August 27, 2007

The Big Cat Speaks - The Big Cat v. The Big Cheese

The 2007 version of the Cougar football team will make their official debut this Saturday in Madison, Wisconsin against the Badgers and not only will the Cougar fans and well-wishers not recognize some of the new faces - some of the coaches might have to do a double take as well. At least a few brand, spanking new athletes who have only been on campus for approximately a month - safety Alfonso Jackson, linebacker Kendrick Dunn, cornerbacks Devin Giles and Chima Nwachukwu and receiver Jeshua Anderson - are expected to see playing time this Saturday against the Badgers.

Injuries - mostly of the niggling, nagging variety - along with academic issues and suspensions - have created somewhat of a new look for Wazzu. Perhaps the biggest deviation may be at receiver where the Cougars' leading receiver from last year, Brandon Gibson, is questionable for the game due to a lingering knee injury.

"We're going to get some kids back but our biggest concern is Gibson - [his injury] hasn't responded," concedes head coach Bill Doba a scant five days before kickoff.

That leaves Benny Ward as the primary likely recipient of playing time at Gibson's position but indicated that Anderson will almost certainly play too. Doba also had redshirt freshman Keith Rosenberg penciled in as somebody who might travel but Rosenberg is "a little nicked up and might not travel."

Defensively, the Cougars are in slightly better shape as the entire defensive line looks to be relatively healthy including Fevaea'i Ahmu. Ahmu had a sore foot last week but Doba said he is fine and will be one of the starters along with Matt Mullennix, Aaron Johnson and Ropati Pitoitua.

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