Nov 5, 2011; San Francisco CA, USA; California Golden Bears running back Isi Sofele (20) is tackled by Washington State Cougars safety Deone Bucannon (20) during the second quarter at AT

Breske, Cougs Count On Safeties For Backbone and More Big Plays (the official Cougar school team site) has been counting down the days till football by looking at some key players as their numbers pop up on the countdown to Cougar football. 2 of those players are exactly 5 days/numbers apart and they just happen to be the core of the Cougar defense. They are the Coug safeties, Deone Bucannon and Tyree Toomer.

Sitting with the #20 and #15 on their chest, these two started early and have been through some really tough times back there, constantly getting torched by inexperience at cornerback and usually leading the team in tackles throughout ballgames as opponents run rampant through their crimson, gray or white clad teammates. They have been the safety net of their team, catching or running down as many people as physically possible over the past 2 (and 3 in Tyree’s case) seasons. But they’re ready for a more aggressive and fun role this season.

With the move to the 3-4 defense under Mike Breske, the Cougs will attempt to be more aggressive instead of passive this quickly approaching football season. Moving senior stud Travis Long and the athletic freshman Logan Mayes to the Buck position, Breske will make a concerted effort to get more pressure from all angles on opposing qbs, without having to send the house at them. The result would optimally be that Bucannon and Toomer get to use their ball-hawk skills more often while experienced corners Demante HortonNolan Washington and Daniel Simmons handle more 1 on 1 coverage than they ever have been able to. More big plays and turnovers? We can only hope!

Here are my favorite quotes from each off of the Cougar website about this upcoming season:

Junior Safety Deone Bucannon #20

Are you excited to play in the new Martin Stadium?
The new press box looks amazing. It was really cool being here all summer to watch the making of it with each pillar that went up. It will definitely help make this stadium one of the loudest in the country.

Tell us about Coach Leach and his staff.
Coach Leach is a great coach. He’s about honor and integrity and it’s a blessing to be coached by him.

What are the guys saying about this season?
We are very excited to be playing on the field together. It’s an honor and a privilege to play for my teammates.

Nov 5, 2011; San Francisco CA, USA; California Golden Bears running back Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson (33) is tackled by Washington State Cougars safety Tyree Toomer (15) during the fourth quarter at AT

Senior Safety Tyree Toomer #15

Are you excited to play in the new Martin Stadium?
My teammates and I can’t wait to play in the new Martin Stadium! It really feels like a big time stadium with the addition of the new press box and suites and I know it’s going to be the loudest stadium in the Pac-12 because the whole Cougar Nation will be there every home game. If you thought Martin Stadium was difficult to play in before, THINK AGAIN!!

Why come to WSU?
Well besides the fact that we have the most pride in the nation, WSU has a unique location that allows its students to get the full college experience. Attending this university makes you a part of something real. Once a Coug, always a Coug.

Tell us about Coach Leach and his staff.
Coach Leach is a great coach and has put together an incredible coaching staff. He has worked us harder than we have ever had since I’ve been here. Everyone will witness the result of our hard work on Aug. 30! Coach Breske, our new defensive coordinator and my position coach, has put together a defense that will cause a lot of big hits and create plenty of turnovers. So get ready Cougar fans!

What are the guys saying about this season?
Everyone is very excited about the season. We put in a lot of hard work and dedication into this off-season and we’re ready to punish our opponents.

What would you be doing if you weren’t playing football?
If I wasn’t playing football I would probably be trying to find somewhere where I could play football.


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Tags: Deone Bucannon Mike Breske Tyree Toomer

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