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2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 119
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 120

How bad were the Washington State Cougars in 2009? Let’s put it this way; their punter was their player. The team was absolutely horrid on both sides of the ball, and has a lot of work cut out for them to improve upon their one win from a season ago.

There is a little hope for the Cougars, as sophomore quarterback Jeff Tuel returns after a week 5 injury cost him the rest of his season. He set a freshman rookie record with 354 yards passing in a game against California before getting injured.

WSU Cougars Cheerleader

The offensive line won’t provide him much help to stay upright. They were among the worst units in the country, getting their quarterbacks sacked more often than any other school in the conference. Jared Karstetter returns after leading the team in receiving with 38 catches for 540 yards.

Running back James Montgomery will try to return after suffering a severe injury after three games last year. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry before going down, much better than any other Cougar running back was able to accomplish.

The only thing worse than the Cougars’ offense was their defense. Junior college transfer Brandon Rankin has been the talk of the offseason, being able to add some punch to the defensive line. Travis Long is developing into a decent defensive end as well.

Alex Hoffman-Ellis returns at linebacker after leading the team in tackles but will be moved to the outside. Mike Ledgerwood will take over his spot in the middle. Chima Nwachukwu will start at safety and is one of the few defenders with legitimate talent and skill.

Only time will tell how well Washington State will play in 2010, but odds are even three wins are a long shot. The team should be more competitive this season, but it will be a long year for the Cougars.

Washington State’s odds to win the PAC 10 : + 3000

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