Football seeking redemption
Published 11/10/2011Comments (0)
The Cougars (3-6,1-5) will return to Martin Stadium this weekend for the first time since Oct. 15 as they host the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-3, 4-2).
Redshirt senior Marshall Lobbestael said the Cougars are looking forward to playing at home again in front of students and their fathers.
“I hope it’s cold and I hope a lot of people come bundled up but I’m definitely looking forward to playing at home,” Lobbestael said. “It’ll be good for the guys and it’ll be good for us to play in Martin Stadium again and hopefully we get a huge crowd and it’s good for the fans.”
WSU is currently riding a five-game losing streak, but the Cougars remain optimistic and are looking to finish the season strong.
Redshirt junior Tyree Toomer said the team knows how important each game is from here on out.
“Take it one game at a time, every game is crucial now,” Toomer said. “It’s kind of like the playoffs for us and we know that so we got to come out and play our best.”
Arizona State is coming off a heartbreaking 29-28 loss to UCLA, where the Bruins scored a touchdown with 49 seconds left in the game and ASU’s kicker missed the 46-yard field goal attempt to win the game.
Nonetheless, Arizona State features one of the more prolific offenses in the country as they rank 19th in passing yards (291.1) and 24th in points scored per game (35).
Toomer said he understood the Sun Devils would be fired up and the Cougars must answer their intensity if they want to succeed.
“I bet they’re mad about what happened last week and they probably want to take it out on us,” Toomer said. “So we have to be prepared for them, come out fired up and ready to go.”
Lobbestael echoed Toomer’s comments but also added that the team must only worry about what is in their control.
“I’m expecting them to be at their best and after that I’m not worried about anything else that’s going on because we got to worry about our self and what’s going on personally with the offense,” Lobbestael said.
ASU features junior Brock Osweiler at quarterback. The 6-foot-8 Osweiler is the tallest quarterback in the nation and has played very well so far this year.
Through nine games, Osweiler has amassed 2,539 yards along with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions, while completing nearly 65 percent of his passes.
Toomer said the defense is not limiting its game plan around only Osweiler.
“We don’t adjust our game plan according to the quarterback,” Toomer said. “I mean he’s a good quarterback and our game plan is just what we feel best against their offense.”
ASU leads the all-time series between the two schools with a 23-12-2 record. In last year’s game the Sun Devils trounced the Cougs 42-0, as they passed for 375 yards and forced three Cougar turnovers.
Lobbestael said WSU is not overlooking them and the team is looking forward to coming back from last week’s and last year’s losses.
“We know they’re a good team, we know they’re extremely talented and we remember last year’s game,” Lobbestael said. “We got to take a huge step this week and come back after last week and we got to also keep in mind what happened last year.”
Former Cougar legend Steve Gleason will be recognized this weekend as a honorary captain. Gleason played football and baseball during his time in Pullman, and finished with the ninth-most tackles in school history. During the fall, Gleason was diagnosed with ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on Versus.