac-10 record 24 consecutive conference games. Overall, the Trojans have won 48 of their past 50 games.
A big question for USC is whether star receiver Dwayne Jarrett, who suffered a shoulder sprain against Arizona, will be available.
USC quarterback John David Booty, in his first year as the starter, will attempt to push his starting record to 4-0. That would be something neither of his Heisman Trophy predecessors, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, accomplished.
Out of balance
Cougars defensive backs can look forward to continued needling from teammates because defensive ends have intercepted three passes this season and the secondary only one.
The latest pick by a defensive end was Mike Graise's 33-yard interception and return for a TD on Saturday.
"We've been badgering them, on the sideline, at practice, everywhere," said Bruce after the 36-10 victory Saturday at Stanford. Bruce's interception came against Baylor. Lance Broadus had one against Idaho.
Bruce said defensive coordinator Robb Akey, who coaches defensive ends, has joined in the kidding, saying, "I'm not trying to say anything, but the defensive line looks like they have better hands."
A new book, "Washington State Cougars, Great Moments in Team History" by Bud Withers, a college football reporter for the Seattle Times, is now in bookstores.
The 155-page paperback (Morris Book Publishing, $11.95) is part of the "Stadium Stories" series of books on college teams. The cover is sure to warm the hearts of Cougars fans as it shows Drew Bledsoe throwing in the 1992 "Snow Bowl" victory over Washington.
Withers did a lot of fresh interviewing for the book. Almost 80 percent of the book deals with Cougars developments, highlights and lowlights since 1970.
Craig Smith: 206-464-8279 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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