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More on Montgomery's loss for WSU


COUGARS

We're still working on another story – this one about the revitalization of the Martin Stadium Phase III project – but we thought we might as well pass on two other stories we've done today. They concern the injury suffered by James Montgomery and our Pac-10 notebook. Read on for the unedited versions of those two stories.
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• Here's the Montgomery story ...

PULLMAN – Junior running back James Montgomery underwent emergency surgery Sunday on his left calf and will be lost for the season.

Montgomery, a transfer from Cal who redshirted last season, started suffering pain and swelling overnight following the Cougars' 30-27 win over Southern Methodist.

"He got a bruise in that lower calf region," Washington State football coach Paul Wulff said Tuesday. "Over the middle of the night pressure built, pain ensued and he went into the emergency (room)."

It was determined he was suffering from acute compartment syndrome.

According to the American Academy of Orthorpaedic Surgeons' website, acute compartment syndrome can be caused by a strong blow to the muscle. Swelling or bleeding within the muscle compartment puts pressure on capillaries and nerves.

If left untreated and the pressure isn't relieved quickly, nerves and muscles can die and permanent disability or even death can occur, according to the website. Montgomery's surgery removed some muscle tissue, possibly putting his football career in doubt. The severity of Montgomery's injury forced removal of some muscle tissue, putting his football future in jeopardy.

Montgomery, who suffered a right knee injury in fall practice that caused him to miss three weeks, rushed for 10 yards Saturday on six carries, giving him a team-high 167 yards. He came off the bench for 118 yards vs. Hawaii, the Cougars first 100-yard game since 2007.

He told trainers and coaches Sunday he had no recollection of any hit that may have caused the injury.

Without Montgomery, WSU will rely on senior Dwight Tardy, who has led the Cougars in rushing for three consecutive years, sophomore Logwone Mitz and junior Marcus Richmond. The trio has rushed for 132 yards combined the season.

"It's a bad deal," Tardy said of Montgomery's injury. "He's a great leader and a great guy to be around."

Which is exactly what Tardy's done.

"I've seen him about three, four times," he said. "I went over, set his X-box up, made sure he had games, and played a couple rounds of baseball with him. Losing a guy like that, it hurts us bad."

•••

• And our Pac-10 notebook...

PULLMAN – It happened again.

For the fourth consecutive season, the USC Trojans, while ranked in the top three nationally, found a way to lose a conference game to a heavy underdog opponent.

And for the fourth consecutive year the story is the loss, not the win. The strength of the Pac-10 is not the main factor, it's that USC found another way to blow a winnable game.

Steve Sarkisian, USC's offensive coordinator when the Trojans lost the first three times and, as Washington's head coach, handed the Trojans their most recent defeat, thinks that's backward.

"First of all, we've got a very good conference, a physical conference," Sarkisian said Tuesday about of Saturday's 16-13 upset at Washington. "One that knows how to run the football. One that plays very good defense.

"I think, too, a lot of the kids that are within this conference that aren't at SC are used to these kids, they know a lot of those kids at SC, they've played against them in high school.

"They're not in awe of them."

That's probably true, but this time at least, there's some truth to the gave-it-away argument.

"I would never think of taking anything away from people that we play," said Trojan coach Pete Carroll. "If they get us, they get us. It was a fine job by them. We did turn the ball over three times inside the 30 and that was the story of the game."

USC is good enough to turn the ball over, go 0 for 10 on third-down conversions and still be a play or two away from pulling out a victory.

And that's against a Washington team that is intimately aware of the Trojans' personnel and schemes, thanks to Sarkisian and defensive coordinator Nick Holt, who held the same post USC lasts season.

Then again, every one in the conference is aware of their talent and strategy and hardly anyone can stop the Trojans. Though everyone tries.

"I think that's a natural tendency," to not give the upsetting team enough credit, said Oregon State coach Mike Riley, who owns two of USC's four upset losses. "But I do think familiarity in the league is going to make it tough for SC. Everybody's going to give them a great shot. They've studied them and they've worked at it hard.

"The beautiful thing is, as good as (the Trojans) are, there are no givens. And that's why we play the games."

•••

Game of the Week

No. 6 Cal (3-0, 0-0 in Pac-10) at Oregon (2-1, 0-0)

12:30 p.m. Saturday; ABC

Now that USC has dropped its portion of the Pac-10's national title hopes on the turf of Husky Stadium, it will be interesting to see if the Bears can pick up the banner in Autzen. Cal has won three consecutive times in the series, including a 31-24 victory in Oregon in 2007. But prior to that, the Ducks had won the last seven in the series in Eugene. The Bears might be tempted to look beyond Oregon to next week, when they entertain USC in what was expected to be a showdown between undefeated, top-10 teams. The Trojans have ruined that. Now Cal must uphold its end against an Oregon team that ranks last in the conference in passing and total offense.

•••

• That's it for now. We'll be back with our Martin Stadium story when we get it done. Until then …




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Vince Grippi





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