The 6-foot, 214-pound Woods had all four of his tackles in a lopsided first half, helping the Cougars defense flummox a Nevada offense that totaled just 151 total yards.
PULLMAN — When Washington State coach Mike Leach was asked about the obvious absence of his prized linebacker Peyton Pelluer on Saturday, the never-speak-of-an-injury Leach wouldn’t recognize the fact he didn’t register a snap.
“Pelluer is in the locker room, with us, so he wasn’t really absent,” Leach said following his team’s 45-7 victory over Nevada, improving the Cougars to 4-0 for the first time since 2001.
The senior was even listed on WSU’s depth chart Saturday, despite the fact it had been reported since Sunday that Pelluer’s season had ended due to a broken foot sustained last week Oregon State.
But Pelluer wasn’t occupying his usual MIKE linebacker spot on Saturday against the Wolf Pack. Instead it was redshirt freshman Jahad Woods.
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The 6-foot, 214-pound Woods had all four of his tackles in a lopsided first half, helping the Cougars defense flummox a Nevada offense that totaled just 151 total yards while WSU nearly posted its second shutout in four games.
Woods, who said Pelluer has been in good spirits despite the injury, knew he had to help fill the defensive’s leader’s void.
“I needed to step up, it’s as simple as that. It was clear,” said Woods, a San Diego product.
Woods said having senior Isaac Dotson at WIL linebacker helped him in his first career start.
“He’s like a coach on the field,” Woods said of Dotson.
The Washington State flag has appeared on every College GameDay show since Oct. 4, 2013. The Freeman High flag made its debut Saturday morning.
The weekly ESPN segment set up shop in New York at Times Square and the Freeman school emblem could be seen on a Columbia blue flag flying underneath WSU’s Ol’ Crimson.
WSU has worn helmet stickers in each of its last two games to honor Freeman High since a shooting at the school left one student dead and three others injured.
• Not since 1981 had Washington State’s defense posted multiple shutouts in the same season.
If not for Nevada running back Malik Broady’s 3-yard touchown run in garbage time – Washington State led 45-0 with two minutes left – it would have happened Saturday.
WSU blanked Montana State 31-0 in…