TE Troy Bienemann

2003 Statistics

Coach: Bill Doba
10-3, 1 year
2003 Record: 10-3
Idaho WON 25-0
at Notre Dame LOST 26-29
at Colorado WON 47-26
at Oregon WON 55-16
at Stanford WON 24-14
at Southern Cal LOST 16-43
UCLA WON 31-13
at Washington LOST 19-27
Texas WON 28-20

2003 Final Rankings
AP-9, Coaches-9, BCS-16

2004 Outlook

Despite their mass of departees, the Cougars may actually be in a position to improve. Within their 2004 schedule, the Cougars oppose six teams that posted a sub-.500 record. - they will face an agenda that recorded a 67-69 overall ledger during 2003.

During previous seasons, the Cougars were a lot of superstars folded into smaller groups. However, in 2004, their individual units will need to outshine these stars in order to win. If the Cougars are to record their fourth straight winning season, they will need to garner solid performances from their two lines, their secondary, and their linebackers. The defense will dictate - as they play either/both well or poorly, so too goes Washington State's season. Accordingly, look for a roller coaster ride to ensue. They will also need to accelerate the production of Bruhn, Brink, Jordan, and Swogger if wins (more than losses) are to be tallied.

For the majority of their 83 seasons, the Washington State Cougars have existed amidst a deafening silence. While they have submitted turbulence upon occasion, never have they possessed the force of a legitimate college football program for more than a few years at a stretch. With 2003's 10-3, the Cougars recorded their first winning triad since 1957, 1958, 1959. While that is impressive, Washington State cannot be satisfied. For they have not recorded four straight winning seasons since 1928-1936. Washington, USC and Oregon - all at Pullman - should make the rest of the schedule bearable.

Beating the likes of Texas in the Holiday Bowl provided confidence for these young men to ride into this transitional campaign. This gives the offensive line a mental victory against the traditionally sharp Longhorns big men. The Cougar Hogs have to ride high if any team success is to be had.

Projected 2004 record: 7-4
QB - 3 DL - 2.5
RB - 2 LB - 3.5
WR - 2.5 DB - 3
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Josh Swogger, 81-41-5, 548 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: Chris Bruhn, 78 att., 353 yds., 0 TD

Receiving: Troy Bienemann, 29 rec., 273 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Chris Jordan, 2 TD, 2 pt., 14 pts.; Troy Bienemann, 2 TD, 2 pt., 14 pts.

Punting: Kyle Basler, 77 punts, 43.5 avg.

Kicking: None

Tackles: Will Derting, 86 tot., 65 solo, 12 TFL

Sacks: Will Derting, 7.5 sacks

Interceptions: Don Turner, 2 for1 yd.

Kickoff Returns: Aaron Wagner, 2 ret., -3.5 avg.

Punt Returns: Jason Hill, 1 ret., 25 yds


P Kyle Basler
OFFENSE: Sammy Moore-WR, Josh Parrish-OG, Mike Shelford-C, Scott Lunde-SB, Matt Kegel-QB, Jonathan Smith-RB, Jermaine Green-RB, Billy Knotts-OG, Drew Dunning-K, Devard Darling-WR (NFL)
DEFENSE: Isaac Brown-DE, Jeremey Williams-DT, Tai Tupai-DT, D.D. Acholonu-DE, Don Jackson-MLB, Virgil Williams-SS, Erik Coleman-FS, Jason David-CB

Washington State will enter the 2003 campaign immersed in a legitimate quarterback conundrum for the first time in five seasons. With that stated, the selection between Josh Swogger (red shirt sophomore) and Alex Brink (red shirt freshman) may ultimately determine the true direction of the crimson and gray.
Upon his limited occasions of play, Swogger completed 41 of 81 passes for 548 yards with five interceptions. Meanwhile, Brink spent last season as a red shirt. Despite the fact that both will receive a series of equal spring repetitions, Swogger should be able to win based upon his prior experience. However, one should not be surprised if Swogger is unseated during 2004. Either has the height, but only Swogger has the girth to brush off rushers by just standing tall. Both have to diminish the 22 INTs thrown to start, and then they can try to win games after that. Starting off slow and rotating may by-default become their way to ultimate individual success.

Running Back
Senior Chris Bruhn will assume command of running the football. However, if Bruhn falters, contributions from Jerome Harrison (junior), Kevin McCall (red shirt freshman), or J.T. Diederichs (freshman) may also be undertaken. Bruhn tallied a 4.5 yards per carry average, so expect the WSU line to make lots of room for him again. Holding up to 30 carries a game will not be his forte, and his hands aren't good enough to keep him in on every down. So, then look for these other three unprovens to positively impact the Cougar's efforts. What will be most important is for all of these guys to shatter last season's 3.1 yards per rush team average. State, though, was committed to the run, proven by their choice to do such six more times than they threw the ball - that's the whole 2003 tally. Forty handoffs a game will produce more this time around, so our recommendation is for them to try and try again. A 10-3 record proves that making opponents respect the run helps even when the ground game isn't as effective as possible.

Wide Receiver
Essential to the Cougars transition in 2004 will be the play of their wide receivers. In 2003, the combination of Devard Darling, Scott Lunde, and Sammy Moore combined for 115 receptions, 1,973 yards and 16 touchdowns. However, due to Darling's draft defection and the others' subsequent graduations, all of those aforementioned statistics have been made only numbers that can't help now.
In their absence, the trio of Trandon Harvey (senior), Chris Jordan (red shirt sophomore), and Marty Martin (red shirt junior) will assume their starting roles. While each will have to produce, Jordan will be Washington State's initial go-to guy. He is key - if Jordan can establish himself as a leading receiver, then the Cougars passing game will flourish in 2004. Senior Harvey, as well as Martin, though, will also need to excel so underclassman Jordan isn't constantly double-teamed.

Tight End
Troy Bienemann (junior) returns as the Cougars lone returning skill position player. If he can either parallel or increase his respectable total of 29 snarls, Washington State will be able to flourish as LBs and nickel-backs are forced to contend with a variable that often burns defensive secondaries if not checked. Their second TE, Cody Boyd, proves WSU is willing to pull this trigger from both sides and with multiple players. Some spread offenses use this dimension only as a decoy a few times a game. But throwing to this position early and often, as well as a steady diet of running plays, earns a defenses' respect and keeps opponents on their respective heels - Wazzu knows this and plans to do it even more.

Offensive Line
While Washington State is considered a spread offense, that fact remains unbeknownst to their offensive line. Standing incredulously at an average of 6'6 ½," 310 pounds, their front wall appears as a mocking monument to their stated offensive choice. With that stated, it may be their best focused area, as it will return three starters. And with that said, they will have to pick up their feet and move better if the team is going to be able to rely on them in all needed facets of protection. Book ending the talented front mass will be returning red-shirted senior tackles Calvin Armstrong and Sam Lightbody. While great play should be expected due to their senior status (22 sacks allowed got them by, but has to improve), their value will be increased because of Washington State's young quarterbacks. With that stated, Armstrong and Lightbody should help the newbie QBs transcend to their needed levels of excellence. Anchoring well the Cougars interior will be returning starter Nick Mihlhauser. While Mihlhauser excelled at guard during 2003, he will be switched to center. However, this transition should not faze him, as his level of play will continue to improve.
Flanked alongside Mihlhauser in 2004 will be guards Patrick Afif and Riley Fitt-Chappell. Despite the fact that both will be first year starters, each possesses previous playing experience. Intermingled with their supporting cast, Afif and Fitt-Chappell should be able to help improve the Cougars offensive line.

Despite the fact that the surnames have once again changed, the production should remain constant during 2004. While Brink will eventually succeed Swogger at quarterback, either should be effective in distributing the football.
Bruhn should be able to produce a minimum of 700 total yards. However, that number may only be enough to equal a .500 record. 1100 or more means the Cougars challenge for the Pac Ten title at some point.


OT Calvin Armstrong


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Josh Swogger-So (6-5, 238) Alex Brink-Fr (6-2, 191)
Chris Hurd-Jr (6-2, 213)
RB Chris Bruhn-Sr (6-3, 215) Allen Thompson-Jr (5-10, 205)
SB Marty Martin-Jr (5-10, 182) Scott Selby-Fr (6-4, 220)
WR Chris Jordan-So (6-1, 205) Trandon Harvey-Sr (5-11, 187)
WR Jason Hill-So (6-2, 190) Tramaine Murray-Jr (5-10, 172)
TE Troy Bienemann-Jr (6-5, 252) Cody Boyd-So (6-8, 240)
OT Calvin Armstrong-Sr (6-7, 311) Spencer Hollison-So (6-5, 283)
OG Patrick Afif-Sr (6-7, 319) Bobby Byrd-Fr (6-7, 281)
C Nick Mihlhauser-Jr (6-3, 287) Sean O'Connor-So (6-5, 282)
OG Riley Fitt-Chappell-Jr (6-6, 314) Keola Loo-Sr (6-1, 285)
OT Sam Lightbody-Sr (6-9, 319) Charles Harris-So 6-6, 280)
K Graham Siderius-Jr (6-1, 196) ..



Defensive Line
Without argument, graduation has cruelly disintegrated Washington State's defensive line. The Cougars will have to replace the bulk of these big men. While each of their interior components will be difficult to supplant, replacing Acholonu will be the greatest challenge. Junior Adam Braidwood has been appointed to fill this void. Simply stated, Braidwood will never be able to surpass the production of Acholonu. However, he will have to assume a commanding presence in order for the Cougars to flourish. Expected to fulfill the other outside role will be red shirt sophomore speedster Mkristo Bruce. Bruce will have to extend his position's role. If he fails in this venture, Braidwood may be rendered ineffective. Regardless, look for the team's total of 50 sacks to be cut by about half. Flanking the Cougars revamped DEs will be newly minted starters Steve Cook (red shirt senior) and Odell Howard (red shirt sophomore) at tackle. Cook has at least a bit of experience, where as Howard is rather green (0 tackles in five games). The only place to go is up from the expectations placed on this crew.

Leading the linebackers will be red shirt junior Will Derting, who recorded 86 tackles and 7 ½ sacks. While he will stride as the Cougars unquestioned second tier leader, the play of smallish senior Pat Bennett has to grow from how he barely impacted Wazzu's 2003 efforts. If not, then the line will not get the support needed for it to make growth adjustments with time, and the whole of the front-seven will allow many plays to get to the secondary.
Expected to replace Don Jackson's stellar play will be red shirt sophomore Brian Hall. Hall is also a bit undersized, so his work is cut out for him in this fully-reworked Cougar box.

Defensive Back
Red shirt sophomore CB Don Turner will fill another void left by departees. If he cannot serve as a solid compliment to returnee Karl Paymah (red shirt senior), then he may become the subject of constant attention. Paymah runs like the wind - he was a high school 200 meter regional champ. If he can perform akin to past efforts, he will become the leader which Washington State currently lacks but sorely needs. Also expected to contribute will be Alex Teems (red shirt junior) and Omowale Dada (junior).
Along the Cougars final wall, the combination of well-sized Hamza Abdullah (red shirt senior) and Jeremy Bohannon (senior) will be expected to displace the graduated duo of Erik Coleman and Virgil Williams. While neither are spectacular participants, each should be solid enough to provide support for their cornerbacks. With that stated, Washington State is obviously vulnerable due to their inexperience. Look for opponents to go deep until the Wazzu secondary proves it can stop this tact. Also, look for teams to just stretch the field, so that WSU's inexperienced front-seven is left in no-mans land when play-action and/or draw plays occur.

Despite their graduated decimation, the Cougars defense should be able to parallel their quality offensive counterparts. But one must be aware that their previous effort yielded double-digit scoring upon twelve of thirteen 2003 occasions.
Vitally important for the Cougars will be the play of their defensive line. If that quartet can provide a modicum of disruption, then their linebackers should be able to be effective as both run-stoppers and in pass coverage. The LBs are runners, so if they have to stay home and support that line, it will be a long campaign of high-scoring close calls.


LB Will Derting


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Mkristo Bruce-So (6-5, 249) Adam West-Jr (6-6, 243)
Reyshawn Bobo-Fr (6-2, 196)
DT Steve Cook-Sr (6-3, 293) Aaron Johnson-Fr (6-6, 283)
DT Ropati Pitoitua-Fr (6-7, 285) Odell Howard-So (6-3, 272)
DE Adam Braidwood-Jr (6-5, 264) Matt Mullenix-Fr (6-5, 235)
SLB Scott Davis-So (5-11, 225) Brian Hall-So (6-2, 243)
MLB Will Derting-Jr (6-0, 237) ..
WLB Pat Bennett-Sr (6-0, 229) Steve Dildine-So (6-1, 212)
CB Karl Paymah-Sr (6-0, 198) Omowale Dada-Jr (5-10, 195)
CB Alex Teems-Jr (5-11, 181) Don Turner-So (6-0, 177)
SS Jeremy Bohannon-Sr (5-10, 203) Husain Abdullah-Fr (5-11, 178)
FS Hamza Abdullah-Sr (6-3, 209) Eric Frampton-So (5-11, 198)
P Kyle Basler-Jr (6-2, 235) Graham Siderius-Jr (6-1, 196)



Graham Siderius (red shirt sophomore) will be expected to assume the place kicking role of Drew Dunning. This ex-QB should add a new wrinkle or two on some trick plays - i.e. quick-kicks (also a former punter) and/or fakes. He runs well, too, so…beware of what we are saying and take heed, opposing coaches.

Meanwhile, Kyle Basler (red shirt sophomore) will return to continue his punting. In totality, Basler averaged 43.5 yards per punt. While Siderius may struggle initially, both he and Basler should enable Washington State to maintain their quality special teams play.

Return Game
Sammy Moore's departure leaves both return jobs open. We will let you know who grabs them after spring practice. Expect a hungry batch of second-team defenders to bolster the Wazzu coverage game. This area, which is so important in determining field position struggles, will become a key to keep from over-burdening their un-established defense.


Reserve QB Chris Hurd's future at Wazzu is uncertain. Unhealthy (football-wise) and confused as to the direction he wants to take, he is considering leaving the program. Starting QB Josh Swogger became just the second sophomore in Cougar history (Jason Gesser) to be named captain. Although backup Alex Brink will push him for playing time, Doba says he does not want a two-QB system. Also keep an eye on walk-on Mike Reilly. Ask anyone in Pullman - there's a good amount of buzz around this kid. Conversely, the run-game will alternate Chris Bruhn and Allen Thompson, as neither pulled ahead this off-season. WR Marty Martin has stepped in to fill Darling's absence, with a ten-catch, 127-yard performance in the final spring game. The notable WRs were sidelined with injury this spring, so down-the-line reserves saw plenty of action. Get ready to see true-frosh Michael Bumpus emerge by midyear - he's a guaranteed talent. TE Cody Boyd saw a more prominent role, as Troy Bienemann was spared from (further) injury. The offensive line still has some questions at OG, but elsewhere, they carry one of the conference's best units. Center Nick Mihlhauser has emerged as a prime Rimington candidate.

Helping a depleted defensive front is DT Steve Cook. Cook won over the coaching staff with hard work and solid results this spring. Doba feels he'll be the MVP of this line. The most pleasant surprise was freshman Ropati Pitoitua, who will line up next to Cook at DT. He's tall, agile, and has shown great maturity for someone at his level. DT play (overall) was impressive, so, to their advantage, the Cougs will likely use a rotation. Look for freshman DE Reyshawn Bobo to be a player, especially in pass-rush situations. OLB Pat Bennett showed improved versatility this spring and will continue to compliment Derting at MLB. SS Jeremy Bohannon claimed (unofficial) defensive MVP honors. With questions heading into the off-season (regarding the secondary), Bohannon's 2003 level of play helped subside some of the doubts. The likely replacement at CB is Alex Teems, but he'll get pushed by JUCO transfer Wale Dada. The Cougs were hoping to get help from two talented freshmen, Randy Estes and Michael Willis, but both failed to qualify academically.

WR Michael Bumpus (fr)
DT Ropati Pitoitua (fr)
DE Reyshawn Bobo (fr)