Alex Brink is good – real good. His coach, Bill Doba, said in July that he will break every school record as a quarterback at Washington State, including those held by Ryan Leaf. That’s
also probably going to be true for Willie Tuitama before it’s all said and done. He averages about 40 more passing yards a game than Brink, but he edges Tuitama in touchdowns 12-10.

Advantage: Washington State

Running Backs

Tuitama has infl ated passing numbers this season because the offense has so many problems rushing. Dwight Tardy leads the tailbacks for the Cougars, and the group beats Arizona’s by a lot. WSU almost doubles Arizona’s rush yards per game. The Wildcats currently rank dead last in the Pac-10 in that category.
Advantage: Washington State Wide Receivers The Cougars have four solid receivers in Michael Bumpus, Brandon Gibson, Charles Dillon and Jed Collins. The problem is those are about
the only four receivers that get any looks for the Cougars. You never know who’s getting the ball in Arizona’s spread attack.

Advantage: Arizona

Offensive Line

If you go by sacks alone, the Cougars have a 7-4 advantage in protecting the quarterback. Still, the Arizona offensive line continues to give Tuitama all the time in the world to pass,
not the case in 2006. At the current pace, the Wildcats would allow 10 fewer sacks than last season.

Advantage: Washington State

Defensive Line

The Arizona defensive line continued to make bonehead moves last week against No. 6 California, such as roughing the passer and offsides penalties, among other undisciplined plays. The
teams are even in sacks with eight apiece.

Advantage: Washington State


Greg Trent, Kendrick Dunn and Cory Evans defi nitely make a case for a strong linebacking corps for the Cougars. The group has 81 tackles, barely below Arizona’s total of 84. This season
hasn’t been a great one for Arizona’s linebackers, but their reputation for being a strong group outweighs the Cougars’.

Advantage: Arizona


Week after week, the Arizona cornerbacks continue to be the essence of the defense, and that shouldn’t change this weekend.

Advantage: Arizona


Both teams are in eerily similar quandaries. Both have the possibility of starting conference play 0-2, and both have the possibility of knowing it won’t make a bowl game just fi ve weeks into the season. It will be Arizona who gets its first win against a Division I-A opponent this year, but it will be a fi ght to the death.

Arizona 31, Washington State 28

-compiled by Mike Ritter