Midseason review: Washington State

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

WASHINGTON STATE (1-5, 0-4 Pac-10)

In coach Paul Wulff's second season, Washington State is still rebuilding. There are reasons for hope but not many wins.

The season started with consecutive losses to Stanford, when the Cougars played a competitive game, and Hawaii, when they looked sloppy.

Then, trailing SMU 24-7 in the third quarter, the Cougs got a little good fortune and rode a pair of long interception returns to an overtime victory.

That is the only win so far, and it may be the only win this season.

The Cougars have been riddled with injuries, and Wulff has opted to start promising true freshman Jeff Tuel at quarterback.

While it's not much consolation, there is this: In its four Pac-10 games thus far, the Cougars have dramatically reduced their margin of defeat from last year.

So the Cougar are better off at midseason than they were a year ago.

Offensive MVP:

Kenny Alfred, center: Amid the offensive line's turmoil of injuries, senior center Kenny Alfred has been a rock for the Cougars. In the six games this season, he's earned WSU's most outstanding offensive player award five times. He also is on the Rimington Trophy Watch List for the third-straight year.

Defensive MVP:

Travis Long, defensive line: True freshman end Travis Long leads all Cougar defensive linemen with 27 tackles (19 solo). He also has recorded three tackles-for-loss, including two sacks, and has started each of the first six games of his Cougar career.