Oct. 11, 2006
As the NFL's fifth week of action came to a close, it was former college standouts that made the biggest impact on the field. For the New Orleans Saints, running back Reggie Bush, formerly of USC's lineup, returned a punt for 65 yards, resulting in the game-winning touchdown for the Saints. Bush's USC teammate Matt Leinart earned his first start of his professional career and threw for two touchdowns against the Kansas City Chiefs. Texas' former quarterback Vince Young ran in a 19-yard touchdown and guided his team to a near-upset of the undefeated Indianapolis Colts.
For former Cougars around the NFL, the story was much the same. Ex-WSU standouts left an impact on fields all over the nation as they passed, blocked, and tackled their way through the weekend.
Although several teams featuring former WSU athletes suffered NFL losses this weekend, the Cougars still turned in winning individual performances. Quarterback Drew Bledsoe, a Cougar in the early 90s, completed 18 passes for 232 yards and ran for a seven-yard touchdown at Philadelphia. The Cowboys couldn't hold on, however, as the Eagles took the 38-24 win over Dallas.
The Colts and the Titans met at Indianapolis's RCA Dome for a game highlighted by Cougar defensive performances. For the Colts, Jason David, a defensive back for WSU from 2000-03, made two tackles and knocked down a pass. For the Titans' defense, Lamont Thompson started at free safety, posting four tackles total. The defensive plays of both athletes made this game the closest outcome of the weekend with the undefeated Colts barely holding on to a 14-13 win.
Jerome Harrison, who sits atop several WSU record categories, turned in a noteworthy performance at Carolina, rushing three times for 14 yards and catching four passes for 10 yards.
In the kicking game, Jason Hanson of the Detroit Lions and the Bills' Rian Lindell connected on their kicks for their respective teams. Hanson made a 53-yard field goal and connected on both PAT attempts at Minnesota. Lindell made his only PAT attempt as the Bills' suffered a 40-7 loss at the hands of the Chicago Bears. He is now 8-of-8 on the season in PAT attempts.
Defensive lineman Rob Meier and the Jacksonville Jaguars shut out the New York Jets 41-0 Sunday to improve to a 3-2 record overall. Meier, who started at right tackle, made three primary tackles, had one quarterback hurry, and recorded a sack for nine yards.
Looking ahead to week six, the undefeated Indianapolis Colts are among six teams with a bye while the Chicago Bears will highlight Monday Night Football and look to hold onto their perfect record. Bledsoe and the Cowboys will host an in-state battle against the Houston Texans while Marcus Trufant and the Seattle Seahawks return from their bye week with a visit to the 4-1 St. Louis Rams.
For a closer look at what all 19 Cougars in the NFL did this weekend, visit http://wsucougars.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/2006-nfl-players.html and click on "2006 NFL Updates".