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Washington State secondary seeks respect against Auburn

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Washington State secondary seeks respect against Auburn

Defensive backs aim for improvement after being beaten in Cougars' string of close losses

Friday, September 01, 2006


Sports Reporter

Washington State was 4-7 last season, a record that will forever represent mediocrity in the books.

Sometimes numbers lie, and that was the case with the Cougars. Many of the losses were maddening. Take, for example, a 44-33 loss to Oregon State on Oct. 1, a game the Cougars dominated until the fourth quarter. As it turned out, that setback was the start of a trend.

Washington State led UCLA 38-21 going into the fourth quarter before losing in overtime. Joe Ayoob threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to give California a 42-38 win on Oct. 22. Oregon drove the length of the field before Paul Martinez's 19-yard field goal gave the Ducks a 34-31 win.

So much of the damage came against Washington State's secondary, a unit that allowed 289 yards per game. Tyron Brackenridge believes he could have made a difference, but all he could do was watch. The 6-foot, 188-pound cornerback from Ontario, Calif., let his grades slip and ended up watching last season's games from the sidelines after being declared academically ineligible.

Brackenridge will draw his first collegiate start Saturday night against No. 4 Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Fellow senior Don Turner, who didn't start a single game last season, will likely draw the start at the other corner. Returning starters Eric Frampton and Husain Abdullah will start at strong safety and free safety, respectively.

Brackenridge expects Cougars fans will see improvement in the secondary and knows if they don't, Brandon Cox and Company will make them pay on the Plains.

"It's going to be challenging, but our secondary is taking that as motivation," Brackenridge said. "We worked so hard throughout the summer and through camp just so we can prove to everybody that we're not the weakest link. I think our defensive line is going to help us out and we're going to help our defensive line out. We're going to get more coverage sacks and we're going to work hard."

Brackenridge acknowledged that no one believes Washington State can go to Auburn and derail the Tigers' national title hopes on the season's opening weekend; in fact, the Cougars are two-touchdown underdogs. Brackenridge said that while he understands the lack of respect, he and his teammates see Saturday night's game as an opportunity to do something about it.

"We're licking our chops right now," Brackenridge said. "We can't wait. We're anxious and ready to go."

Excuse me Mr. Brackenridge, but I fully believe that you need to pay more attention to seeing Kenny, Carl, and Brad running by, thru, and over you myself.

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I am so ready for kickoff...........I hope we not only run all over these guys, but Cox throws all over them too....not to mention our receivers showing they won't be a weak point for the team!!


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Run the ball...throw the ball...Who cares?

Just go get the "W" and play AU FOOTBALL ! ! ! !

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