November 2, 2006

Washington State Preview: Defense

What started out the season as a game that most Wildcats fans thought Arizona would win has turned into a trap as the UA will head into Pullman, Washington to face a Washington State Cougars team that is ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 2003.

The Cougars are even perhaps better than their ranking suggests after two convincing wins the past two weeks against #16 Oregon and then UCLA at the Rose Bowl. While the Cougars offense is definitely a strong suit, it has been their stifling defense as of late that has helped them keep opponents out of games.

The Cougars have a bend but don't break philosophy on defense and give up a ton of yardage, but not a lot of points. Despite opponents averaging 341 yards per game they only score an average of 18 points per game.

The strongest unit on the Cougars defense is the defensive line, led by All-American candidate Mkristo Bruce. The 6-foot-7, 250-pound senior defensive end is one of the most exciting players in the Pac-10 if not the nation.

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