Sept. 23, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - Head coach Mike Price announced three lineup changes Thursday for the Washington State Cougar's upcoming football game with visiting Arizona.
Defensively, sophomore Raonall Smith has moved into a starting role ahead of senior Grady Emmerson at strongside linebacker. Emmerson Saturday will back up both Smith and also Steve Gleason at weakside linebacker. Emmerson had started on the strongside for WSU's first three games this fall.
On the offensive side of the ball, Price and his staff made two changes at receiver positions. Redshirt freshman Russel Mizin is now listed as the starting tight end, moving ahead of senior Corey Scott, who started the first three games of the season.
In addition, senior Nian Taylor, who has struggled while starting the first three games, will give way to junior college transfer Marcus Williams. On WSU's depth chart, Williams moves to the split end position and junior Farwan Zubedi takes over the flanker position formerly held by Taylor.
Price also announced that Virgil Williams, who has been a key backup in the secondary, is doubtful for this weekend's game because of a sore shoulder.
In addition, walk-on kicker Anousith Wilaikul may be used on kickoffs, depending on how well Rian Lindell does on kickoffs.
PRICE COMMENTS THURSDAY ON THE LINEUP ADJUSTMENTS:
"What we found out this week was some of our younger players who got a chance to step up in practice still need a little seasoning and a little bit of practice.
"Even though some of these guys will not be listed as starters (against Arizona), they will still play and play a considerable amount of time.
"Surprisingly, motivation and hard work has not been a problem for this team. I didn't make the changes for that reason, to motivate anyone. Obviously the guys who have been touched (by the lineup changes), picked it up, probably a notch, but it wasn't as though they were not working hard in practices before. Our practices have been good, our preparation has been good. It is the playing of the game that has been bad.
"You don't get any points for (good) practices.
"This is not a threatening type move. I don't believe in threats and I don't like that kind of motivation."