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Mon., Sept. 14, 2009, 8:49 p.m.

SMU next up for WSU


We take our first look at SMU, this week's opponent. By the way, the USC game time is set a week from Saturday. It will be 7:15 and it will be on FSN. Read on for the unedited SMU piece.

• Here's the first look at SMU…


Time: 2 p.m. (PDT) Saturday. TV: None

The records: WSU (0-2, 0-1 in Pac-10); SMU (2-0; 1-0 in Conference USA)

Last week: SMU defeated UAB, 35-33

WSU lost to Hawaii, 38-20

Last time: First meeting.

The line: SMU by 7

What it means for WSU: This might be the best chance to get a win for a while. After getting blitzed early by Hawaii last Saturday, the Cougars need to start quickly, play with emotion throughout and show themselves – and their supporters – they can win a game. There's hope, at least from the offensive point of view as SMU yielded 6.9 yards per carry and 222 total rushing yards against UAB. The Blazers actually averaged a half-yard more per play (6.3 to 5.8) than the Mustangs did. A loss here and the Cougars could be looking at a bleak season.

What it means for SMU: Last season, the first under former Hawaii coach June Jones, the Mustangs won one game. They've already doubled that number, with last Saturday's conference victory supplying hope for the future. That's because SMU jumped out to an early lead on the road and found a way to survive – stopping a tying two-point conversion in the final seconds. A win against the Cougars would raise SMU's record to 3-0 for the first time since 1984.

Key matchup: Washington State's secondary vs. SMU's receivers.

So it's Run and Shoot, Part Two. And the Mustang's run-and-shoot offense is under the command of one of its instigators, Jones, who was Mouse Davis' quarterback at Portland State when the offense earned its first headlines. Sophomore quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns last week, while WSU's defense was being torched for 489 passing yards by Jones' old school. Senior receiver Emmanuel Sanders (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) grabbed nine passes for 148 yards and a touchdown and junior Aldrick Robinson (5-10, 175) had seven receptions for 91 yards. The Cougars will be without safeties LeAndre Daniels (broken leg) and Tyree Toomer (pectoral muscle), possibly for the year. Safety Eric Block (concussion) and cornerback Aire Justin (leg) should be back.


• That's it for now. We'll be back in the morning with our links. Until then …

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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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