PULLMAN - The Washington State Cougars aren't scoring enough points to win football games, but they are scoring plenty of points with opponents.
The California Bears became the latest in a line of rivals to praise the young, injury-riddled Cougars for their effort after the Bears pulled out a 20-13 Pacific-10 Conference win Saturday.
“They really came out fighting today, fighting for every yard with everything they had,” California defensive end Cameron Jordan said. “You could feel it. To play the way they did today was outstanding.”
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The Cougars finished the game with just two healthy running backs and four healthy wide receivers.
Marcus Richmond, who started at running back along with Logwone Mitz because leading rusher James Montgomery has a concussion, went down with a pulled hamstring.
Wide receiver Gino Simone became the latest Cougars player to suffer a concussion when he was sandwiched on a vicious hit over the middle.
Simone said he was knocked out.
“I don’t remember the hit,” Simone said. “I just remember going up for it (the ball).”
WSU quarterback Jeff Tuel, who started at wide receiver as a junior in high school, said he doesn’t understand how Simone held on to the ball for a first down.
“I never took a hit like that,” Tuel said. “I give him all the praise in the world.”
Wulff said the Cougars plan to look into purchasing special mouth guards that are said to help reduce concussions.
Cal junior defensive tackle Trevor Guyton, who starred at Redmond High School, recorded career highs of seven tackles, three for losses, and 21/2 sacks.
“He was like a hot knife in butter,” said Jordan, who tied WSU freshman linebacker C.J. Mizell for game-high honors with 12 tackles.
“A lot of things went right for me today,” Guyton said, “plus it was my homecoming, so I had to show up big.”
The WSU Athletic Department and Cougars fans donated more than 450 tickets to area active duty servicemen and women at the annual Armed Forces Day game.
Air Force veterans Raynor Roberts and his son, Gary, attended the game as guests of athletic director Bill Moos. Raynor Roberts, a 90-year-old who looks and acts 20 years younger, said he piloted airplanes on 70 missions during World War II, including two on D-Day.
The elder Roberts later supervised flights for all top U.S. government officials, including Air Force One flights for the president.
SALUTE THE FLAG
The Cougars paid tribute at halftime to the 100th consecutive week of having the WSU flag appear in the background on “College GameDay” on ESPN television.
The tradition began in 2004.