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Q+A with CougCenter

Washington State fans are very lucky.  I know given a lot of the rough seasons they've had the last few years, that might be a shocking statement.  But while other fanbases have blogs that deal with failure the same way chickens deal with losing their head, WSU fans have CougCenter.  Over at CougCenter, Nuss, Grady, and Dancing Football are the team that manage all the WSU information over there.  And they have a cool head, analyzing all the painful losses here reasonably and with extreme intelligence.

After the jump, check out an interview we did with CougCenter.  They did a great job there and even if you are overlooking this game for ASU, we aren't.  Let's take a further look at the Washington State Cougars.  Go Bears! 

1.  How much is Wazzu going to win by?

Let's go with negative-25.

It'll be closer than last year, mostly because we're a lot better on the defensive line -- it looked like a college team blocking a high school team at times last year up front. The Cougs have done a much better job this year of limiting big plays, and it obviously will continue to be an enormous point of emphasis this week. Additionally, we have three starters on the offensive line who missed the past month who all should be back in some capacity. We've run the ball with those guys in the lineup, so there's a chance the offense hangs onto the ball just enough to limit Cal's possessions.

But then again, there's a chance you do to us what Oregon did and we win by negative-46.

2.  How's James Montgomery doing? What exactly happened to him?

If anyone knew exactly what happened to him, he might not be in the situation he is right now.

Here's the best anyone can piece together: He was kicked in the calf at some point against SMU (even he doesn't remember when); he started experiencing some discomfort in the leg that evening and let the trainers know; they told him to call if it got worse; he went to sleep; it got worse -- A LOT worse; he called the trainers in the middle of the night; they told him to go immediately to the hospital; the team's orthopedic surgeon showed up, saw what was happening, and performed immediate surgery for a condition called acute compartment syndrome; Montgomery is done for the season and possibly his career.

Never heard of acute compartment syndrome? Neither had we, or anyone else we'd talked to, which led us to initially dismiss its severity. Turns out, if left untreated, it can result in loss of limb ... or even death. I am not making that up.*

* It seems that if you want your football career ended by freaky injuries, come to Washington State! Our guys don't just get hurt in the normal way; they get things like acute compartment syndrome, paralyzation in a car accident, a broken neck ...

When the surgery was performed, they had to remove part of the calf muscle where the pressure had built up. That's obviously not good for an athlete, and has led to speculation that Montgomery's football career might be over. However, it seems far too early for such a conclusion, and it sounds like Montgomery is the kind of guy who, if it's possible to come back, he'll make it back. He's reportedly in good spirits, but whether he'll travel to Berkeley this weekend is up in the air.

Here is another story on James Montgomery.


3.  Please tell us about your most dangerous offensive threat, and your best defensive player.

I suppose the word "most" suggests relativity, so keep that in mind when looking at these guys, neither of whom approach the standard of "dangerous" as set by many of your players.

Offense: Let's go with Dwight Tardy. He's an experienced running back who has shown an ability at times to put up big numbers. The only problem is that the opportunities to put up big numbers haven't been there the past couple of years, since there haven't been any holes to run through. He has the ability to break one, although he's not going to remind you guys of Best or Vereen.

Defense: There aren't a lot of standouts on this unit -- just a lot of average guys. It's probably the reason why this defense has been better, but not great, as it lacks any serious playmakers. That said, I'll go with Louis Bland. As the team's fourth linebacker, Bland might not even start -- depends on whether middle linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis is fully recovered from his staph infection -- but when he's on the field, good things happen. He's got a pair of interceptions already this year and just has a nose for the ball.

4.  Can you guys give us a brief history of how you tumbled so fast? What did Bill Doba do to you guys???

Bill Doba left the cupboard bare. Pretty much that simple. After the Holiday Bowl in '03 -- and the team's third consecutive 10-win season -- they thought they would be on the lists of four- and five-star recruits. And they were. But they weren't high enough on their lists to actually land any of them, and coaches were left scrambling. All you need to know is that in Wulff's second season, most of the best players are his recruits who are freshmen and sophomores.


5.  Give us your best upset scenario.  Don't skimp on the gory details; the Cal fans who are left after the debacles vs. Oregon and USC absolutely revel in that kind of stuff.

Well, we did force six turnovers against ASU ... and still lost by two touchdowns. So that ought to tell you something about whether this team is even able to entertain the notion of an upset.

However, if the unlikeliest of scenarios is to happen, I think this is how it goes down: Best gets hurt, Vereen gets hurt, whoever your third running back is can't run the ball, Riley throws multiple interceptions -- at least three of which must be returned for touchdowns -- and the Cougar offense has two touchdown plays of 75-plus yards. A field goal by Nico Grasu makes it 38-35 Cougs.

 6.  How much should Cal fans fear Dwight Tardy?

Not much. The offensive line is banged up, although healthier than it has been in weeks. Still, Tardy's just not really a gamebreaker. If the offensive line truly is better, he could have something like a 22 carry, 110-yard day against a Cal defense that can be porous against the run. (Like I have to tell you that.)

7.  Please enlighten us with some cougar jokes. 



A gorgeous younger guy ends up with a beautiful older woman at a wild club. As the evening progresses with drinking and sexy dancing, she asks the young hunk if he’s ever had a "sportsman’s double?"  He says what’s that?  She explains that it’s a mother and daughter threesome.  The guy thinks, if the mother is this hot then the daughter must be even better, so he agrees!  He thinks this is his lucky night!  He goes home with her, and as they get in the house, the fabulous cougar shouts upstairs ...

"Mom you still awake?"