PULLMAN – Washington State standout cornerback Derrick Langford Jr. and slot receiver Robert Ferrel will return from injuries for the Cougs’ game Saturday against Colorado State. WSU will be playing without two starting defenders in strong safety Jordan Lee and middle linebacker Travion Brown, both of whom sustained injuries during the Cougars’ physically demanding win over the Badgers last weekend.
Earlier this week, coach Jake Dickert had called those four players “game-time decisions” for WSU’s nonconference finale versus the Rams, which will kick off at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Langford came up limping after a collision in the second quarter of WSU’s game last Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin. He emerged from the locker room after halftime with a walking boot on his left foot, but was a full participant when the Cougars (2-0) took the field Saturday afternoon for early warmups ahead of their matchup with CSU (0-2). Langford will face a difficult assignment: covering CSU star receiver Tory Horton, who has accumulated 255 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Ferrel is suited up in crimson and gray for the first time of his career. The senior slotback transferred to WSU this offseason out of FCS Incarnate Word, where he had been a highly productive pass-catcher for quarterback Cameron Ward and head coach Eric Morris – now the Cougs’ QB and offensive coordinator. Ferrel will replace Drake Owen as a backup slot receiver. Owen is out with a foot injury sustained against the Badgers.
Lee exited the lineup late in the third quarter at Wisconsin after suffering an injury. He wore street clothes in warmups ahead of the CSU game. The senior Nevada transfer, an impressive hitter in the Cougar secondary, will be replaced by redshirt freshman Jaden Hicks, who is making his first-career start. Hicks is listed as WSU’s backup free safety, but he cross-trained at both safety spots throughout the preseason.
Brown was shaken up late in the fourth quarter of last weekend’s game. He wasn’t suited up for warmups Saturday. Brown has shared starting reps at middle linebacker with redshirt freshman Francisco Mauigoa this season. The two have been almost equally effective.
The Rams will be playing without starting running back A’Jon Vivens (foot). CSU’s running game is averaging 1 yard per carry on over 70 attempts this season. The Rams’ offensive line has been a glaring issues this season. The group lost starting left tackle Brian Crespo-Jaquez last week to a season-ending injury. Starting right tackle Dontae Keys is also sidelined for the WSU game. CSU’s O-line has given up 16 sacks this year – the most in the nation and five more than the next FBS team.
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