Wagner Building On Last Year, WSU vs USC
Bobby Wagner looks to follow up strong season.
Bobby Wagner showed enough in training camp a season ago that the Seattle Seahawks were comfortable heading into the regular season with a rookie drafted in the second round from a non-BCS school starting at middle linebacker. It wasn't until Wagner chased down Carolina quarterback Cam Newton from behind in Week 5 a year ago that everyone else started to take notice of what Wagner was doing. Wagner heads back to Carolina this week for the Seahawks season opener, looking to exceed the production of a rookie season when he was at the center of one of the best defenses in the NFL. Just like quarterback Russell Wilson, Wagner was a big question for the Seahawks when the 2012 season opener arrived.
No. 25 USC opens Pac-12 schedule vs Washington St.
Washington State's first meeting with Southern California in three years is a chance for a breakthrough victory under coach Mike Leach. It's also a chance for one of the No. 25 Trojans' two quarterbacks to break out as the clear starter. Yet neither possibility seems all that probable when the Cougars (0-1) visit the Coliseum on Saturday night for the resumption of a rivalry that dates to 1921. Washington State looked better than many expected in a seven-point loss at Auburn last week, while USC put on a muddled offensive performance in a comfortable win at Hawaii. But the Cougars are wary of the Trojans' talent-loaded roster and a revamped defense that looked dominant in its first game under new coordinator Clancy Pendergast. The game is both schools' Pac-12 opener.
Browner, Avril game-time decisions for Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks won't know until Sunday whether starting cornerback Brandon Browner or defensive end Cliff Avril will be able to play in the season opener against Carolina. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Browner and Avril will be game-time decisions. Browner suffered a hamstring injury earlier this week, while Avril is trying to come back from a hamstring injury suffered during training camp. Carroll said both would have to be worked out before Sunday's game. If Browner can't go, Carroll said Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell will play cornerback. Should Avril have to sit, the Seahawks plan to start O'Brien Schofield. Seattle got good news on its defensive line as both tackles Brandon Mebane (groin) and Tony McDaniel (groin) are expected to play after making it through a week of practice.