Washington State will play Saturday without leading receiver Tavares Martin, Jr., who was suspended for a violation of team rules, according to The Spokesman Review.
Martin is third on the team with 37 receptions, but leads the Cougars in receiving yards (502) and touchdown receptions (seven). His 71.7 yards per game ranks eighth in the Pac-12, and he’s tied for the conference lead in touchdown receptions.
Shouldering the load
During the last two games, CU running back Phillip Lindsay has racked up 69 carries, including a school-record 41 in a 45-42 loss to Arizona on Oct. 7.
The Buffs have been leaning on the 5-foot-8, 190-pound senior because he’s been their best offensive weapon. He’s rushed for 466 yards and five touchdowns in those two games, and has 995 yards and 10 scores on the season.
Lindsay is on pace for 305 carries this season, which would break the record of 298 by Rashaan Salaam in 1994.
“It’s not a problem,” Lindsay said of keeping that pace the rest of the year. “To me, it’s football. I don’t look at it like a load. When you start to look at it like that, that’s when you wear yourself down. When you look at it as football, it’s fun, it’s what I love to do, it’s what I’ve done since I was 8 years old. I just go out there to make plays.”
The Buffs would like to get backups Kyle Evans, Beau Bisharat and Michael Adkins II more involved, but it’s difficult to take Lindsay off the field when he’s playing so well.
“It’s hard when he’s in rhythm,” co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini said. “He’s been explosive this year. He’s not getting caught this year. I’m sure it’s helped him in the eyes of the next level. I’m proud of that kid.”
Washington State coach Mike Leach said last weeks’ 37-3 loss to California was “the worst game everybody’s played under me.” He added that the loss “should” motivate his players for this week. … The Buffs have had K.D. Nixon and Ronnie Blackmon handling most of the kick return duties this year, but Evans had a return last week, as well. Regardless of who has the ball, MacIntyre said, “We’ve just got to do a better job blocking for them. We’re not doing a good job blocking for them. Hopefully, we’ll be better this week because I guarantee they’ll kick it to us to return because we didn’t get it out very far (against Oregon State).”