While you were on vacation ... WSU

The final entry of 12 quick updates on offseason Pac-12 goings on.

Washington State in a sentence

  • Washington State improved in 2010 but it must win games this fall in order for coach Paul Wulff to retain his job for a fifth season.

The big issue

  • It's about both lines: In 2010, the Cougars couldn't run the ball or stop the run, nor could they sack the opposing quarterback or protect their own. If they are going to win games, both lines need to improve dramatically.

Quick hit news

  • Washington State had two coaching staff changes: Chris Tormey replaced Travis Niekamp as linebackers coach (Niekamp became Cougars coordinator of football development); and former UCLA assistant Todd Howard took over the defensive line for Malik Roberson.

  • As pointed out by Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist John Blanchette about four staff changes over the past 13 months "the four assistants who departed had a total of 17 years full-time experience at Football Championship Subdivision schools; the four replacements have 79 years in the FCS or the National Football League."

  • Wulff is 5-32 over three seasons and 2-25 in conference games, but the Cougars turned in a highly competitive finish in 2010: They lost 20-13 to Cal, beat Oregon State 31-14 and then lost a thriller 35-28 to rival Washington.

  • Line issues? The offensive line has surrendered 147 sacks in three seasons, the worst in the nation over that span.

  • Line issues? The defense has ranked 119th, 117th and 115th against the run over the past three seasons.

  • Backup offensive guard Tyson Pencer left the team to play in his native Canada.

  • Senior cornerback Aire Justin, a part-time starter in 2010, was suspended for the season after failing an NCAA drug test and losing his appeal.

  • Incoming freshmen Brock Lutes and Demetrius Cherry were ruled academically ineligible and will attend junior college.