For WSU Cougars DBs Marcellus Pippins, Robert Taylor, the Cal game will be a homecoming

Seniors Marcellus Pippins and Robert Taylor constitute the Bay Area half of WSU’s ‘Hot Boy$’ defensive secondary, and they’re excited to play on the road but in front of some ‘home’ fans

Marcellus Pippins has made some huge plays in his four years at cornerback for Washington State.

Case in point: The fumble he forced against Boise State this season on a tackle of Broncos’ running back Alexander Mattison on third-and-goal that was recovered by Frankie Luvu.

Pippins and Luvu also combined for a second strip-sack big play against Oregon State when Pippins nailed Jake Luton and Luvu picked up the loose ball to score on a 40-yard return.

The Cougars’ senior cornerback has a fun, outgoing personality to match his in-your-face style of play and his legendary dancing skills between plays, and that personality often fuels his confidence on the field. Pippins, says his mother, Volaney Harris-Lee, has always played football with emotion. You can tell how he’s feeling on any given day by watching the way he engages receivers, and his exuberance often rubs off on the entire team.

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“Pip likes to get loud. Pip likes to pump us up,” says free safety Robert Taylor. “He’s very emotional. You see him dancing and hollering, and we feed off that a little bit.”

But sometimes, that emotion can also get in Pippins’ way.

Which was what happened last week, against Oregon, when Pippins correctly diagnosed a play and quickly wrapped up Ducks’ receiver Johnny Johnson III to force the loss of one yard.

The problem came after the tackle. Pippins either stood over the receiver too long after making the play, or talked a little too much trash, but the result was an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that cost the Cougars 15 yards.

Oops.

WSU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch took Pippins out after that play, and sat him for a couple of series. Pippins also apologized to his…

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