WR Devard Darling

2002 Statistics

Coach: Bill Doba
0-0, 1st year
2002 Record: 10-3
at Ohio State LOST 7-25
at California WON 48-38
at Stanford WON 36-11
at Arizona WON 21-13
at UCLA WON 48-27
Oklahoma LOST 14-34

2002 Final Rankings
AP-10, Coaches-10, BCS-6

2003 Outlook

Washington State had back-to-back 10-win seasons and have put themselves in the upper echelon of the Pac-10 over the last five years. However, the artist who created this masterpiece is gone and it is always a step back for any program after that big a loss.

Wazzu's schedule doesn't make it any easier on them. They have to travel to Notre Dame and Colorado in consecutive games, and take on Oregon and Washington on the road in conference play.

The key is going to be Kegel and the receivers - a wait-and-see proposition, but with a positive outlook . Someone else besides Darling has to step up at receiver so as to keep Darling (and Bienemann) free for other utilization(s). Look for a more involved running attack to establish Kegel and keep him healthy and effective. The defense will be even better this season and the special teams will hold its own.

We don't see Wazzu repeating their success of the last two years, but they will be any where from an eight-to-10 win team and will make a late-holiday bowl. Their PAC-Ten finish will depend on the early offensive developments and how well they translate in late-season conference play. This team could surprise or disappoint you.

Projected 2003 record: 7-5
WR Devard Darling
QB Matt Kegel
CB Jason David
DE Mkristo Bruce
QB - 3.5 DL - 4
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Matt Kegel, 40-27-1, 211 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: Jermaine Green, 150 att., 829 yds., 9 TD's

Receiving: Devard Darling, 54 rec., 800 yds., 11 TD's

Scoring: Drew Dunning, 22-33 FG, 47-49 PAT, 113 pts.

Punting: Kyle Basler, 50 punts, 41.1 avg.

Kicking: Drew Dunning, 22-33 FG, 47-49 PAT, 113 pts.

Tackles: Erik Coleman, 86 tot., 58 solo

Sacks: Isaac Brown, 8 sacks

Interceptions: Jason David, 7 for 101 yds.

Kickoff returns: Sammy Moore, 11 ret., 25.6 avg.

Punt returns: Sammy Moore, 2 ret., 7.0 avg.


FS Erik Coleman
OFFENSE: Jason Gesser-QB, John Tippins-RB, Mike Bush-WR, Jerome Riley-SB, Collin Henderson-WR, Phil Locker-OG, Tyler Hunt-C, Derrick Roche-OG
DEFENSE: Fred Shavies-DE, Mawuli Davis-MLB, Marcus Trufant-CB, Rien Long-DT (NFL)

written by Tim Chapman

Despite the loss of Head Coach Mike Price, Wazzu maintains their offensive coordinator, Mike Levenseller. In his two years there, he has brought forth an offense that has been tops in the Pac-10 and in the country. There won't be much drop-off this season. Senior QB Matt Kegel takes over for the departed Jason Gesser, and does so with an air of confidence many won't suspect. Kegel vied for playing time the last few years and former coach Price felt he was too valuable to keep on the sidelines. He possesses a strong arm and more mobility than Gesser had. He will be the fire and leader that gets this offense going.

Strongly utilized in the Cougs' wide-spread, three receiver set has been/will be junior WR Devard Darling. Darling brings great hands and separating speed that make him a deep danger on the outside. Kegel will be looking to get Darling the ball as much as possible, and Levenseller knows defenses will key on that. That being said, this will be the year that soph TE Troy Bienemann breaks out. He had a stellar freshman season, displaying marvelous hands and deceptive speed for a TE. With Wazzu spreading the field by putting receivers beyond the numbers on the outside, it leaves a vast area for Bienemann to match-up against (in most cases) a slower LB. Rounding out the receiving corps will be seniors Sammy Moore (30.4 yds/rec) and Scott Lunde.

Even though they don't use them much, the RBs in Pullman are good ones. A sort of "thunder and lightning" tandem has been formed in the Palouse as seniors Jermaine Green and Jonathan Smith fill the roles respectively. Green comes back as the leading rusher (829 yds, 5.5 yds/rush), and Smith is a darter with great speed and quickness. Again, with the Cougars' spread, these guys will have great impact (as both runners and receivers -- YAC) knowing the opposing linebacking units will be easily exploited unless they can keep pace with WSU's complexities.

The nation's 17th ranked offense (16th in passing, 13th in scoring, in 2002) will again excel. But there are a few possible weak links. The offensive line was certainly tried last year. The injury bug hit them throughout the season, and they had to shuffle the lineup accordingly. They do return three starters from the Rose Bowl in junior OT Calvin Armstrong, senior OG Billy Knotts, and soph OT Riley Fitt-Chappell. What this group needs to develop is cohesion and protection. Jason Gesser was sacked 30 times last year, and, in the Rose Bowl, he was constantly hit by the quick Oklahoma defense. That won't happen to Kegel this season, but his mobility can only bail out the OL so often. Their 3.9 yds/rush average needs to be the biggest focus. This new QB will need the run badly so he can hone his ability early for the big conference games to come. He is now "the man" after waiting behind Gesser for three years Kegel didn't perform as well as Cougar faithful had hoped he would (when thrown into action in the Apple Cup with Gesser down.) The team rests on him and he is full aware of it. Expect Levenseller to utilize his speed by throwing in more option-oriented plays and roll-outs that allow him to get to the outside and suck in a defense, exposing the middle and deep parts of the field for his receivers to find.


OT Calvin Armstrong


Returning Starters in bold
QB Matt Kegel-Sr Chris Hurd-So
RB Jermaine Green-Sr Jonathan Smith-Sr
WR Sammy Moore-Sr Trandon Harvey-So
WR Devard Darling-Jr Chris Jordan-Fr
SB Scott Lunde-Sr Jevon Miller-So
TE Troy Bienemann-So Adam West-So
OT Calvin Armstrong-Jr Patrick Afif-Jr
OG Josh Parrish-Sr Norvell Holmes-So
C Nick Mihlhauser-So Mike Shelford-Sr
OG Billy Knotts-Sr Riley Fitt-Chappell-So
OT Sam Lightbody-Jr Charles Harris-Fr
K Drew Dunning-Sr Graham Siderius-So



written by Tim Chapman

Washington State proved to be a dominant force against the run a year ago, ranking eight nationally (87 yds/game and 2.5 yds/carry!) They bring back seven starters from that defense (assuming the NCAA grants an extra year of eligibility for safety Virgil Williams) and the defensive-minded Doba is now in charge. Look for great things from this unit.

Up front, these guys are argueably the best overall unit in the conference (and possibly the nation). Senior DE Isaac Brown returns (8 sacks, 9 TFL, 2 recovered fumbles). He brings a quick pass rush, can fly to the football, and is a sure tackler. Coming back with him is senior DT Jeremey Williams (5 sacks, 12 TFL), a run-stopper at heart. Another valuable member of that stellar defense (despite not starting) was senior DE D.D Acholonu (6 sacks, 10 TFL). Acholonu plays a "quick-end", whose job purely is to rush the passer and get into the backfield. As if this front isn't enough, they also have senior DT Tai Tupai and soph DE Adam Braidwood. Braidwood is a prospect the coaches covet. They (and we) expect this young man to virtually erase all of Rien Long's records by the time he leaves.

'Nuff said. This is a defense that is quick, and loves to hit you. Their strongest asset this year will be their tenacity, aggressiveness, speed, and obvious experience. It was very tough to get things going on this defense early last year, a problem not to be seen in 2003.

Probably the biggest concern will be the pass defense. The Cougars were 104th in the country against the pass last season, allowing nearly 255 yards per game. That simply can't happen this year. The good news is that they return solid starters in the secondary. Senior Erik Coleman is a hard hitters. However, they tend to give up the big play and have not been consistent enough. They are great in run support, but as far as coverage goes, they need some work. The same goes with Jason David, their returning starting cornerback. The bad news (aside from the statistics) is the void All-American CB Marcus Trufant's departure leaves.

This group will be called upon to crowd the line in run situations, but where work needs to be done is adjusting to play-action and coverage in multiple receiver schemes. Eight (or more) in the box will cause man-to-man match-ups - and (in 2002) adjustments worked for the most part. Where they ran into problems was when they faced smart, veteran QBs like Carson Palmer, Craig Krenzel, Kyle Boller, etc. They only face two teams this season who are breaking in new QBs (barring injuries), so they will definitely need to watch who they test.

The linebacking corps will be regrouping with the departure of MLB and anchor Maluwi Davis. The main focus of this crew will be to keep the run-stopping strong as they learn to gel. Concerns in their pass-coverage should be belayed by speedy soph SLB Will Derting (3.5 sacks, 3 INTs, 3 passes broken-up) and his keen instincts reacting to fakes and/or misdirection plays. But their chemistry as a group is not known, so this will be an area further detailed in our later updates.

The other big concern for this defense will be the adjustment(s) to new coordinator Robb Akey. Being that Doba is defensive-minded, Akey will probably use the same scheme as Doba has run the past few years. However, the most important intangible will be to control the disciplinary problems that occurred amongst the defense.


K Drew Dunning


Returning Starters in bold
DE Isaac Brown-Sr Mkristo Bruce-Fr
DT Jeremey Williams-Sr Josh Shavies-Sr
DT Tai Tupai-Sr Steve Cook-Jr
DE D.D. Acholonu-Sr Adam Braidwood-So
SLB Will Derting-So Ira Davis-Sr
MLB Don Jackson-Sr Brian Hall-Fr
WLB Al Genatone-Sr Pat Bennett-So
CB Karl Paymah-Jr Alex Teems-So
CB Jason David-Sr Don Turner-Fr
SS Virgil Willliams-Sr Hamza Abdullah-Jr
FS Erik Coleman-Sr Jeremy Bohannon-Jr
P Kyle Basler-So Graham Siderius-So




Rest easy Cougar fans, your special teams units return in tact. In fact, they return both kickers and both kick return men- but don't get too complacent. Senior PK Drew Dunning connected on 22 field goals last year. The concerning part is that he attempted 33 of them (9-13 in 30-39 yd range). He had two kicks blocked and missed two extra points. Kick protection will be something that the Cougs need to fix. In the Pac-10, you need to take all the points you can get. Soph punter Kyle Basler (41.1 yds/punt) is a mainstay -- he has a booming leg and showed accuracy last year as well. Jonathan Smith and Sammy Moore are two exciting players returning kicks. Punt returners will be chosen in spring practice, with many capable to earn this spot.



Get ready to hear the name Chris Jordan- a lot. The redshirt freshman WR has been a steady cog in the passing game and the talents of this young man will begin to spill this season. Alongside him (with good performance) this spring has been WR Jevon Miller. Classified as one of the most versatile players on this team, Miller might find most of his time on special teams early, but could shimmy up the depth chart with continuing success… For those who think the Cougars will be a one-dimensional team, think again. Jermaine Greene has turned out some fine spring rigmarole, giving this stout Cougar defense some toil. He (and Smith) will give Wazzu a healthy change of pace this season… I'll say it again- Troy Bienemann will have a breakout year. He is a clutch receiver who, I think, will lead the Cougars in scoring (aside from Duning), as Kegel will look to him inside the red zone any and every chance he has.

Redshirt freshman DE Mkristo Bruce tore it up along the front this spring and will be pushing for valuable game time. A former QB, Bruce brings an athletic body to a 6'6", 235lb frame, along with a great deal of intelligence and enthusiasm. Sophomore LB Aaron Wagner arrives in the fall after finishing a Mormon mission, and will look to contribute honest minutes to this Cougar defense… Backup FS Jeremy Bohannon has impressed me with his speed in the secondary and DC Rob Akey has been utilizing him on safety blitzes both up the middle and off the corner… Freshman Brian Hall has done an admirable job filling in for injured MLB Don Jackson. The extra spring reps will certainly prepare him for game action this fall. Scott Davis was another who left a mark at LB, giving the Cougs bountiful depth here. These two will be names that should paint honors lists in a couple years… The NCAA did eventually grant SS a sixth year of eligibility, which makes the secondary the strongest unit on the defense.

Sophomore Graham Siderius has shown a strong leg this spring. He will give the Cougars a sturdy launch on kickoffs as well as a reliable backup on punts and placements. Sammy Moore and Chris Jordan have taken the punt return duties. Doba says Moore has done a great job returning punts and is one of the more exciting players he has seen. Punter Kyle Basler might be the best in the Pac 10.