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2009 Season Archive
May 3 (11:02 a.m.)
Eppele Drafted No. 2...
Congratulations are in order for former Cougar offensive lineman Joe Eppele, who was taken with the second overall selection by the Toronto Argonauts in yesterday's Canadian Football League Draft.
I have some links to pass along...
First, check the Argonauts' Web site HERE. They have a nice splash page with Joe and some video on their main page.
THIS STORY came out a couple days before the draft, but it's a good feature.
April 27 (11:34 a.m.)
Putting a Bow on Spring Football...
With WSU's 2010 Spring Football season finally in the books, there is plenty out there to read out there...
Next, let's move on to yesterday's final practice: - Vince is on vacation, so Braulio has the only practice report HERE.
And finally, the Napa Valley Register took note of redshirt freshman defensive tackle Justin Clayton's performance in the Spring Game. You can read the quick story HERE.
I imagine there are going to be some spring recaps coming, and I will post those as they become available...
April 24 (8:57 p.m.)
WSU Holds Final Spring Scrimmage...
Lots of stuff from today's Spring Game, so let's get to it...
First, CLICK HERE to read the story. If you don't want to read the story, at least click to see the photo gallery.
When you're done with the story and the photos, check out THE VIDEO with Coach Wulff after the game.
Next, CLICK HERE for a podcast with Chantz Staden. Here is ANOTHER ONE with Jeff Tuel.
That's about it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend...
April 22 (6:57 p.m.)
Practice No. 13 Notes...
With Thursday's practice down, there are only two practices left on the WSU Football spring calendar, and one of them is Saturday's scrimmage at Martin Stadium (5:30 p.m.). Speaking of Saturday...Head over to the baseball game prior to the scrimmage and catch Donnie Marbut's Cougars square off against the 22nd-ranked Oregon State Beavers. The last ranked team to come to Pullman was No. 1 Arizona State, and the Sun Devils left with a series loss. You can be part of another series win for the Cougars this weekend...
The Cougar Football team will also be signing autographs prior to the baseball game, so be sure to get there early. This is all part of Butch's Spring Bash, and you can CLICK HERE for more information.
On to the notes...
The Cougars were in helmets and shoulder pads today, and it was an absolutely gorgeous day out on Rogers Field, though it was the defense that seemed to enjoy a majority of today's practice. Don't get me wrong, the offense was able to make plays - especially towards the end - but there were guys in white jerseys making plays all day long.
It all started in skelly, where the Cougar cornerbacks were batting passes away and locking down receivers seemingly the entire portion. But the guy making the most noise today? Linebacker Jim Dahl, who recorded the biggest hit of the day and also recorded a sack. Jordan Pu'u-Robinson and Travis Long also recorded sacks during scrimmage. When practice came to a close, the entire defense huddled together to celebrate their day.
A couple tidbits...
- Former Cougar Brandon Gibson, now with the St. Louis Rams, was on hand for practice today. We were actually talking when he received word that Sam Bradford would be his new quarterback in St. Louis.
- There is a new No. 69 on the team. As we all wait for Kenny Alfred's name to get called during this week's NFL Draft, his old number is now being worn by tight end-turned-center Elliott Bosch.
- After missing some time due to injuries, Carl Winston and Zack Williams were each participants in today's practice, and neither was wearing a yellow jersey. It was as full-go as it gets in a helmets and shoulder pads practice.
Hope to see you all at the scrimmage!
April 22 (3:44 p.m.)
NFL Draft Notes...
I meant to get this posted earlier, but man...it has been a crazy day. The draft still hasn't started though, so here are the notes I promised yesterday:
- The Cougars have had at least one player selected in each of the last 15 NFL Drafts, the fifth-longest streak in the Pac-10. WSU's streak is longer than Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.
- The Cougars have had 86 players drafted since 1978, 27 of which came in the first three rounds.
- WSU has had nine first-round draft picks since the 1978 NFL Draft.
- Three of the first-round selections were quarterbacks selected in the last 21 years - Timm Rosenbach (1989; supplemental), Drew Bledsoe (1993) and Ryan Leaf (1998). The total is tied for second-most in the conference with UCLA during that same span, and only USC (four) has had more.
- The Cougars had eight players selected in the 1978 draft, more than in any other draft in school history. (An aside...one of the selections was current wide receivers coach Mike Levenseller, who was taken in the sixth round by Oakland.).
- In 1993, the NFL Draft went to seven rounds. Since then, the Cougars have had a team-high four players drafted in both 1995 and 1998.
- In the last 20 years, the highest selection for a kicker from the Pac-10 came from WSU. Jason Hanson was a second-round selection in 1992, and 19 seasons later is still kicking for the team that drafted him - the Detroit Lions. He is the team's all-time leading scorer and has more 50-plus-yard field goals than any other kicker in NFL history.
The six-round Canadian Football League Draft will take place May 2, and as previously mentioned, offensive lineman Joe Eppele is currently ranked amongst the top five prospects. Here is a note on the CFL Draft...
- Since 1999, two Cougars have been taken with the first selection in the CFL Draft: Rob Meier in 1999 (British Columbia) and Adam Braidwood in 2006 (Edmonton).
Enjoy this evening's draft, and Go Seahawks.
April 21 (10:24 a.m.)
Wednesday Morning Links, Chat with Coach Wulff...
No practice? That doesn't stop Vince Grippi from reporting. He had THIS POST yesterday, highlighting the Cougar offense.
The Tacoma News Tribune had THIS STORY on Kenny Alfred and the NFL Draft.
I'm going to be honest with you - the NFL Draft is one of my favorite times of the year. Tomorrow's first round will begin while I am on the practice field, so I will have the phone set to live updates and people texting me. I will still be bringing notes from practice though, worry not.
I will also have some Cougar draft notes for you before practice, so check back tomorrow for those.
Coach Wulff will conduct an online chat, exclusively at WSUCougars.com, Thursday, April 22, at 11 a.m. To view the chat and to submit questions CLICK HERE.
April 20 (3:29 p.m.)
Tuesday's Practice Cancelled (But I Still Have Stuff for You)...
This afternoon's football practice scheduled for Rogers Field at 3 p.m. has been cancelled. WSU will make up the date with a Monday morning (Apr. 26) practice on Rogers Field at 6 a.m.
The next Cougar football practice will be Thursday (Apr. 22) on Rogers Field at 3:30 p.m.
I do have THIS PODCAST with Coach Wulff following yesterday's morning session.
If you're wondering why there wasn't a practice report here, it was because I was disallowed by The Professor from showing up at 6 a.m. I would have been there though. I promise...
With the draft right around the corner, CougFan had THIS STORY, checking in with Kenny Alfred.
In other draft news, Joe Eppele is currently rated as the No. 5 prospect entering the Canadian Football League Draft. If you CLICK HERE, you can watch a draft preview video with Joe. Just scroll down a little bit on the page, click on Joe's video, and it will pop up in the player on the page. He may be the No. 5 prospect, but word on the street he could go as high as No. 3. I will keep you posted...
See you all Thursday...
April 16 (2:09 p.m.)
A Look Back at Thursday...
The Cougars have a few days off, though they are heading north on a retreat this afternoon, and will return tomorrow evening.
You can check out yesterday's post-practice interview with Coach Wulff HERE at our YouTube site.
You can also listen to a podcast with Myron Beck (AKA The Hybrid) HERE.
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review has THIS POST, which includes practice notes and a story on WSU's tight ends.
Braulio Perez has this RECAP on CougFan, though you will need a subscription to read it.
And finally, CLICK HERE for a story on former Cougar coach and running back Steve Broussard.
Have a good weekend. The Cougs are back in action Monday morning...
April 15 (6:50 p.m.)
Practice No. 11
Under a Chamber of Commerce day on the Palouse, the Cougars concluded their fourth of five weeks of spring practice, and much like the weather, practice improved as the day wore on.
- Coach Wulff told the media following practice that the offense was better today, got it going after a sluggish start and then starting catching some balls.
- During the skelly drills cornerback Nolan Washington provided a defensive highlight, collecting a tipped pass and taking it to the back of the end zone, where he was swarmed by the defense.
- During the team portion of practice the offense produced two long scores as Jeff Tuel found Daniel Blackledge in the end zone on roughly a 30-yard pass and catch. Tuel also connected with Logwone Mitz on a screen pass that Mitz took more than 40 yards for a score.
That is about it for the day. The Cougars are taking the weekend off from football, heading on a road trip for some team building activities. WSU will be back in action Monday with an early morning practice as it begins the final week of spring ball.
April 14 (3:24 p.m.)
Today is an off-day for the Cougars, though we have been taking photos all day for some of the new guys and guys that weren't here for photo day last year. I hope to have everything updated on the Web site tomorrow, or at least by the end of the week.
Vince Grippi recapped yesterday's practice HERE in the Spokesman Review. The link also includes a story on the progression of linebacker Hallston Higgins this spring.
Braulio Perez has THIS RECAP from yesterday's practice, though to read it you will need a subscription.
The Cougars are back on the field tomorrow at 3:40 p.m.
April 13 (6:38 p.m.)
Practice No. 10...
Before we get to notes from this afternoon's practice, I just wanted to thank the Cougar moms I had the opportunity to meet this past weekend following the scrimmage. It was a pleasure meeting you all, and thanks to Mrs. Enyeart, I will no longer have any trouble writing in the rain.
On to the notes (though there aren't many)...
- There were a few injuries out on Rogers Field this afternoon, though none of them were too serious. When Brandon Rankin went down, the entire media contingent went silent. It turned out to be a bruise and he returned to practice.
- The Cougars started practice with two running backs, but after Leon Brooks tweaked an ankle, Logwone Mitz was the last man standing. They kept giving him the ball though, and he was pretty worn out by the time he had to come do media interviews.
- Linebacker Darren Markle turned in the most exciting play of the day for the defense, intercepting a pass and taking it to the house in a thud session.
- In the final period, Jeff Tuel hit Jared Karstetter for a deep touchdown on the first play of the live session, and on the final play, Marshall Lobbestael hit Jeffrey Solomon for another touchdown.
That is about it folks. The Cougars will be back in action Thursday at 3:40 p.m. in Martin Stadium.
April 10 (1:15 p.m.)
If you weren't at this morning's scrimmage, you missed out...
But I have you covered. To read the story, CLICK HERE.
However, that was just my opinion on how it went. To hear from the players, Jason Krump put together four podcasts for you to listen to:
- JARED KARSTETTER
- KEVIN KOOYMAN
- LOGWONE MITZ
- JEFF TUEL
He also has THIS PODCAST from Coach Wulff.
And finally, we have some photos from the scrimmage. There is an AWESOME photo Jason was able to get of Karstetter's touchdown catch. Just click the link below...
The Cougars are back on the field Tuesday at 3:40 p.m. Have a wonderful weekend.
April 9 (10:39 a.m.)
The Cougars have today off, but will be back on the field tomorrow for the second scrimmage of spring football. The scrimmage will get going around 10 a.m. in Martin Stadium.
Until then, here are a few things to pass some time on a Friday...
Jared Prenguber put together THIS HIGHLIGHT VIDEO from yesterday's practice.
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had THIS POST, including notes from yesterday's practice and a story about the first half of spring camp.
Braulio Perez had THIS RECAP from practice, though you need a subscription to read it.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has THIS STORY on offensive line coach Steve Morton.
April 8 (8:13 p.m.)
Practice No. 8 Recap...
Well fans, we are more than halfway through WSU's Spring Football season. And how did we celebrate? We went inside...
The Cougars were at the Indoor Practice Facility for today's practice, and I wasn't complaining. It was a tad bit windy; the kind of wind that can force you to take a step backward when you want to go forward. It could have made for fun game weather, but for practice, not so much.
Before we get to some notes from today's practice, I wanted to remind everyone about Saturday's scrimmage. The team should be in Martin Stadium about 9:40 a.m., and the scrimmage should get going about 10 a.m. Schools are only allowed three scrimmages during Spring Football, and Saturday will be No. 2. Thus, if you miss it, you have just one more chance to catch the team before fall.
On to the notes...
The Cougars were in helmets and shoulder pads for the final time this spring. The rest of the way WSU will be all padded up, and should be going full contact.
Three-year starting offensive lineman Micah Hannam went through his first full practice of the spring, and he worked a bit at left guard. He had made just a couple of part-time appearances before today due to a class commitment. Nothing major - Hannam is a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic selection.
The Cougars had four running backs sitting out today. Logwone Mitz and Leon Brooks split all of the carries.
When there isn't a lot of hitting going on, there usually isn't much to report on. However, for about 10 minutes, you all would have thoroughly enjoyed one of the drills. One defensive back lined up across one wide receiver, and either Marshall Lobbestael or Jeff Tuel attempted to complete a pass. I'm not going to declare a winner, but there were a couple highlights: on one of the plays, Jared Karstetter juked his guy and broke away, catching what would have been about a 30-yard touchdown pass; on the other side though, I didn't see freshmen Nolan Washington or Anthony Carpenter get beat for a completion once.
At the end of practice Strength and Conditioning Coach Darin Lovat handed out an award for Weight Champion of the Month, and March's winner was AHEZ (pronounced A-H easy), Alex Hoffman-Ellis.
I hope to see you all at the scrimmage.
April 7 (10:18 a.m.)
Spring Practice No. 7...
Just about halfway through Spring Football. Have what you liked what you've seen (or read, or heard) so far? Coach Wulff has...
We have a couple podcasts for you to check out...
First, this one with GINO SIMONE.
And this one with CHIMA NWACHUKWU.
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review has THIS POST, including notes from yesterday's practice and a feature on WSU's offensive line coach, Steve Morton.
Braulio Perez also has a practice recap at CougFan HERE.
The Cougars are back in action tomorrow (at 3:40 p.m.), and will host the second of three spring scrimmages Saturday (April 10). The team will be in Martin Stadium around 9:40 a.m., though the scrimmage probably won't get started until around 10 a.m.
April 5 (10:25 a.m.)
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. I took the weekend off to spend time with family, so let's recap the Cougar Football goings-on with some links:
Jared Prenguber put together a highlight package from Saturday's scrimmage, which you can view by CLICKING HERE.
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had this BLOG POST, including a recap of WSU's scrimmage Saturday and a feature on WSU's new athletic director, Bill Moos. Vince also has THIS POST, posing some questions for WSU.
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS RECAP from Saturday's scrimmage.
Braulio Perez had THIS RECAP from the scrimmage.
April 1 (6:58 p.m.)
Spring Practice No. 5...
Before we get to notes from today's practice, I have some information for the 2010 season to get to...
WSU's game against SMU (Sept. 18) will kick off at 2:30 p.m. (CT), and will be televised live by CBS College Sports.
I had a link on Kenny Alfred that I was planning on sharing with you today, and interestingly enough, Kenny was at practice today. Check out THIS STORY at CBSSports.com, which identifies Alfred as the No. 1 "Diamond in the Rough" at offensive line headed into the draft. Kenny said the process has been treating him well.
Jason Krump conducted a podcast with quarterback Jeff Tuel after practice, and you can listen to it HERE.
Here are a few notes from today's practice:
- Chantz Staden ripped off a huge gain during one of the inside run sessions. The play was blocked perfectly by the line, which from left to right was Jacobson, Ayers, Roxas, Guerra and Gonzalez. A couple of the linemen reached the second level, which allowed Staden to go virtually untouched.
- How do you go full speed whilst practicing kickoff return when the squad isn't in full pads? Add flags into the mix. The Cougars did just that this afternoon, and Chima Nwachukwu proved to be the team's best flag football player defensively, while Daniel Simmons was the most elusive in the return game.
- Despite not being in full pads, both sides seemed to be going full speed in scrimmage sessions. On one play, Jared Byers caught a pass and was immediately hit by Anthony Carpenter. The defense erupted following the hit, but Byers held onto the ball.
- I talked with Zach Enyeart after practice about how special teams has been going this spring. He says both the new coach (Dave Ungerer) and the special teams units have been great thus far this spring. A note about Enyeart (because long snappers rarely get notes)...he has not botched a single snap in a game in either of the last two years.
I also have some scheduling news as far as the rest of spring ball is concerned. Rather than practice this Saturday, the Cougars will be holding a full-on scrimmage beginning at 9:40 a.m. The scrimmage that was initially scheduled for April 17 will no longer take place.
March 31 (1:06 p.m.)
WSU Football Links...
I have a couple links to pass along:
First, Vince Grippi's BLOG POST, including a story on WSU's receivers and notes from yesterday's practice.
Braulio Perez had THIS REPORT from practice, though to read it you will need a subscription to CougFan.
The team is off today, but will be back on Rogers Field tomorrow.
March 30 (6:43 p.m.)
Spring Practice No. 4...
I have a few more notes from practice this afternoon than I did yesterday, and the reason is simple: it wasn't raining. Have you ever tried writing in pen on wet paper? The pen goes through the paper when you're trying to write, and when you try to read what you wrote, the ink has bled all over. Rather than try to master this skill, I just went from memory yesterday...
The Cougars were in Martin Stadium for the fourth practice of spring ball, and here is what you missed if you weren't in attendance:
- The Cougars have three long snappers participating in spring drills at the moment: Zach Enyeart, Travis Long and Alex Reitnouer. So what does the team do when two different punters and two different kickers are working out at the same time? Coach Wulff steps in and handles the duties. He admitted after practice he was a little rusty, though he thought he did pretty well.
- Coach Wulff also talked with the media about shuffling players along the offensive and defensive lines. David Gonzalez moved to left tackle today, while Wade Jacobson played primarily at right tackle. With Zack Williams out, Sebastian Valenzuela and Tim Hodgdon saw reps with the first unit at guard.
- The Cougars scrimmaged for 45 minutes at the end of practice, and linebacker Myron Beck started the defense off on the right foot with an absolutely monstrous hit on a running back, just as he was catching the ball. Had it been in live game action, you would have already seen it on YouTube. Anthony Laurenzi and Dan Spitz each recorded a sack, and Aire Justin was all over the field. Coach Wulff said after practice that Justin is playing a lot more physical this spring than he has in the past.
- The only scoring on the day came from Nico Grasu, who hit a couple of field goals going into the wind. Coach Wulff said the offense wasn't as crisp today as it was yesterday, but the defensive line was getting a pretty good pass rush.
- Not a football note, but interesting nonetheless: you can smell Panda Express from the CUB all the way down at the 50-yard line in Martin. It gets pretty hungry down there around dinner time, and smelling orange chicken wasn't helping...
The Cougars have tomorrow off, but will be back on the field Thursday. It will be a lighter practice than today's, with the team in just helmets and shoulder pads.
March 30 (2:48 p.m.)
Links from Yesterday's Practice...
I gave you a few nuggets from yesterday's practice last night, but Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review and Braulio Perez of CougFan have much more...
You can read Vince's practice notes HERE. The link also includes a story on a few WSU Football players whose careers may have ended prematurely, but are still finding a way to stay involved with the team.
You can also read Braulio's recap HERE, though to do so requires a subscription.
I will have a few more notes from this afternoon's practice once interviews have all been completed.
March 29 (6:56 p.m.)
Spring Practice: Day Three...
The Cougar Football team put the pads on for the first time this spring, and my guess is that the extra insulation was welcomed. It was a little wet and a little chilly out on Rogers Field this afternoon...
I will have links to a couple reports from practice when they become available, but I will offer a few nuggets to whet your Cougar Football appetite for now:
Junior college transfer David Gonzalez, one of the Cougars' newest offensive lineman, can flat-out play...he was impressive both in live scrimmage and in an inside run drill this afternoon. Expect to see him pushing for playing time come fall practice.
Anthony Laurenzi looks like he has improved quite a bit this offseason. The rising redshirt sophomore played in all 12 games last year - starting five - and if he continues this progression, expect to see more than the three tackles-for-loss and two sacks that he posted in his debut season.
Redshirt senior running back Chantz Staden looks fully recovered from his knee surgery. He missed all of last season, but he was cutting and juking all over the field today. He also seems to have assumed the role as WSU's vocal leader.
The offense controlled the line of scrimmage in the early live scrimmage session, but the Cougar defense dominated the second time around, recording a few sacks. In the final session of the afternoon, the first-team offense marched down the field and Leon Brooks scored from a few yards out.
WSU is back on the field tomorrow, and will once again be in full gear.
March 26 (10:34 a.m.)
Question: What Makes Spring Better?
Answer: Football. But as we all know, football makes everything better. Spring just got a heck of a lot more entertaining on the Palouse with the arrival of WSU's 2010 Spring Football season.
The Cougars held their first practice yesterday afternoon, and Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review has his recap of the day's goings-on HERE.
Check out a mini-photo gallery from practiceHERE.
The Cougars weren't in full pads yesterday - just helmets, jerseys and shorts - and they won't be this afternoon either for the second practice of spring ball. Come Monday though, you should start to hear some pads cracking on Rogers Field.
Jason Krump has a podcast with rising junior wide receiver Jared Karstetter, which you can find HERE, at our new podcast page. At the same link you will also find a podcast with Coach Wulff from Wednesday, previewing Spring Football with the media.
We also have some video footage from yesterday's practice at WSU's YouTube Channel. For more video, head to the wsucougars.com main page, and you can view Coach Wulff's post-practice interview with the media.
While you are waiting for more from WSU's spring practices, feel free to peruse our 2010 WSU Football Spring Prospectus. The PDF includes a depth chart, updated bios and rosters, a complete practice schedule, position previews (featuring quotes from Coach Wulff) and all sorts of other Cougar Football information you might find interesting.
Have a great Friday...
February 3 (11:04 a.m.)
NLI No. 20 - C.J. Mizell...
A linebacker out of Tallahassee, Fla., Mizell originally signed with Florida State in 2009. This is simply one of the most impressive senior resumes you will ever see...
SENIOR year registered 131 tackles (87 solo), including 26 tackles-for-loss and 12.5 sacks...also recorded 14 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries...named first-team all-state (4A) and was a finalist for the high school Butkus Award...came out of high school as a Prep Star All-American...four-star recruit according to Scout.com, and was rated No. 5 nationally at his position...was also a four-star recruit according to Rivals.com, and was rated No. 19 at his position nationally and No. 45 overall in the state of Florida...rated No. 25 at his position nationally by ESPN...ranked as the ninth-best player in Florida by FloridaVarsity.com, No. 33 in the Superprep Florida 110 and member of the Mobile Press Register's Super Southeast 120.
February 3 (10:41 a.m.)
NLI Nos. 18 and 19 - Two More Corners Sign...
No. 18 - CB Damante Horton (Oakland, Calif.)
"Damante gives us a great physical presence at the cornerback position. He can be physical with receivers off the line of scrimmage and plays that style real well. We need that with the size of receivers in this conference. We need corners that can tackle well, number one, and two play physical. His speed is very good and his future is very bright."
"Damante might be the quickest out of the whole bunch. He's got a tremendous amount of cover skills and he is a tough, strong player. He brings a lot of passion, and he is really quick and really athletic."
No. 19 - CB Matthew Simmons (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.)
Simmons' father Randal played football at Washington State in the late 1970s.
"His dad was a great player here at Washington State. Matt is a very fine player, a good combination of speed, strength and quickness. He's going to be a physical football player who could play some corner, some safety. He could end up at either one of those spots, we are not sure but his flexibility we feel is a bonus for us."
"Matt is extremely physical. He is a tough player with a really good feel for the game. He will raise the toughness and physicality at both his position and the team."
February 3 (10:32 a.m.)
Chat With Coach Rasmussen at Noon...
At noon, you will be able to chat live with WSU Recruiting Coordinator Rich Rasmussen. Questions for Coach Rasmussen can be submitted HERE.
February 3 (10:25 a.m.)
NLI Nos. 15-17 - Defensive Wave Hits Cougars...
No. 15 - Tyrone Duckett (Alameda, Calif.)
"Tyrone is a great leader who played quarterback and safety in high school. He is going to be a defensive player for us, be it at outside linebacker or safety. He brings great maturity in a lot of ways and a lot of want-to. He is a young man with great leadership skills."
"Tyrone is a very athletic, very versatile player. He played both quarterback and safety, and comes from a program with only 22 guys on the entire team. They had to play both ways most of the time, and they played for a Southern Section title two years in a row. He is a very physical player."
No. 16 - DT Kalafitoni Pole (Union City, Calif.)
"Toni is a raw athlete that is an athlete. He has good speed, good toughness and he is going to be a defensive lineman for us. He's got some work to do and develop more strength but he does have some natural quickness. He has a chance to play early in his career."
"Toni is an absolutely explosive player and has a huge upside."
No. 17 - CB Brandon Golden (Covina, Calif.)
"We really liked Brandon's athleticism and what he can give us in the return game and at the corner position. He is a guy that has excellent speed, which is one a focus of ours the last two recruiting classes."
"Brandon can run...fast. He has good cover skills, and he has played a lot of corner. He really brings a lot of speed to that position."
February 3 (10:19 a.m.)
NLI No. 14 - Butler Signs...
I can't pump Devontae Butler's numbers any more than just letting you read them. Absolutely ridiculous...
JUNIOR year ran for nearly 2,000 yards and 37 touchdowns on 197 carries...helped lead Grant to the CIF State Open Division title...rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown in the title game...first-team All-Metro...SENIOR year carried the ball 263 times for 2,884 yards and 45 touchdowns...led Northern California and finished in the top 10 in the state in rushing...sat out the second half of five games due to blowouts...caught nine passes for 152 yards on the season...had six rushing touchdowns in a single game, five touchdowns twice and four scores five times...two games with more than 300 yards...had 10 200-plus yard games on the season, including a string of nine-straight...named Sacramento Bee Player of the Week following his 221-yard, four-touchdown effort against Rosemont in barely a half of action...first-team MaxPreps All-State Division I... NorCalPreps.com Division I Player of the Year...named second-team CalHiSports.com All-State...SacBee All-Metro...three-star recruit according to Rivals.com also ranks No. 74 at his position nationally.
February 3 (9:24 a.m.)
Lucky No. 13 - Halliday Signs...
I have read a lot about each and every one of today's signees, and multiple comparisons have been made between Connor Halliday and Drew Bledsoe...
Halliday becomes the third recruit from Spokane to sign with the Cougars. Be sure to check the Spokesman Review, because I know Vince Grippi will have quite a bit about the new Cougars from Spokane...
"Connor has a big upside. The weight room is going to be very important to him. As he focuses solely on football and lifts he will bypass a lot of players at that position throughout the Pac-10. Connor has the intangibles in the passing game, he is very competitive, and he has a bright future at Washington State and could play early in his career."
"Connor is a big time talent. He has a knack for the game and is a fierce competitor. He can make all the throws and what really stands out to me is his accuracy, which is as good as I've seen. His toughness and competitiveness are outstanding."
February 3 (9:18 a.m.)
Video Highlights Available...
For all of you that have been checking SIGNING DAY CENTRAL this morning, the video highlights have started to appear for the signees.
February 3 (9:12 a.m.)
NLI Nos. 10-12 - More Offensive Weapons...
No. 10 - WR Kristoff Williams (Antioch, Calif.)
"Kristoff was a late find for us; I don't think a lot of people know much about Kristoff. He is somebody we couldn't pass up. He's got too much size, too much athleticism and he's such a high-end character guy. He's got so many good traits; he's very good from the neck up. He has a lot of potential and an opportunity to have a great career. His physical abilities are off the chart and we are hoping he matches those with his work ethic."
"Kristoff is another receiver with good height and explosiveness. Athletically he is very impressive for frame and body and will be able to match up with anyone in the Pac-10."
No. 11 - RB Rickey Galvin (Berkeley, Calif.)
"Rickey is a highly competitive athlete. He has great quickness and good strength already. He's not big in stature but will give us some explosiveness on offense which we have lacked. He has a chance to contribute right away and I'm looking forward to see if he can come in and be a player that makes a difference for us on offense in his first year."
"Rickey is a dynamic player, explosive, with the ability to make people miss in the running game and catching ball out of backfield. He plays the game hard and is very tough. He has a great future at Washington State."
No. 12 - WR Marquess Wilson (Tulare, Calif.)
"Marquess is one of those kids that the sky is the limit. His potential is way, way out there. He's an excellent athlete right now and as he gets in the weight room and continues to develop he could be as good as he wants to be. I couldn't be happier with him coming on board and I know he was a receiver a lot of people coveted because they see the big-time potential in Marquess and we see the same thing and are fortunate to have him on board."
"Marquess is impressive as an athlete. His turnover and speed as a big, tall receiver is tremendous, as is his ability to go up and get the ball. He is another player whose best football is ahead of him. Marquess has a chance to have an unbelievable career at Washington State."
February 3 (8:53 a.m.)
NLI No. 9 - Ratliff Signs...
Bobby Ratliff, Jr. became the third wide receiver to sign with the Cougars this morning. According to Coach Wulff, he could play right away...
"Bobby is a very mature, polished receiver in a lot of ways. He's going to be a very good player and as we continue to build the program he is going to be a big part of our success. We envision him being an early contributor in either his first or second year but he will have an impact."
"Bobby is very explosive. He has good size for a receiver, great ball skills and is a superb route runner. He is a great effort player, has a great passion for game and with his size can match up with anyone in the Pac-10."
February 3 (8:39 a.m.)
NLI No. 8 - Clark Signs...
Tracy Clark is the second player out of Pittsburg High School to sign with the Cougars this morning. He played cornerback, wide receiver, running back and returned kickoffs for head coach Victor Galli, but he will be working with Coach Sears and the corners at WSU.
"Tracy is highly competitive. He is a young man who will grow in the program and will contribute early provided he continues to work hard. He is a gym-rat as a football player, loves the game and has the ability someday to be a coach on the field."
Coach Ball... "Tracy has extremely quick feet, great cover skills and a passion for the game. He is a very smart player, and gives you another coach out on the field. He brings a lot of positive qualities to the table - he is savvy, a good leader and very tough. He is a good returner, too."
February 3 (8:31 a.m.)
NLI No. 7 - Rodgers Signs...
You love to see the kids in your backyard sign Crimson and Gray, and Shadle Park's Jake Rodgers is the second Spokane product to sign with the Cougars this morning.
"He is a big athlete who was injured for much of his senior year. He is somebody who really wants to be a good player and will do everything he can to develop here at Washington State. He's a versatile player and we will give him every opportunity to start at tight end but he could be a defensive end or even an offensive tackle. We will have to see what happens after he gets in the weight room and how it develops from there."
"With Jake you start with what first strikes you, his physical size. He's a big kid and only going to get bigger and stronger when he focuses on football full time. He is athletic enough to make a huge impact and can be an impressive football player."
February 3 (8:26 a.m.)
NLI No. 6 - Dunn Signs...
Mead High School's Aaron Dunn gave the earliest verbal commitment in program history, pledging crimson and gray following his sophomore year.
"I've known Aaron for a long time. He is going to bring us a high level of maturity down the road. He needs to get in the weight room fulltime. He's an athlete that plays year-round with basketball and football, but as he focuses on football he should become the physical presence we need at the tight end position."
"Aaron has the ability to be a great player at this level. Physically he has all the things we look for: size, athleticism and work ethic. Aaron gives us the opportunity to have a true tight end matching up with defensive ends and he will be huge in the passing game."
February 3 (8:16 a.m.)
NLI No. 5 - Jiles Signs...
Robert Jiles played both offense (wide receiver) and defense (cornerback), helping to lead Pittsburg to the CIF North Coast Section Finals in each of the last two seasons. As a senior, Jiles caught 54 passes for 846 yards and 14 touchdowns during the regular season, and .racked up 36 tackles and five interceptions on defense... Also a punt returner, Giles had four more scores via defense and special teams.
"Robert is a very good athlete, plays both sides of the ball. He has excellent ball skills as a receiver and our plan is to use him on offense and give him every opportunity to make plays. He is more of a slot receiver than an outside guy but he has a chance to be a very fine player."
February 3 (7:49 a.m.)
NLI No. 4 - Bucannon Signs...
Coach Ball has himself another safety, and he is very, very excited about Deone Bucannon (Fairfield, Calif.). The two-time Solano County Athletic Conference Player of the Year put up gaudy stats his last two years in high school. CLICK HERE to read his complete bio...
"We have been following Deone for over a year. He is a very physical, strong tackler. He runs well and will give us a physical presence on the perimeter and be an excellent player for Washington State for a number of years."
"Deone is very physical and extremely fast. He is pretty rangy, about 6-2, and a very, very physical football player."
February 3 (7:44 a.m.)
NLI No. 3 - Bomber Signs...
Is there a better name for a speedy wide receiver than Blair Bomber? His high school career isn't even over yet, and he has already won five state titles. Bomber helped lead the Lions' football team to a 48-7 record in four seasons, winning three state championships (2A). Bomber also won a state title with basketball in 2006-07 and a track state title in 2008-09.
Combined high school titles for Joe Nickell? Zero...
Here are some quotes from Coach Wulff and Coach Sturdy:
"Blair will give us another playmaker with speed and quickness. He also gives us a great level of competitiveness at the wide receiver position. He is going to fit well with our team and will be a guy that makes an impact fairly quickly in his career."
Coach Sturdy... "Blair is a very explosive player, very passionate. He loves the game of football and is going to be a player that can do some great things in our system."
February 3 (7:28 a.m.)
NLI No. 2 - Fullington Signs...
John Fullington of Belfair, Wash. (North Mason) became the second player to submit his NLI this morning. Here are some quotes from Coach Wulff and Coach Sturdy on one of the state's top recruits:
"John is one of the finer offensive line talents I have seen coming out of high school in a long time. He did play at a smaller high school but he has a great work ethic. John is a high-end character kid and has all the natural physical ability in the world. I expect him to have a great career at Washington State."
"John is exactly what we are looking for in an offensive lineman. We think he has unbelievable potential, is athletic, good strength and a passion for the game. We think he can be a great player in the Pac-10."
February 3 (7:22 a.m.)
NLI No. 1 - The First One is In...
Good morning Coug Fans!
Cougar Football Signing Day v.2010 is officially under way, and the first signee is Eric Oertel of Racine, Wis. You can access his bio and video highlights at SIGNING DAY CENTRAL. The video highlight activation will be a little bit delayed, but keep checking back, as it won't take long.
Coach Wulff on Oertel...
"Eric is just a great team football player. He will do anything for anybody at anytime. We are going to start him out on offense at running back and give him an opportunity to play there. He has good size, great intelligence and good strength. He has a lot of growth that is going to happen in the weight room, but he is a high character guy that brings a lot of intangibles to the football team. He will be a very valuable member of this program while he is here."
I have a story on Oertel that I would like to pass along as well. Click HERE to read it.
This is exactly the type of player you want in your program...
February 2 (5:04 p.m.)
Countdown to Signing Day...
Yes, my friends, it has been quite a while. Football season came to a close, and we have been drifting apart ever since. However, I have something to bring us back together...
Cougar Football Signing Day v.2010
We have quite a bit planned for tomorrow, so maybe we should break this down step-by-step:
When a National Letter of Intent is signed, sealed and delivered to our compliance office, I will announce the signing - in real-time. The announcement will first be made via Twitter (@WSUFootballBlog), and then at the Signing Day Central page. If you are not following me on Twitter, you should be. You can do so by going to THIS PAGE and clicking Follow. The signing day central page can be found HERE.
At the Signing Day Central Page, you will be able to click on the newest Cougar's name and read his biographical information. You will also be able to access video highlights of the signee on the page.
At the blog, you will be able to read thoughts on all of the signees from both Head Coach Paul Wulff and the individual's position coach. I will also have some miscellaneous tidbits to pass along there.
At noon, you will be able to chat live with WSU Recruiting Coordinator Rich Rasmussen. Questions for Coach Rasmussen can be submitted HERE.
At 2:30 p.m., Coach Wulff will hold his Signing Day press conference with the media. However, you will be able to catch the press conference live via webcast by clicking HERE.
Once all of this is over, you can cap off your day with a party. A Night With Cougar Football: National Letter of Intent Signing Day will be held at Northern Quest Casino in Spokane. The celebration begins at 6 p.m., and you can find more information HERE.
So there you have it. Be the first to know about each of WSU's signees by following along in real-time at wsucougars.com. NLIs can be faxed as early as 7 a.m., so I will see you in the morning.
Let the countdown begin...
January 20 (1:32 p.m.)
Alfred Shining at Shrine Game...
Kenny Alfred is preparing to play in the 2010 East-West Shrine Game, kicking off Jan. 23 at noon in Orlando, Fla., and he is turning heads in practice.
According to the National Football Post's Wes Bunting:
"The more I watch Washington State center Kenny Alfred, the more I like him. He isn't the biggest or most powerful guy, but he snaps and steps quickly, is sticky at the point of attack and does a nice job gaining leverage and finishing blocks in the run game."
CLICK HERE to read the full story.
Good luck to Kenny at the annual all-star game.
December 15 (3:04 p.m.)
Cougars in the NFL has been updated through this past weekend's slate of games.
December 7 (1:01 p.m.)
Cougars in the NFL has been updated through this past weekend's slate of games.
December 7 (5:15 p.m.)
Six Cougars Named to All-Pac-10 Teams...
Washington State University center Kenny Alfred has been named to the 2009 All-Pacific-10 Conference Football Second Team, the league office announced Monday. Additionally, five other Cougars received honorable mention.
Alfred, as senior from Gig Harbor, Wash., was the undisputed leader of the Cougar offense, starting all 12 games this season, garnering WSU Offensive Player of the Week seven times. He was one of two offensive linemen to start each week and ended his career starting his final 29 games. A Rimington Award candidate each of the past three seasons signifying the nation's outstanding center, Alfred was also a Pac-10 All-Academic selection last month.
Joining Alfred on the All-Pac-10 teams were punter Reid Forrest, safety Xavier Hicks Jr., wide receiver Jared Karstetter, defensive end Travis Long and running back Dwight Tardy, all earning honorable mention.
Forrest, a junior from Ephrata, Wash., averaged 43.2 yards per punt this season, third in the Pac-10 and 22nd nationally. He registered 18 punts that were 50 yards or better, tied for the top mark in the conference. He also had four punts over 60 yards, including a career-best 65-yarder against USC. Forrest led the Pac-10 with 86 punts and 3,718 yards.
Hicks, a senior from Fullerton, Calif., finished the season with 81 tackles, second on the team and ninth in the Pac-10. He started all 12 games this season, adding four tackles-for-loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a team-best three interceptions. Hicks collected a season-best 14 tackles at California this season, followed by back-to-back games of 12 tackles against Notre Dame and Arizona. He finished his career with 220 tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss and six interceptions.
Karstetter, a sophomore from Spokane, Wash., led all Cougar receivers this season with 38 receptions for 540 yards and six touchdowns. He had a career-high six receptions at California and against Oregon State, along with a season-high 91 receiving yards in the season-opener against Stanford. Against Notre Dame he recorded the Cougars' only multi-touchdown game of the season, hauling in two touchdown passes.
Long, from Spokane, Wash., started all 12 games as a true freshman, registering 47 tackles, including team-bests of 6.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks. Those marks led all Cougar defensive linemen. He had a season-high nine tackles against SMU and had six tackles against Arizona State and Arizona. His two sacks came in consecutive games against SMU and USC.
Tardy, a senior from Walnut, Calif., rushed for 417 yards and two touchdowns, adding 18 receptions for 114 yards. He became the first Cougar in school history to lead WSU in rushing four times. He finished his career seventh on WSU's all-time rushing list with 2,241 yards and sixth with 528 carries.
December 2 (4:45 p.m.)
Cougars Place 18 on All-Academic Teams...
The Washington State University football team placed five student-athletes on the first team and 18 overall on the 2009 Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic Teams, the conference announced Wednesday.
Offensive linemen Micah Hannam and Chris Prummer, defensive lineman Kevin Kooyman and safeties Jay Matthews and Chima Nwachukwu were named to the first team. Offensive linemen Steven Ayers and Joe Eppele, along with wide receiver Jared Karstetter, linebacker Joshua Garrett and safety Kyle McCartney were each named to the second team.
Earning All-Academic honorable mention accolades were center Kenny Alfred, wide receiver Daniel Blackledge, safeties Eric Block and LeAndre Daniels, guard Brian Danaher, linebacker Hallston Higgins and tight ends Andrei Lintz and Skylar Stormo.
Hannam, a repeat selection on the first team, carries a 3.59 GPA in civil engineering, while Nwachukwu, a political science major with a 3.79 GPA, also was a first-team pick for the second-straight season. Prummer was named to the team for the first time, boosted by a 3.88 GPA in zoology. Kooyman and Matthews were also named to the first team for the first time. Kooyman carries a 3.16 GPA in management and operations while Matthews has a 3.68 GPA, though he has not declared a major.
Ayers, an honorable mention pick last season, moved up to the second team and has a 3.44 GPA in social studies. Eppele was named to the second team for the third-consecutive season and is a psychology major with a 3.42 GPA. Garrett and McCartney are making their first appearance on the All-Academic Team, with 3.30 and 3.87 GPA's, respectively. Each has yet to declare a major.
Washington State's 18 All-Academic selections is tied with Stanford for the most in the conference.
November 24 (5:08 p.m.)
All Sorts of Apple Cup Media...
First, you can watch THIS VIDEO from Coach Wulff's press conference this afternoon.
Then, listen to Coach Ball's weekly interview with Ian Furness HERE.
Finally, listen to redshirt senior running back Dwight Tardy's interview with Furness HERE.
If that isn't enough, you can watch FSN Northwest tonight to catch the Snow Bowl at 7:30 p.m. Then at 9:30 p.m., FSN will televise the Northwest Top 10: Cougars Apple Cup Games.
This week's edition of Cougars All-Access airs tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., and again at 7:30 p.m. The show will be replayed Thursday (Noon and 5:30 p.m.), and Friday (1:30, 8 and 9 p.m.)
If you miss watching the Snow Bowl tonight, you can catch the 1992 Apple Cup once again Friday at 4 p.m.
November 24 (9:12 a.m.)
Breaking News on the Academic Front...
Junior defensive back Chima Nwachukwu was named ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team.
We will have a release posted a little later today.
November 24 (8:54 a.m.)
Before we get to this morning's links, we should hand out the awards from Saturday. Because I wasn't at the game, I will share with you Coach Wulff's award winners...
Offensive Player of the Week - Dwight Tardy
Defensive Player of the Week - Easton Johnson
Special Teams Player of the Week - Reid Forrest
Big Hit - Xavier Hicks
Big Play - Xavier Hicks' Interception
Scout Team Offensive Player of the Week - Elliott Bosch
Scout Team Defensive Player of the Week - Justin Clayton
On to the links:
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review has a bunch of stuff on THIS BLOG POST, including practice notes, some trash-talking from Washington's tight end, a story on the Gilbertson family and a first look at the game.
Scott Johnson of the Everett Herald has THIS STORY on the family connections between UW and WSU.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has THIS STORY on the Locker family, which has split allegiances this week.
November 23 (3:57 p.m.)
We're Back, With Links...
A little bit of an explanation is in order. In addition to my football responsibilities, I am also the media relations contact for WSU's women's basketball team. I left with the women's team for Kansas and Nebraska this past Wednesday, and just returned home. With all the travelling, there wasn't a lot of down time...
Anyway, I am back. Until Thanksgiving Day, when I will be leaving for Las Vegas. Hopefully, I will have a bit more time on this trip...
On to your links:
Not a lot today...
November 18 (1:24 p.m.)
I made the announcement last night on Twitter (WSUFootballBlog), but HERE is our story on Kenny Alfred's selection to the East-West Shrine Game.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has THIS RECAP of Coach Wulff's Tuesday press conference, and THIS STORY on Kenny Alfred's selection to the East-West Shrine Game.
Nick Geranios of the AP had THIS STORY on WSU's quarterback situation this week.
I will have a couple radio links to pass on this evening.
November 17 (6:29 p.m.)
Videos and All-Access Times...
We have a couple of videos for you to check out today...
Here are your times for Cougars All-Access:
Wednesday - 6:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday - Noon and 5:30 p.m. Friday - 1:30 p.m.
Don't forget to tune into the Coaches Show with Coach Wulff and Bud Nameck tonight from 7-8 p.m. on the Cougar Sports Radio Network.
November 16 (5:00 p.m.)
Cougars in the NFL has been updated through yesterday's slate of games. The only guy missing? The Ghost...Jerome Harrison. You can catch JH and the Browns tonight on ESPN...
November 16 (4:31 p.m.)
Monday Links and Saturday Awards...
If you're following me on Twitter (WSUFootballBlog), you knew that Saturday's game will kickoff at 2 p.m. If you're not, you should be. Then you would know these things before everyone else.
First, the links...
On to the awards...
The Cougar Lunch Pail
Kevin Lopina came off the bench after taking limited snaps in practice this week. He completed 7-of-14 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown in his first action since the Hawaii game.
The Cougar Hard Hat
Going to have to go with "The Hybrid" here. Myron Beck may not have started a game this season, but he has been a regular at both safety and linebacker. This week he tied for the team lead with nine tackles (eight solo) including one tackle-for-loss.
The Crimson Boot
Reid Forrest has been really, really good this year, and this game might have been his best performance yet. Six punts for a 50.3-yard average, and three punts of more than 50 yards (long of 57).
November 14 (6:38 p.m.)
- With four starts by freshmen today against the Bruins, the Cougars now have 52 on the season, more than any full season in at least the last 20 years...the most in the last 20 years prior to this season was 47 in 1999.
- With redshirt sophomore Aire Justin getting the start at cornerback today against the Bruins, four different players have now started opposite Brandon Jones in 2009...Jones and strong safety Xavier Hicks are the only Cougar defensive backs to start every game this season...at free safety, three different players have started for the Cougars in 2009.
- The Cougars' defensive line has seen more turnover than the secondary, with freshman defensive end Travis Long serving as the only player to start every game this season...opposite Long, three different players have started...at defensive tackle, five different Cougars have started a game.
- Offensively, only linemen Kenny Alfred (center) and Micah Hannam (tackle) and wide receiver Jared Karstetter have started every game this season...at wide receiver, four different players have started at the other two positions...at offensive guard, six different Cougars have started at the two positions...at the other tackle position, three different players have started opposite Hannam...at both tight end/fullback and running back, two different players have started at each position...and at quarterback, three different players have started.
- With 41 yards today against the Bruins, redshirt senior running back Dwight Tardy now has 2,167 on his career, moving into seventh place on WSU's career rushing list...Tardy passed Michael Black (2,129; 1996-97) on the all-time list.
- Redshirt junior punter Reid Forrest moved into fourth place on WSU's career punting yards list with 8,175...with 302 yards against the Bruins, Forrest passed Tim Davey (7,911; 1978-81) on the all-time list...Forrest also moved into fourth place on WSU's career punts list with 194...with six punts against the Bruins, Forrest passed Davey (189; 1978-81) and Glenn Harper (192; 1982-85) on the all-time list.
- Forrest also moved into sixth place on the WSU single-season punting yardage list with 3,138, and is currently tied for sixth on the total punts single-season list with 71... Forrest booted four punts of more than 50 yards, giving him 16 this season...the total is the most by a Cougar punter since Kyle Basler had 16 in 2004....Forrest's 44.2-yard average this season ranks fifth on WSU's all-time single-season list.
- The Cougar offensive line, which returned to its intitial five starters from the season's first two games, gave up only two sacks against the Bruins...in the three games the Cougars have started Steven Ayers, Zack Williams, Kenny Alfred, B.J. Guerra and Micah Hannam, the team has given up only eight sacks (2.7 per game)...in the other seven games, the Cougars gave up 39 sacks (5.6 per game).
- Senior linebacker Andy Mattingly forced his second fumble of the season, and the seventh of his career...the Cougars have forced 15 fumbles this season, the most in a season since also forcing 15 in 2005.
- Wide receiver Jeffrey Solomon's third-quarter touchdown reception was the first of his career...the 46-yard reception was the longest of his career.
- Sophomore wide receiver Jared Karstetter has caught a pass in 13 consecutive games.
November 13 (4:25 p.m.)
Welcome to Pullman, Bruins...
Where currently, the flakes are falling. I love football in this type of weather, so my hope is that it continues through tomorrow.
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review has THIS POST, including some notes from practice and a feature on Myron Beck.
Lew Wright of The Examiner recaps an interview with former WSU Head Coach Jim Walden HERE, and a preview of the UCLA game HERE.
One other note, the Apple Cup will have a 3:30 p.m. kickoff, and will be televised by FSN Northwest.
November 12 (12:59 p.m.)
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had THIS POST, including notes from yesterday's practice and a story on quarterbacks and receivers.
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS STORY on former Cougar Jack Thompson and World Vision teaming up for tsunami relief. He also had THIS STORY recapping Coach Wulff's Tuesday press conference.
Howie Stalwick had THIS NOTEBOOK in the Tacoma News Tribune.
A couple of radio links for you as well...Coach Ball and Brandon Jones were both on KJR with Ian Furness. Here are the audio links:
November 10 (9:37 a.m.)
Tuesday Links, Saturday Awards...
Man...it is going to be nice to be home this week. Not much this morning in the way of links, so we will start with our awards (finally) from Saturday's game.
The Cougar Hard Hat
Xavier Hicks recorded a game-high 12 tackles, 11 of which were solo. Hicks has recorded 10-or-more tackles in three consecutive games.
The Cougar Lunch Pail
Once again, going with Jared Karstetter here. The sophomore wide receiver caught a 64-yard touchdown pass against the Wildcats. He has only three catches in his last two games, but all three have been for touchdowns.
The Crimson Boot
Reid Forrest has been lights out this year. He punted eight times for an average of 44.6 yards against Arizona, with a long of 61 - his fourth of more than 60 yards this season and the 12th of more than 50 yards. He moved into fifth place on WSU's career punt yardage list with 7,873 yards.
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had THIS PREVIEW of WSU's game against UCLA.
November 9 (5:01 p.m.)
A number of Cougars were on byes this week in the NFL, but there were definitely some highlights...
- Marcus Trufant moved back in the starting line-up and recorded his first interception of the season.
- Jason Hill caught his first four passes of the season - two of which went for touchdowns.
- Erik Coleman continued dominating as Atlanta's starting safety.
Check it all out HERE, where we update Cougars in the NFL every week.
November 7 (10:44 p.m.)
- Redshirt freshman safety Jay Matthews and true freshman fullback Jared Byers recorded their first-career starts today against the Wildcats, becoming the 20th and 21st Cougars to make their starting debuts in 2009...WSU has now had seven first-time starters on offense and 14 first-time starters on defense...in the last two seasons, 47 players have registered their first-career starts.
- Including Matthews and Byers, 12 different freshmen have now started a game in 2009, the highest total for a Cougar squad in at least the last 13 years.
- The Cougars now have a combined 48 freshmen starts in 2009, the highest total in at least the last 13 seasons.
- With his fifth start, Jeff Tuel matched Drew Bledsoe's record for most starts by a Cougar true freshman quarterback.
- With his four receptions for 16 yards today, freshman wide receiver Gino Simone has now caught a pass in each of his eight games played in his debut season...Simone missed the SMU game with a concussion.
- Redshirt senior running back Dwight Tardy moved into eighth place on WSU's career rushing list with 44 yards against the Wildcats...Tardy now has 2,126 on his career, passing Ken Grandberry (2,102; 1971-73).
- Redshirt junior punter Reid Forrest moved into fifth place on WSU's career punt yardage list with 7,873 yards....Forrest, who also ranks sixth on WSU's career punts list (188), passed Glenn Harper (7,733; 1982-85) on the all-time list.
- Forrest also moved into eighth place on WSU's single-season yardage list (2,836 yards)...his 43.6-yard average currently ranks fifth on the Cougars' single-season list...with his 61-yard punt today, Forrest now has four punts of more than 60 yards in 2009, and 12 of more than 50 yards...Forrest now has 15 punts inside the 20 this season, matching his total from all of last season.
- Senior linebacker Andy Mattingly's 11 tackles are a season high, and the most since also recording 11 against Oregon State in 2008....Mattingly has six-career double-digit tackling games...this was his first double-digit effort of 2009.
- Redshirt senior safety Xavier Hicks recorded 12 tackles against Arizona, his third-consecutive game with 10-or-more tackles...Hicks has eight-career double-digit tackling games.
- Sophomore wide receiver Jared Karstetter's 64-yard touchdown catch was his sixth of the season, the most since Brandon Gibson caught nine in 2007...the 60-plus-yard scoring play was the third of the season by a Cougar wide receiver.
November 6 (9:03 a.m.)
News, Links and Game Captains...
A bit of news this morning before we get to the links...
The Nov. 14 game against UCLA will be televised live to a regional audience on Fox College Sports at 2 p.m. Additionally, the game will be rebroadcast on FSN Northwest that evening at 7 p.m.
Chima Nwachukwu, Micah Hannam and Casey Hamlett were each named first-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII.
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had THIS RECAP from yesterday's practice.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has been keeping up with the WSU news, posting a few stories: THIS ONE recapping Coach Wulff's Thursday press conference, THIS ONE on WSU's academic honorees and THIS ONE on the UCLA television announcement.
Nick Geranios of the Associated Press had THIS PREVIEW of Saturday's game in the Seattle Times.
Your game captains for this week are Andy Mattingly and Dwight Tardy.
Bus rolls out in about an hour or so...
November 5 (10:52 a.m.)
Former Cougar defensive back Alex Teems signed with the Spokane Shock. For the complete story, CLICK HERE.
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had THIS FEATURE on true freshman walk-on Jared Byers. It also ran HERE in the Seattle Times. The first link also includes some notes from practice.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has THIS LOOK at Saturday's game.
November 4 (5:58 p.m.)
All Sorts of Media...
Print, radio and video...Enjoy.
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had THIS RECAP from practice, which also includes Pac-10 notes.
Howie Stalwick had THIS NOTEBOOK, which includes a feature on Johnny Forzani.
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS LOOK at this weekend's Arizona game.
Nick Geranios of the AP had THIS PREVIEW of the Arizona game in the Seattle Times.
Coach Ball and Jared Karstetter went on live with KJR's Ian Furness. Here are links to the podcasts...
I also have some video links for you courtesy of KREM in Spokane...
November 3 (6:01 p.m.)
Cougars All-Access, Wulff Press Conference...
This week's edition of Cougars All-Access airs Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
Here are the replay times:
Wednesday - 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Thursday - Noon and 5:30 p.m. Friday - 1:30, 6:00, 6:30 and 9:00 p.m.
Check out today's press conference with Coach Wulff. CLICK HERE to access the video.
November 3 (11:01 a.m.)
Marcus Trufant returns. Brandon Gibson catches his first NFL pass. Erik Coleman forced a critical fumble on Monday Night Football (though it was all for naught).
It was a busy weekend for Cougs playing in the NFL...
Check out complete recaps of every NFL weekend for former Cougs HERE.
November 3 (10:43 a.m.)
The Cougars return to the practice field after a day off, and will end the longest stretch away from home this season. Just how long will the Cougars be away? There will have been 35 days between WSU's games against Arizona State and UCLA in Martin Stadium.
But you could have read that HERE, in our weekly release.
On to the links...
November 2 (5:37 p.m.)
Monday Links, Saturday Awards...
One of the busiest weekends of all-time has given way to one of the busiest Mondays in recent memory...
First, let's get to awards from Saturday:
The Cougar Lunch Pail
Jared Karstetter had the first multiple-touchdown receiving game by a Cougar in more than a year, and now has five touchdowns on the season.
The Cougar Hard Hat
I am going with Andy Mattingly here. Mattingly was all over the field - he racked up seven tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.
The Crimson Boot
As I have said before, this award can go to anyone on special teams. So I am going with Toby Turpin, who blocked his second kick in as many weeks. He is the first Cougar since 2004 to have multiple blocks in a season.
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had THIS LOOK BACK at the Notre Dame game (it also ran HERE in the Seattle Times).
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS RECAP from yesterday's press conference with Coach Wulff.
October 30 (8:49 a.m.)
Friday Links, Game Captains...
The bus taking us to the charter leaves in about 20 minutes. We are going straight to walk-thru at the Alamodome when we get to San Antonio, and then I will be having dinner with my brother Jeff and some friends from college. Thus, my next post probably won't be until the morning, but it should include photos of the trip...
Your captains for tomorrow's game will be Kyle McCartney, Chima Nwachukwu and Jeffrey Solomon.
October 29 (11:04 a.m.)
Links, TV Announcement...
Before we get to this morning's links, we have an announcement for the Arizona game next week:
Washington State University Director of Athletics Jim Sterk announced Wednesday that the Nov. 7 Washington State at Arizona football game will be televised live to a regional audience on Fox College Sports at 12:30 p.m., Pacific time. Additionally, the game will be rebroadcast on FSN Northwest that evening at 7:30 p.m.
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had THIS FEATURE on wide receiver Johnny Forzani (which was also featured HERE in the Seattle Times), and he had practice notes from yesterday HERE.
Nick Geranios of the Associated Press had THIS PREVIEW of Saturday's game in the Kitsap Sun.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com says, "WSU may shock the world." For his reasoning, CLICK HERE.
Lew Wright of The Examiner had this GAME PREVIEW.
October 28 (5:37 p.m.)
Today's Radio Interviews...
Johnny Forzani was on live with KJR's Ian Furness at 2:08 p.m. - CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast...
October 28 (11:38 a.m.)
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review had THIS POST, which includes practice notes, a recap of Coach Wulff's press conference and a Pac-10 Notebook.
THIS PREVIEW of the WSU-Notre Dame game ran in the Tacoma News Tribune.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has THIS RECAP from yesterday's press conference with Coach Wulff.
Howie Stalwick had THIS NOTEBOOK in the Kitsap Sun.
I will be back later with radio times for today...
October 27 (6:12 p.m.)
Video Links, All-Access Times...
Check out Coach Wulff's weekly press conference HERE...
Cougars All-Access with air tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. on FSN, and will re-air at the following times:
Wednesday - 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.
Thursday - Noon, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Friday - 1 and 9 p.m.
Don't forget to listen to the Cougar Coaches' Show with Coach Wulff tonight from 7-8 p.m. on the Cougar Sports Radio Network. For a complete list of stations, CLICK HERE.
October 27 (12:08 p.m.)
Tuesdays are always busy. We will have Coach Wulff's press conference a little bit later, this week's first practice...the list goes on and on...
Here are today's links:
October 26 (11:07 a.m.)
He was inactive his first week in St. Louis, but it looks like Brandon Gibson is going to be wearing No. 11 with the Rams...
Check in on how former Cougars are doing in the NFL HERE.
October 26 (10:37 a.m.)
Monday Morning Links, Saturday Awards...
A final look back...
The Cougar Lunch Pail
Jeff Tuel threw for 354 yards, the second-highest total in school history for a true freshman, and only the second 300-yard passing game by a Cougar true freshman. Tuel completed 67 percent of his passes (28-of-42), added two touchdowns and didn't throw an interception. Calling it a breakout performance is probably an understatement.
The Cougar Hard Hat
Xavier Hicks racked up a game-high 14 tackles, so I am giving him the nod this week.
The Crimson Boot
Reid Forrest downed three of his seven punts inside the 20. His next one will give him 15 on the season, matching his total from all of last season.
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had his FINAL LOOK at California.
Lew Wright of The Examiner RECAPS Coach Wulff's Sunday press conference.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com awards Helmet Stickers for Saturday, and he gave one to JEFF TUEL.
October 24 (11:30 p.m.)
Back from Berkeley...
There were A LOT of positives to take from this game. Let's take a look at them:
- Freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel's 354 passing yards are the second-most by a true freshman quarterback in school history...Drew Bledsoe holds WSU's record by a true freshman, throwing for 385 yards against Arizona, Oct. 27, 1990...Tuel had eclipsed his career high with 232 yards in the first half...the last Cougar quarterback to throw for 300 yards in a game was Alex Brink, who threw for 399 yards against Washington in 2007.
- The Cougars have a turnover margin of -1 in 2009...through the first seven games of 2008, WSU had a turnover margin of minus-12.
- Through the first seven games of the 2009 season, the Cougars have recorded a combined 36 starts by freshmen, already more than in nine of the last 10 full seasons...in the last 10 years only 2008 saw more starts by freshmen (47).
- Redshirt freshman cornerback Terrance Hayward became the 10th first-year Cougar to make his starting debut in 2009...the total is the most by a Cougar team since WSU also started 10 freshmen in 2000.
- Hayward and sophomore linebacker Mike Ledgerwood recorded their first-career starts for the Cougars...WSU has had 19 players make their first-career starts in 2009, six on offense and 13 on defense...in the last two seasons, 45 Cougars have made their starting debuts.
- WSU ended its first-quarter scoring drought with Nico Grasu's 24-yard field goal with 2:20 remaining in the opening stanza...the last time WSU scored in the opening period was against Arizona, Nov. 8, 2008.
- True freshman running back Carl Winston's 37-yard run in the second quarter was the longest rush by a Cougar in 2009.
- Redshirt junior wide receiver Johnny Forzani's 68-yard touchdown was his second of more than 65 yards in the last two games (he also caught a 99-yard touchdown against Arizona State)...the last time a Cougar wide receiver caught multiple 65-yard-plus touchdowns in the same season was Chris Jackson in 1997...Jackson caught 72- and 78-yard touchdown passes against California and UCLA, respectively.
- The Cougars scored 17 first-half points, the most in a half against a Pac-10 opponent since scoring 21 second-half points against Washington in 2007.
- Redshirt junior defensive tackle Toby Turpin's blocked field goal at the end of the second quarter is the first by a Cougar since 2005, when Aaron Johnson - also a defensive tackle - blocked a Stanford field goal attempt.
- True freshman wide receiver Gino Simone's second-quarter 19-yard touchdown reception was the first of his career.
- WSU's 440 yards of total offense are the most since Portland State in 2008 (638), and the most against a Pac-10 since Washington in 2007 (509).
- The Cougar offense did not turn the ball over for the second time this season (Stanford).
- Redshirt junior wide receiver Jeffrey Solomon caught seven passes for 81 yards, both career highs.
- Redshirt junior punter Reid Forrest continued his ascent up the Cougar career punts list...with seven punts against California, Forrest now has 172 on his career...Forrest passed James Engstrom (165; 1965-67) to move into sixth on the Cougars' all-time list.
- Redshirt senior running back Dwight Tardy returned five kickoffs for 93 yards...the returns were the first by Tardy since he returned two kickoffs for 20 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2006...true freshman wide receiver Gino Simone returned the first kickoff of his career (19 yards).
- Forzani caught four passes for 116 yards, becoming the first Cougar to record more than 100 receiving yards in a game since Brandon Gibson (103) against Oregon in 2008...Forzani set career highs in both receptions and yards.
- The Cougars have given up three rushes of more than 40 yards through the first seven games of 2009...through the first seven games last season, WSU had already given up eight rushes of more than 40 yards.
- Myron Beck's third-quarter interception was his second of the season and the third of his career.
- The WSU defense has forced 19 turnovers, and ranked second in the Pac-10 entering today...the total is already more than in all of last season (13).
October 23 (9:23 p.m.)
Get Excited My Friends...
You won't be able to see it (unless you're in Berkeley), but you can listen to Bob Robertson, Jim Walden and Bud Nameck on the Cougar Sports Radio Network. For a complete list of stations, CLICK HERE.
This season has already witnessed a number of injuries. But after last week's bye, WSU is starting to get healthy. The Cougars aren't completely there yet, but it is getting better.
That is where we begin for why you should be excited...
NO. 3: THE OFFENSIVE LINE
Center Kenny Alfred will start. Left guard Zack Williams is back. Right guard B.J. Guerra and left tackle Steven Ayers could start. The five linemen who started game one - Ayers, Williams, Alfred, Guerra and right tackle Micah Hannam - were only together for the first two games of the season. Of the 30 sacks the Cougars have given up in 2009, only six occurred when those five started. If those five go tomorrow, expect to see more time for young Jeff Tuel.
NO. 2: PREVENTING THE BIG RUNS
We all remember Jahvid Best's performance last year - he had two runs of 80-plus yards. However, the Cougars have significantly improved this year when it comes to stopping the big runs. WSU has only given up one rush of more than 50 yards through the first half of 2009.
NO 1: THE FUTURE
This is more of a long-term reason to get excited, but it is still a good note. Redshirt freshman cornerback Terrance Hayward is slated to make his first-career start tomorrow, becoming the 10th first-year Cougar to make his starting debut in 2009. The last time WSU had 10 different freshmen start a game was in 2000...the year before WSU's three-year bowl stretch.
October 23 (8:39 a.m.)
Getting ready to board the bus to the Pullman Airport here in the next hour, and then we will head straight to the stadium for walk-thru before heading back to the hotel.
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS POST, including a practice recap and a feature on Cal's Jahvid Best.
Lew Wright had THIS INTERVIEW with his Examiner counterpart for the Golden Bears.
Nick Geranios of the Associated Press had THIS STORY, picked up by SeattlePI.com.
Once we get to the hotel I will have some other stuff to post.
October 22 (12:42 p.m.)
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS POST, which includes his practice recap from yesterday and a story about Brandon Jones and James Montgomery. The story also ran HERE in the Seattle Times.
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS RECAP of Coach Ball's weekly interview with Ian Furness.
I also have some video to pass along:
If you missed Johnny Forzani's interview yesterday with KRKO's The Fish, HERE IS THE PODCAST.
October 21 (2:24 p.m.)
A Few More Cougs on Radio...
Johnny Forzani will be on with KRKO's The Fish at 5:25 p.m. LISTEN LIVE...
Travis Long was on live with KJR's Ian Furness at 2:08 p.m., but if you missed it, CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast.
Kenny Alfred will be on with KJR's Mike Gastineau at 6:07 p.m. - LISTEN LIVE...
October 21 (11:59 a.m.)
Karstetter on Radio...
Sophomore wide receiver Jared Karstetter will be on The Locker Room with Toby Howell and Bob Castle today at 12:40 p.m., on 1510 KGA in Spokane.
October 21 (9:17 a.m.)
After a week off because of the bye, the Cougars will be hitting the airwaves again today. I will post radio interview times later this afternoon.
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS BLOG POST last night, which includes a story on WSU's injury situation and his Pac-10 Notebook.
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS STORY from yesterday's press conference with Coach Wulff.
The Seattle Times picked up THIS STORY by the Associated Press' Nick Geranios.
Howie Stalwick had THIS STORY in the Tacoma News Tribune, updating the Cougars' injury situation.
Stemming from the trade of Brandon Gibson yesterday, I have a couple other stories to check out.
Andy Reid had this to say about trading Gibson: "Brandon's going to have a great career in the National Football League, and that doesn't make it easy. But we're banged up a little bit at Mike (middle linebacker), and I had to make this move to stay strong."
October 20 (5:57 p.m.)
Videos and Cougars All-Access...
You ever wonder what it looks like in Coach Wulff's press conference? Check out THIS VIDEO from this afternoon.
This week's episode of Cougars All-Access is about as behind-the-scenes as it gets. Freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel will take Cougar fans on a tour of his dorm room, Brandon Jones talks about playing California and Coach Wulff offers his thoughts on this week's game.
The show airs Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., and will air again at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Replays will also air Thursday (Noon, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) and Friday (1:00 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.).
October 20 (2:11 p.m.)
As we do every week here at wsucougars.com, the NFL page has been updated through last night's game. To see how your former Cougars are doing in the NFL, CLICK HERE.
In other NFL news, according to a blog on NFL.com, former wide receiver Brandon Gibson has been traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the St. Louis Rams. CLICK HERE for the story.
October 20 (12:40 p.m.)
Back to Your Regularly-Scheduled Season...
I didn't play as much as I hoped to last week during the bye, but apparently it was enough to feel like I am still playing catch-up...
Here are your Tuesday links:
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had his FIRST LOOK at this weekend's match-up between the Cougars and Golden Bears.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has THIS PREVIEW of the Cougar depth chart this week.
With Coach Wulff's press conference a little later today, we should be back to having plenty to read...
October 16 (3:52 p.m.)
Midseason All-Pac-10 Cougs...
I am getting ready to post this on the front page and send out to the media, but you are getting this information here first:
Four members of the Washington State University football team were included on Phil Steele's Midseason All-Pacific-10 Conference list, the magazine announced today.
Redshirt junior punter Reid Forrest was named to the first team, redshirt senior center Kenny Alfred was named to the second team and freshman defensive end Travis Long and junior safety Chima Nwachukwu were each named to the third team.
Forrest (Ephrata, Wash.) ranks third in the conference and 17th nationally in punting, averaging 43.9 yards per punt. His seven punts of 50-plus yards ranks second in the Pac-10.
Alfred, from Gig Harbor, Wash., has started all six games for the Cougars this season, garnering WSU's most outstanding offensive player award five times. He is also on the Rimington Trophy Watch List for the second-straight year, given annually to the nation's most outstanding center.
Nwachukwu (Allen, Texas) leads the Cougars with 45 tackles on the season (31 solo), and has also recorded 1.5 tackles-for-loss, an interception and two fumble recoveries.
Long, one of only two true freshmen amongst the 84 players on the list, leads all Cougar defensive linemen with 27 tackles (19 solo). The Spokane, Wash., product has also recorded three tackles-for-loss, including two sacks, and has started each of the first six games of his Cougar career.
October 16 (11:19 a.m.)
I have a couple links for you this morning, both of which I think are important to pass along. Through the first half of 2009, people are starting to take notice that WSU is improving...
Nick Geranios of the Associated Press had THIS STORY, checking in with the Cougars at the midpoint of 2009.
A snippet from Geranios' story: "At the midpoint of the Washington State football season, it's clear the Cougars are a better team than last year."
Ted Miller of ESPN.com had THIS STORY, saying the Cougars have hope.
Another snippet: "The Cougars, despite epidemic injuries for a second consecutive year, are better and playing harder than a year ago."
October 14 (12;52 p.m.)
Despite the time off this week, I am still keeping up on the Cougar reading out there. You should too...
I also have an audio link for you to check out: Coach Ball went on the air the KJR's Ian Furness yesterday. Click HERE to listen.
Don't forget to check out Cougars All-Access tonight at 6:30 p.m. on FSN (and again at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.).
October 13 (3:31 p.m.)
Tuesday Links, Cougars All-Access Times...
I rarely get Saturdays off; Sundays either...Holidays? Few and far between. So with the arrival of our bye week, I am going to be pretty hit-or-miss.
Yesterday I was doing some stuff around my house. Today, though, I have some links to pass along:
Howie Stalwick takes a look at what former Cougars think of the current state of WSU Football HERE in the Tacoma News Tribune.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has a PHOTO GALLERY of the Jeff Tuel to Johnny Forzani 99-yard touchdown.
I also have this week's air times for Cougars All-Access:
Wednesday - 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Thursday - Noon, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Friday - 1 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
October 11 (12:07 p.m.)
Handing Out the Awards...
The Cougar Lunch Pail
Offensively, I'm going with The Bomb...Jeff Tuel to Johnny Forzani, the longest play from scrimmage in the history of Cougar Football. The 99-yard play will be in the books forever...
The Cougar Hard Hat
Louis Bland, who got the start at middle linebacker with Alex Hoffman-Ellis out, was all over the field. He tied for the team lead with eight tackles, intercepted a pass and sacked the opposing quarterback.
The Crimson Boot
Reid Forrest would tell you he is not pleased with his performance. He punted nine times for an average of 41.1 per attempt - well off where he wants to be. But he brought back memories of last year's Apple Cup with his fake punt, extending a drive with his legs.
October 11 (11:34 a.m.)
There are always positive things to take away from games; during and following the game, I try to find them.
- Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi started the first game of his career today against the Sun Devils, becoming the 17th Cougar to make his starting debut in 2009 and the 11th on defense.
- Laurenzi is the ninth freshman to record his first-career start this season, matching the total number of freshmen to start a game in all of 2009...the last time WSU started as many as nine freshmen in back-to-back seasons was in 1999 (11) and 2000 (10), the two seasons prior to WSU's run of three consecutive bowl games.
- Through the first six games of 2009, the Cougars have had a combined 29 starts by freshmen, already more than in eight of the last 10 seasons...in the last 10 years, only 2004 (32) and 2008 (47) saw more combined starts by freshmen.
- Freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel's 99-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Forzani was the longest play from scrimmage in school history...the previous record was a 97-yard pass from Steve Birnbaum to Nian Taylor against Idaho in 1998...the touchdown was only the third pass of more than 90 yards in WSU history...Tuel threw his first-career touchdown pass in the third quarter to wide receiver Jared Karstetter (23 yards).
- The Cougar defense recorded six takeaways against the Sun Devils, and now has 18 on the season, more than in all of last season (13)...the six takeaways were the most against Arizona State since also recording six in 1987, and the most against any opponent since recording seven against UCLA in 2003.
- WSU intercepted three Sun Devil passes...WSU had four interceptions earlier this season against SMU...the last time WSU had three-plus interceptions two-or-more times in a season was in 2004 (three each against New Mexico and Washington)...all three players intercepting passes today have multiple career interceptions - Andy Mattingly (3), Xavier Hicks (4) and Louis Bland (2).
- WSU forced two fumbles against the Sun Devils, giving them 12 on the season, which doubles the total from all of last season (six).
- Redshirt junior punter Reid Forrest continued his ascent up the Cougar career lists...Forrest now has 165 career punts for 6,882 yards...Forrest moved into sole possession of seventh place on the career punts list, passing George Martin (156; 1994-95)...Forrest also moved into sixth on the career putting yardage list, passing James Engstrom (6,601; 1965-67).
October 9 (11:42 a.m.)
Ahhh....Friday. The last day of the work week for most of you...
Here are a few stories to help speed along your countdown to the weekend.
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS STORY on the attitude WSU's players have during practice (it also ran in The Seattle Times) and THIS STORY on yesterday's practice.
Lew Wright of The Examiner recaps yesterday's press conference with Coach Wulff HERE.
October 8 (11:58 a.m.)
Not a lot in the newspapers today, but I do have some more video links:
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS POST which includes a story on ASU's quarterback situation and a recap from yesterday's practice. Vince's quarterback story also ran HERE in The Seattle Times.
Tim Lewis at KREM forwarded me a few interview links to check out:
October 7 (5:45 p.m.)
Listen to Today's Interviews...
I told you I would have some links a bit later on, and here are the podcasts from today's radio interviews:
Daniel Simmons will be going on with Mike Gastineau of KJR here in about 20 minutes, so be sure to check out their Web site HERE, and click Listen Live.
October 7 (12:30 p.m.)
The finishing touches have been put on today's slate of radio interviews:
In case you miss the live airing, each of the interviews will be podcast. I will post the links to those tonight after practice.
October 7 (10:40 a.m.)
More Tuel Interview Footage...
KXLY just posted their raw video footage of last night's interview with freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel. Thought I would pass it along...
You can check out the video HERE.
October 7 (10:29 a.m.)
I have some radio interviews lined up today, and I hope to have all of the times posted a little bit later today.
At this point, you can plan on listening to redshirt freshman cornerback Daniel Simmons will be on with KJR's Mike Gastineau at 6:07 p.m. Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Tyson Pencer will be on live KJR's Ian Furness at 2:05 p.m. You can listen to both interviews online HERE.
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had this PAC-10 NOTEBOOK and this THIS RECAP from yesterday's events (Coach Wulff's press conference and practice).
Lew Wright of The Examiner recapped yesterday's press conference HERE.
KXLY had THIS STORY at their site (includes video).
October 7 (9:44 a.m.)
I will have you Wednesday links up shortly, but first, here are some videos from practice last night:
October 6 (5:54 p.m.)
Vince Grippi has a video of ESPN Gameday's latest commercial at his blog. You are going to want to check THIS OUT.
It was a busy day: Coach Wulff's press conference, practice and the first media availability for freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel (other than postgame the last two weeks). There should be plenty of WSU news in tomorrow's media...
Don't forget to listen to the Cougar Coaches' Show with Coach Wulff and Bud Nameck tonight on the Cougar Sports Radio Network. The show runs from 7-8 p.m.
October 6 (12:54 p.m.)
You are going to have plenty of opportunities to catch Cougars All-Access this week:
This week's edition debuts Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Here are the times for the replays:
Wednesday (7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) Thursday (Noon, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) Friday (1 p.m., 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.)
October 6 (12:38 p.m.)
Be sure to check out Howie Stalwick's feature (below) on long snapper Zach Enyeart.
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had his FIRST LOOK at the ASU game.
Howie Stalwick had THIS FEATURE on Zach Enyeart in the Kitsap Sun (It also ran HERE on CougFan).
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS LOOK at WSU's depth chart this week.
October 5 (3:04 p.m.)
Monday Links, Saturday's Awards...
Before we get to today's links, we need to get to the awards from Saturday:
The Cougar Lunch Pail
Offensively, Carl Winston led the Cougars in rushing in his first collegiate appearance. The true freshman picked up 56 yards on only seven carries.
The Cougar Hard Hat
I'm going to have to go with redshirt freshman cornerback Terrance Hayward here. Hayward tied for the team lead with nine tackles, including eight in the first half. Entering Saturday's game Hayward had a combined three tackles in his debut season with the Cougars.
The Crimson Boot
Not just an award for kickers, the special teams standout this week was long snapper Zach Enyeart, who recovered a fumble on a punt setting up WSU's only score. Enyeart, perhaps the most unheralded player on the team, has also downed a punt this season.
On to the links...
October 3 (12:41 p.m.)
Reasons to Get Excited...
You should already be excited. Today's game features a Cougar squad that is improving every week, and an Oregon team that seems to have rebounded from an interesting season-opener.
But just to make sure you're up to speed, here are three reasons to get excited:
Reason No. 3
The perfect storm? Think back to 2003, when Oregon was coming off a 31-27 victory over third-ranked Michigan. They shot up the rankings before WSU came to town and knocked the Ducks off 55-16. Last week Oregon defeated sixth-ranked California, and now the Cougars again travel to Autzen following a major upset.
Reason No. 2
An ever-improving Cougar defense. Last week against USC, WSU's defense held the Trojans to seven points over the final three quarters. The week before against SMU, the defense came up huge with a couple interceptions returned for touchdowns in the second half, sparking the Cougar comeback. With some youngsters up front gaining experience, this unit is getting better and better as the season progresses.
Reason No. 1
It's officially Tuel Time. The first true freshman to start a game for WSU since Drew Bledsoe in 1990, Tuel was impressive last week in his first collegiate action. Both quarterbacks made their starting debuts on the road, and both in the Beaver State.
October 3 (12:21 p.m.)
Remember back in 2003? Oregon was coming off a 31-27 victory over No. 3 Michigan, and they shot up the national rankings. Then the Cougars came down here to play Autzen Stadium, and WSU won 55-16.
Oregon knocked off another top 10 team last week, and once again shot up the rankings.
Well I was out at dinner last night with Vince Grippi and Bud Nameck, and I saw a guy in a Michigan sweatshirt.
I'm just saying...
Here are your gameday links:
Vince has THIS POST in The Spokesman review, covering virtually everything you need to know about today's game.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has THIS ADVANCE.
Howie Stalwick has THIS STORY on freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel.
October 3 (11:44 a.m.)
Cougar Football Game Available Online
EUGENE, Ore. - Washington State University's football game at Oregon will be available for viewing online at Oregon's Web site, the school announced today.
In addition to the broadcast by Comcast, Cougar football fans will also have the ability to view a live Web stream of the game by purchasing a single-game pass for $1.99.
Kickoff against the Ducks at Autzen Stadium is scheduled for 6:15 p.m., Saturday. To purchase a single-game pass, CLICK HERE.
October 2 (11:42 a.m.)
The football team is getting ready to leave for Eugene here in a couple hours. When I get to the hotel I will have some more stuff to post.
Until then, here are your links for Friday...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS POST, which includes some practice notes, a rundown of yesterday's press conference with Coach Wulff and a story on an Oregon player with ties to the Inland Northwest.
Bud Withers of The Seattle Times has THIS STORY catching up with WSU's injury situation.
Howie Stalwick has something similar HERE in the Kitsap Sun.
Oregon's student newspaper ran THIS PREVIEW on the Cougars.
October 1 (5:37 p.m.)
First things first...There have been a lot of questions about TV for Saturday's game. Hopefully this answers most of them:
The Washington State University football game at Oregon Saturday will be televised by the Oregon Sports Network, an affiliate of Comcast SportsNet, and will be shown in limited areas throughout the Pacific Northwest. Subscribers of Comcast Cable in Washington and Oregon will have the opportunity to watch the Cougars and Ducks, beginning at 6:15 p.m. Saturday evening from Autzen Stadium.
The game will not be televised live in the Pullman market as Comcast Cable does not serve the area. Fans outside of Comcast's reach can watch the game live on Oregon's website, GoDucks.com, on a subscription basis.
The team's Thursday practice had an extra wrinkle this afternoon: crowd noise. Martin Stadium's speakers were blaring sound from a live performance by The Who.
Your game captains for Saturday will be Micah Hannam and Alex Hoffman-Ellis.
October 1 (11:10 a.m.)
Thursday Morning Links...
Before we get to the links, a quick heads up...
Xavier Hicks will be on with KPUG 1170 The Zone in Bellingham today at 3:35 p.m. If you miss it, CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast.
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review has been busy...He has THIS STORY on WSU's Greater Spokane League connection, and this PRACTICE RECAP from yesterday.
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS STORY on an improving Cougar squad.
Jay Bellamy of The Register Guard had THIS STORY on the Cougars.
September 30 (6:18 p.m.)
As previously mentioned, Jared Prenguber spoke with Jared Prenguber after practice. The video is uploaded, and you can watch it HERE.
September 30 (6:00 p.m.)
Wrapping Up Wednesday...
If you missed today's radio interviews, you can listen to the podcasts. Kenny Alfred went on KJR with Ian Furness, and you can find the podcast at www.kjram.com. Travis Long was on 700 ESPN The Ticket in Spokane, and his interview can be heard at their Web site (www.espnnorthwest.com).
We will have some video coming here in a little while on wsucougars.com. Jared Prenguber spoke with Chima Nwachukwu after practice. As soon as it gets uploaded I will post the link.
Freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel and junior wide receiver Johnny Forzani stayed late after practice today going over their routes. Cornerback Brandon Jones stayed after to help for most of the time they were out there.
Forzani made a nice play during an end zone passing drill. Forzani reached high in the back of the end zone, but it was too high to grab. He instead tipped the pass, which fell back toward him, and he hauled it in right in front of the defender. Both feet were just inside the line.
Other than that, a pretty quiet day in Pullman.
September 30 (1:43 p.m.)
Hitting the Airwaves...
The Cougars will have a couple guys on the radio this afternoon...
Kenny Alfred will be on live with KJR's Ian Furness at 2:05 p.m. LISTEN LIVE...
Travis Long will be on with ESPN The Ticket's Patchin, Osso and the Wingman at 5:05 p.m. Listen live on 700 AM in Spokane, or CLICK HERE to listen online...
September 30 (1:31 p.m.)
Here are your links for Wednesday, the last day of September...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS POST recapping yesterday's events - practice, Coach Wulff's Pac-10 call and Coach Wulff's WSU conference call.
Bud Withers of The Seattle Times had THIS NOTEBOOK.
Howie Stalwick had THIS NOTEBOOK in the Tacoma News Tribune.
The AP's Andrew Bagnato had THIS STORY on turnovers. The story ran in the PI and features a quote from Coach Wulff.
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS STORY on Jeff Tuel, which ran in Bleacher Report.
September 29 (6:13 p.m.)
Tuesday Recap, All-Access Info...
It was a good, solid practice today out on Rogers Field. Coach Wulff seemed pleased with today's efforts. The goal this week is to build, and keep getting better and better.
There was a lot reported in the media last week about the Phase III renovation of Martin Stadium. You can stay up-to-date on everything going on with the project by following Phase III's Twitter account (twitter.com/MartinStadium).
This week's edition of Cougars All-Access will air Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
If you miss the first run, you can watch the replay Thursday at either 1:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m., or Friday at 1 p.m. or 5:30 p.m.
September 29 (8:36 a.m.)
Tuesday Morning Links...
Flat tire on the way to work...It better not be one of those days...
The major news from yesterday was the announcement that true freshman Jeff Tuel will start at quarterback this week. Tuel was only the second true freshman signal caller to attempt a pass since Drew Bledsoe in 1990 (the other being JT Levenseller last season). Tuel will be the first true frosh to start a game since Bledsoe, who made his starting debut against Oregon State in 1990.
There is a pretty good read on Xavier Hicks HERE, written by Marcia Smith of the Orange County Register.
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS POST, which includes a quick blurb on Tuel and a first look at Oregon.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has his FIRST LOOK at Oregon.
Howie Stalwick had THIS STORY on Tuel.
September 28 (9:35 a.m.)
Monday Morning Links...
Before we get to this morning's links, I wanted to pass my condolences to the family of Andrew Swank and all of his friends at Valley Christian in Spokane.
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review has THIS POST, recapping Saturday's game with Coach Wulff and sharing some thoughts of his own.
Howie Stalwick had THIS STORY in the Kitsap Sun, looking back on Saturday.
Lew Wright of The Examiner had THIS STORY on lessons learned this past week.
September 27 (1:36 p.m.)
Handing Out the Awards...
The future is bright my friends, the future is bright...
The Cougar Hard Hat
Defensively, Travis Long looked really good - five tackles, a sack and a fumble forced. His play was outstanding, but what I really liked was his aggression. He plays to the whistle, doesn't take plays off and doesn't take kindly to offensive linemen trying to get that extra shove in.
The Cougar Lunch Pail
Another freshman here...Gino Simone caught just about everything that was thrown to him yesterday, giving fellow true frosh Jeff Tuel a security blanket in the passing game. His eight catches doubled his season total heading into the game against the Trojans, and were the most by a Cougar since Brandon Gibson caught 10 against Oregon in 2008.
The Crimson Boot
Going with a fellow member of the Columbia Basin Connection here...Reid Forrest. Seven punts for an average of 44.9 yards? Impressive. Besting his career long (again) with a 65-yarder? Impressive. But this note is amazing...Forrest now ranks third NATIONALLY in punting with an average of 45.29 yards.
September 27 (1:08 p.m.)
Notes From Last Night's Game...
I didn't have a chance to post these last night after the game. It was late, and we were trying to get everything done so we could get home. But here they are...
- Jeff Tuel, WSU's true freshman quarterback, made his Cougar debut against USC...Tuel is only the second true freshman quarterback to attempt a pass for the Cougars since Drew Bledsoe in 1990 (JT Levenseller was the other in 2008)...Tuel is the first true freshman signal-caller to attempt a pass in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since Bledsoe...Tuel completed 14-of-22 passes for 130 yards, and gained 34 rushing yards on 13 carries.
- Tuel is the third true freshman to see action for the Cougars this season...wide receiver Gino Simone and defensive end Travis Long started the season-opener for the Cougars...Long recorded his second sack in as many games and forced a fumble today against USC, while Simone recorded the first multi-reception game of his career.
- Simone's eight receptions were the most by a Cougar since Brandon Gibson pulled down 10 catches for 103 yards against Oregon in 2008...Simone entered today's game with four catches for 24 yards on the season.
- Redshirt freshman offensive tackle Tyson Pencer joined a long list of Cougars making the first starts of their career in 2009...including Pencer, WSU has now had 14 individuals make their starting debuts...the Cougars had 26 first-time starters in 2008.
- WSU's two takeaways against the Trojans gives them 11 in the last three games...WSU forced only 13 turnovers in all of 2008.
- WSU has forced 10 fumbles through four 2009 games, more than in all of 2008 (six).
- Redshirt senior running back Dwight Tardy moved past Ken Grandberry (453; 1971-73) into seventh place on WSU's career carries list...Tardy now has 465 career carries...his fourth-quarter touchdown was the 14th of his career...with two more rushing touchdowns, Tardy will move into a tie for 10th on WSU's career rushing touchdowns list.
- Redshirt junior punter Reid Forrest booted a career-long 65-yard punt, his seventh this season of more than 50 yards.
- The Cougar defense held USC scoreless in the second and third quarters, marking the first time since 2000 that WSU held the Trojans scoreless in back-to-back periods...USC did not score in the first half Nov. 11, 2000...USC had scored in 17 consecutive quarters.
- Redshirt freshman cornerback Daniel Simmons recorded the first two tackles-for-loss of his career tonight against USC.
- With a successful conversion against the Trojans, WSU is now 3-of-4 on fourth down conversions this season.
- Through four games this season, the Cougars have been penalized 23 times, nine fewer penalties than last season...through the first four games of 2008, WSU had been penalized 32 times.
September 27 (12:48 p.m.)
I will be back a little bit later with this week's awards, but here are some links recapping last night's game:
September 25 (5:05 p.m.)
I almost forgot. Tomorrow's game captains are Dwight Tardy and Xavier Hicks.
September 25 (5:01 p.m.)
Are You Excited?
You should be...
REASON NO. 3
Anything can happen in college football, like last week's come-from-behind win. Two interceptions returned for touchdowns? If you weren't in Martin Stadium, you missed the greatest Cougar comeback since 1994. Don't miss out again...
REASON NO. 2
The young defensive linemen. Travis Long, Dan Spitz and Anthony Laurenzi - all freshmen, and all coming off a great performance last week. Watch the future of the Cougar D-line grow right in front of your eyes...
REASON NO. 1
Extra on-field time to prepare - otherwise known as overtime - has been good to the Cougars of late. Dating back to 2000, WSU has won four of its last six games following an overtime game. Included in that stretch - a 33-27 win over USC in 2000. The game was in Los Angeles and aired nationally on FSN. Coincidence?
Tomorrow's game kicks off at 7:15 p.m., live on FSN. Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis and Michael Eaves will be calling the game.
September 25 (4:34 p.m.)
The Cougars Arrive in Los Angeles...
The good news? Not a single hiccup in our trip to Southern California. The bad news? There isn't an In `N Out within miles. I guess we will have to wait for the post-game meal...
I have a photo gallery from today's trip. Click the link below to check it out:
We left Bohler Gym around 10 a.m. this morning, and the flight was only a couple hours. We went from the airport straight to the Coliseum, accompanied by a police escort - which ushered us through the LA traffic very quickly.
After walk-thru, the police escorted us to our hotel. The team has a couple hours to relax before dinner, and then they have meetings a little bit later this evening.
September 25 (9:27 a.m.)
Getting ready to head to Los Angeles...The buses roll out in an hour. I will try and get a photo gallery up later today from our travels...
I'm looking forward to a couple of things this trip: the game, of course, and hitting In `N Out - not just once, either. Every year after our game in LA, either against USC or UCLA, In `N Out brings a cart to our bus for the postgame meal.
Here are your morning links...
That is about it this morning...
I will be back later this afternoon/early evening...
September 24 (5:08 p.m.)
Practice is coming to a close here in the next few minutes. It was business as usual today...Defense on Rogers, offense in Martin.
I need to get some things ready for the game before we leave for Los Angeles tomorrow morning, but I do have a couple interesting notes to pass along...
Dwight Tardy was wearing James Montgomery's No. 21 as a practice jersey today. And who did I run into in the tunnel leaving practice? James Montgomery...
Montgomery is out of the hospital and on crutches. As usual, he was in high spirits.
September 24 (12:12 p.m.)
Bid on Cougar Football Items in Cougar Soccer Auction...
The Washington State women's soccer program is celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season and you can be a part of it by bidding on Cougar items in a silent auction.
The Cougars host Weber State at 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 25 with a banquet at Banyan's Restaurant that night at 7. There will be a silent and live auction at the banquet. Bids are also being accepted on several of the silent auction items through 5 p.m., Pacific, Thursday, Sept. 24.
There are a few football items up for bid:
-Two game tickets and two sideline passes to watch the Cougars and Arizona State at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Saturday, Oct. 10. The minimum bid is $50.
- Two game tickets and two sideline passes to watch the Cougars and UCLA at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Saturday, Nov. 14. The minimum bid is $50.
- Football Autograph: Winner will receive a football autographed by the WSU football team. The minimum bid is $50.
To place a bid, contact Craig Lawson at 509-335-0265 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide, name, phone number and e-mail when placing a bid.
September 23 (5:40 p.m.)
I was only able to catch the end of practice, as I was wrapping up the final round of the Inland Cup out at Palouse Ridge.
As a matter of fact, all I was able to catch was the last series of scrimmage. It was all defense when the ones lined up across from the ones...
Daniel Simmons kicked off the series with a pass break-up, and Dan Spitz ended the series with a sack. Gino Simone did make a nice catch on a pass from Marshall Lobbestael. Simone was wearing a yellow jersey.
Until tomorrow...Go Cougs!
September 23 (1:04 p.m.)
Jared Karstetter will be on live with KJR's Ian Furness at 1:35 p.m. Listen live HERE.
Later tonight you can listen to Nico Grasu on KJR with Mike Gastineau. Nico's interview will air at 6:07 p.m. Once again, you can listen live HERE.
I should have some more times for other interviews a little later...
September 23 (12:15 p.m.)
Virtually all of today's news deals with one of two things: Phase III of the renovation of Martin Stadium and James Montgomery. The former sheds light on an exciting time for Cougar Football, and the latter is a bit sobering. I went to the hospital to see James this morning, and he is as he has always been since he arrived in Pullman - in good spirits and all smiles.
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review has THIS POST , which has his story on James Montgomery and his Pac-10 Notebook. Vince also has a post HERE on Phase III and yesterday's practice.
Lew Wright of The Examiner discussed Montgomery's injury HERE. Lew also wrote about Phase III of Martin Stadium HERE.
The AP's Nick Geranios had THIS STORY on Phase III in the Seattle Times.
September 23 (11:04 a.m.)
This week's installment of Cougar All-Access on FSN will air tonight at 8 p.m.
You can catch replays of All-Access Wednesday at 8 p.m., Thursday at 1:30 p.m., Friday at 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Of course you will also be able to catch WSU's game against USC Saturday on FSN. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.
I will be back in a while with your Wednesday links...
September 22 (6:10 p.m.)
It was a BUSY day in Pullman.
Just got done with practice and setting up all the radio interviews for tomorrow. There will be Cougars aplenty on the airwaves, including Marshall Lobbestael, Myron Beck, Jared Karstetter, Chima Nwachukwu and Nico Grasu.
Alex Hoffman-Ellis should have something on Thursday...
In the midst of the final round of the golf tournament out at Palouse Ridge, I will try to get you all times for everything.
The big on-field news today was of course running back James Montgomery's surgery. Here is what we released:
Washington State University junior running back James Montgomery underwent surgery Sunday morning for acute compartment syndrome in his left leg. The surgery was performed by Cougar team physician Dr. Ed Tingstad and will end Montgomery's season.
"I feel terrible for James," said WSU Head Coach Paul Wulff. "He has worked so hard since the minute he stepped on campus and is the complete package in terms of a student-athlete. He will be missed this season but knowing James he will continue to make a great impact on our program."
Through the first three games of the season Montgomery leads the Cougars in rushing, including his 118-yard effort against Hawaii. His 132.3 all-purpose yards per game rank 46th in the nation and his 24.0 kickoff return average is tied for 51st.
I want to wish James a speedy recovery. We are all thinking about you...
Off-the-field, the big news dealt with Phase III of Martin Stadium, which went public today. Check out THIS LINK for more information, because there is too much to recap here. You're going to want to read it all...
Until tomorrow my friends...
September 22 (8:37 a.m.)
Tuesday Morning Links...
With Mondays off for the Cougar football team, Tuesdays are usually pretty light on links...
That is about it this morning. I will be out at the golf course all day (hosting a college tournament, not playing), but I hope to get done before practice and head out to Rogers Field.
September 21 (8:24 a.m.)
Monday Morning Links
Vince Grippi has A COUPLE STORIES, looking back and looking forward. The looking ahead part also ran in THE SEATTLE TIMES.
Lew Wright of The Examiner discusses building on the SMU win HERE.
Nick Daschel of Buster Sports gives the Cougars a B-plus in the win over SMU HERE.
September 20 (12:15 p.m.)
While I am waiting for the Seahawks to kick off, I figured I would pass on some of this morning's stories rehashing what went on in Pullman last night...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had his STORY AND NOTEBOOK here. Vince also had HIS GRADES.
The Spokesman's John Blanchette had THIS COLUMN.
The AP's Andrew Bagnato took notice of yesterday's game HERE in a national recap (read a few graphs down).
Lew Wright of The Examiner had some QUOTES AND COMMENTS here.
Howie Stalwick had THIS STORY in the Kitsap Sun, and THIS NOTEBOOK in the Tacoma News Tribune.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com gave HELMET STICKERS to the entire team.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday...
September 20 (10:30 a.m.)
Handing Out the Awards...
I am still elated...The Cougars never gave up, and they were rewarded with a win...
The 17-point deficit was the largest overcome since a win over California in 1994 - WSU came back from 18 down in the first quarter to win that game. I'm going to have to do some more research to put this game into real perspective, and look at how long it's been since we were down that much, that late and still won.
Also, the 107-year streak lives on. WSU has now gone 23 consecutive games without a loss (dating back to 1902) when facing a first-time opponent in Pullman. I spent quite a bit of time researching that note, so I want to get as much out of it as I can...It probably won't be the last time you hear about it.
So let's hand out the awards...
The Cougar Hard Hat - Defense
Take your pick...Alex Hoffman-Ellis sparked it all with the 52-yard interception return. Then Myron Beck made it two scores for the defense with his 67-yard interception return. Chima Nwachukwu intercepted a pass on the first play of overtime.
The Cougar Lunch Pail - Offense
I'm going to have to go with Jared Karstetter here. The sophomore receiver caught the late touchdown pass, and he led the team with five receptions and 63 yards. The touchdown catch will get the most love, but his second-quarter reception was amazing. I will let The Spokesman Review's Vince Grippi tell it...
"With 1:20 left, he ran a go route down the right sideline against 5-foot-10 Sterling Moore. The 6-4 Karstetter went up for Lobbestael's lob, tipped it to himself with his outside arm (right) and made a 33-yard catch to the SMU 20."
Vince also described it as the catch of the season so far. Seriously, we are only three games into Karstetter's sophomore year, and he already has a full highlight reel on his resume...
The Crimson Boot - Special Teams
Going with the game-winner...in two of the last three games at Martin Stadium, Nico Grasu has hit a game-winning field goal in overtime. Nico missed one from 39 in the second quarter, but from the exact same distance - with way more pressure on him than on the first try - he nailed it.
I also want to point out the effort of long snapper Zach Enyeart, who downed a Reid Forrest punt at the six-yard line in the second quarter. He said at the beginning of the season that his goal was to double his tackle total from a year ago, but I think he should change it to something in relation to downing punts inside the 10.
September 19 (6:59 p.m.)
WHAT A WIN!!!
It has been nearly 15 years since a Cougar squad has fought back like that. Statistics never lie...last time WSU overcame a 17-plus point deficit to win the game was against California Oct. 29, 1994. The Cougars trailed the Golden Bears by 18 points in the first quarter (20-2), and came back to win 26-23.
When Myron Beck returned his interception for a touchdown, I am sure Cougar fans everywhere were thinking to themselves, "How long has it been since the Cougars returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game?" The answer...1987.
The two interception returns for a touchdown tie the school record, accomplished previously only twice. The Cougars returned two interceptions for touchdowns twice in 1987, once against Wyoming (Sept. 12) and once against Arizona (Oct. 24).
And there are some more notes from today's game. Read on...
With the overtime victory, the Cougars have now won each of their last two overtime games...WSU defeated Washington 16-13 in double-overtime in 2008 (Nov. 22)...junior kicker Nico Grasu kicked the game-winner in overtime in each of the last two games, a 37-yarder against the Huskies and a 39-yarder against the Mustangs...the Cougars are now 3-6 in overtime games since the beginning of the 2000 season.
Redshirt freshman defensive end Dan Spitz, redshirt junior wide receiver Jeffrey Solomon, redshirt freshman cornerback Daniel Simmons and redshirt sophomore safety Eric Block each recorded the first starts of their careers...WSU has now had 14 players make their Cougar starting debuts in 2009...WSU had 26 first-time starters in 2008.
The Cougar defense forced its seventh and eighth fumbles of the season, recovering one...WSU had already forced more fumbles than in all of 2008 (six)...WSU's five recoveries in 2009 are also more than in all of 2008 (three).
The Cougar defense intercepted four passes on the day...the last time the Cougars intercepted four passes was against Oregon State in 2008 (Oct. 11).
Redshirt junior linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis' 52-yard interception return for a touchdown was the first by a Cougar since Louis Bland's 16-yard interception return for a touchdown against Oregon State, Oct. 11, 2008...Hoffman-Ellis' return was the longest for a touchdown since Husain Abdullah's 55-yard return against Stanford Nov. 10, 2007...Myron Beck's 67-yard interception return for a touchdown was the longest by a Cougar since Will Derting's 98-yard interception return for a touchdown against Nevada in 2002...the two interception returns for a touchdown tie the school record, accomplished previously only twice...the Cougars returned two interceptions for touchdowns twice in 1987, once against Wyoming (Sept. 12) and once against Arizona (Oct. 24).
Freshman defensive end Travis Long's sack in the first quarter was the first of his career...redshirt freshman defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi also recorded the first sack of his career in the second quarter.
Junior wide receiver Daniel Blackledge's second-quarter touchdown was the first of his career...the touchdown capped a four-play, 53-yard drive, the quickest touchdown scoring drive (in terms of number of plays) since a three-play, 54-yard drive against Arizona, Nov. 8, 2008.
Redshirt freshman tight end Skylar Stormo and redshirt junior wide receiver Johnny Forzani each made the first receptions of their careers...Forzani's was a 29-yard catch, while Stormo's was an 11-yard reception.
Redshirt junior punter Reid Forrest moved into ninth place on WSU's all-time list for career punts...he now has 140 on his career...Forrest passed Alan Cox (135; 2000-01) on the list...Forrest also had a 50-yard punt, his sixth this season of 50-or-more yards.
September 19 (10:49 a.m.)
Today's game features the Cougars against a team from Texas, and the Cougar Flag was flying high this morning on College GameDay, as it always is, this time in the Lone Star State.
A college friend of mine (Shawn Dickson) was one of the people who got to wave the flag down in Austin this morning.
There are plenty of storylines to keep an eye on in the WSU-SMU match-up, most notably these two: WSU hasn't lost to a first-time opponent in Pullman in 107 years, a span of 22 games since 1902; and the Mustangs haven't started a season 3-0 in 25 years.
Kickoff can't come soon enough...
Here are some links to get you through until kickoff:
September 18 (4:49 p.m.)
You Should Be Excited...
There are a number of reasons to be psyched about tomorrow's game in Pullman. Here are a few...
Reason Number Three...
It's a battle of "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan (SMU alum) vs. the Randy "The Natural" Couture (went to WSU)...I would take Captain America (Couture) in this one...
Reason Number Two...
SMU runs a similar offense as Hawaii, but remember how the Cougars handled that Warrior offense in the second half. Keep an eye out for a fast Cougar start...
Reason Number One...
I looked into this note a month ago, and this streak is 107 years in the making. The Cougars haven't lost to a first-time opponent in Pullman since 1902, a streak of 22 consecutive games.
See you tomorrow at Martin Stadium...
Good Friday morning to you all...Plenty to read in preparation for tomorrow's match-up with SMU:
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had his THRUSDAY RECAP and THIS STORY on freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel. (Tuel was also mentioned in THIS USA TODAY STORY.)
Howie Stalwick had THIS STORY on WSU line-up changes in the Kitsap Sun.
Bud Withers of The Seattle Times had THIS NOTEBOOK.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has THIS LOOK at Saturday's game and THIS STORY on Jeshua Anderson.
I will be back later today...
September 17 (6:06 p.m.)
Thursday Practice Recap...
It was a pretty quiet Thursday on the Palouse...
The offense was working down in Martin, the defense was up on Rogers and then they all came together to work on special teams for 20 minutes. Not much else to talk about...
Your game captains for Saturday are Marshall Lobbestael and Jason Stripling.
The Unity Council selects the game captains every week, so congratulations to the two of them. They have clearly worked hard this week, and have earned the respect of their peers.
September 17 (8:35 a.m.)
Thursday Morning Links...
Back to our regularly-scheduled program this morning...
Vince Grippi's story on Jeshua Anderson ran in THE SEATTLE TIMES and HERE in The Spokesman Review. He also had THIS LOOK at WSU's thoughts on SMU, and picks this week's Pac-10 games HERE (He has WSU winning 31-28).
Lew Wright of The Examiner had FIVE QUESTIONS for his counterpart, Richard Day, who writes about SMU.
September 16 (10:35 p.m.)
Jared Prenguber put together this video footage from after today's practice. Click HERE for an interview with Coach Wulff.
September 16 (5:43 p.m.)
My apologies for basically being MIA the last couple days...
We hosted the Palouse Collegiate - the inaugural men's golf tournament - out at Palouse Ridge. Congratulations to Head Coach Walt Williams and the team for winning the debut men's college tournament on WSU's new home course. Kevin Tucker took home co-medalist honors.
In addition to my football duties, I also handle men's and women's golf, so I was out at the course the last two days. I got done in time to head over to the Coaches' Show with Coach Wulff and Bud Nameck, and today I have been playing catch-up.
As I currently type, this week's FSN Cougars All-Access is airing. So if you missed it, here are the re-run times:
Thursday - 12:30 p.m.
Friday - 5:30 p.m.
Saturday - 11:30 a.m.
As I am sure most of you have heard, the big news today was wide receiver Jeshua Anderson's decision to focus solely on track. I talked to Jeshua this afternoon, and this is what he had to say:
"This is a decision I have been thinking about for quite a while and at this point I want to focus all my attention on track. I love the game of football and appreciate all the support from Coach Wulff, the entire coaching staff and my teammates. This team is really headed in the right direction and I would like to be a part of it, but I can't give 100 percent to both and still reach my goals."
This seemed like a tough decision for Jeshua, so I want to wish him the best of luck in track. He is a world-class talent, and we will all be rooting for him.
On a somber note, NCAA President Myles Brand died today of pancreatic cancer. His friends and family are in the thoughts of everyone at Washington State.
September 15 (7:44 a.m.)
Tuesday Morning Links...
FSN has picked up our game against USC, and kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m. On to the links:
September 13 (8:56 a.m.)
Looking Back and Heading Forward...
Coaches will always tell you that it is never as good as it seems, and it is never as bad as it seems. So all you can do - win or lose - is point out what is going right and learn from that is going wrong. After an in-depth look at the film, WSU will prepare for SMU...
But before we move on, we have some awards to hand out...There were some really good things going on for the Cougars yesterday:
COUGAR HARD HAT
Xavier Hicks...the senior safety forced two fumbles, recovered another and had eight tackles. The recovery was the first of his career, and the two forced accounted for half of WSU's total - all of which were recovered.
There is only one hard hat, but I also want to mention the play of Alex Hoffman-Ellis. In his first-career start, AHE tied for the team lead with nine tackles, had two tackles-for-loss and forced a fumble.
COUGAR LUNCH PAIL
James Montgomery...the junior running back racked up 118 yards on 17 carries, becoming the first non-starter to rush for triple digits since DeMaundray Woolridge did it against Grambling State in 2005 (also at Qwest Field). Montgomery also scored the first rushing touchdown of his Cougar career.
Crimson is better than gold, so this is better than a golden boot. I am retroactively awarding last week's to Reid Forrest and his 64-yard punt. But for this week, Nico Grasu hit two more field goals, and he is now 4-for-5 on the season.
I am off to the Seahawks game. Enjoy the first full slate of NFL regular-season action...
September 12 (1:20 p.m.)
Getting Ready at Qwest...
We still have nearly three hours before kickoff, but the Professor and I have been at Qwest Field for more than two hours getting ready...
Your game captains for today are going to be Tony Thompson, Kevin Kooyman and Reid Forrest.
Enjoy the game!
September 10 (5:00 p.m.)
Cougars in the NFL Page...
Well, the page isn't completely done. But it will be...
You can track Cougars playing in the NFL all season HERE. Each former Cougar has his team's weekly schedule, and will be filled in with key statistics and notes following each week's slate of NFL games.
I am missing a few player photos and team helmets, but I will get those filled in once we get back from Seattle. All season long you can go to that page and see how your beloved former Cougars are doing in the NFL. You can also click the link at the top of this page.
September 10 (10:58 a.m.)
Last full day in Pullman before we head to Seattle for the game against the Warriors...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman had a story on the Cougar Gridiron Classic (presented by Washington's Beef Producers) that ran in both THE SPOKESMAN and THE SEATTLE TIMES. Vince also predicts this week's games HERE (Spoiler Alert: He picks WSU), and has THIS RECAP from yesterday's practice.
Lew Wright of The Examiner PREVIEWS the game against Hawaii.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com PREDICTS a Cougar win on Saturday.
September 9 (5:36 p.m.)
Wednesday Practice Recap...
I spent most of practice in meetings, but I got out to Rogers Field just in time to watch the most enjoyable part...scrimmage.
On the first possession, quarterback Kevin Lopina led the first-team offense down the field for a field goal. The offense was moving the chains, but a sack by defensive tackle Josh Luapo forced the Cougar offense to try for three.
The most notable part of this series was the return of Daniel Blackledge. As I said before, I missed most of practice. But he seemed to be a full participant at the end.
Marshall Lobbestael led the second unit down the field for another field goal. Another pleasant wide receiver surprise with the twos - Johnny Forzani was participating, and he caught a pass during the drive.
Nico Grasu connected on his second field goal in as many tries to end the drive, this one from at least 50 yards.
September 9 (2:01 p.m.)
You have four opportunities to catch the second installment of Cougars All-Access on FSN Northwest this week.
The show airs tonight a 5:30 p.m., and will be replayed Thursday (5:30 p.m.) and Friday (Noon and 8:30 p.m.).
September 9 (11:02 a.m.)
Cougars in the Pros
The opening weekend of college football was great. But there was something missing...
I was working on Game Notes and the Game Program on Sunday, and it didn't feel the same as it did last year. That will all change this week...
The NFL kicks off Thursday night with Pittsburgh and Tennessee, followed by a full slate of games Sunday and two games Monday night.
The following list features Cougars playing in the NFL this season...
Husain Abdullah, Minnesota Vikings
Tyron Brackenridge, Jacksonville Jaguars
Erik Coleman, Atlanta Falcons
Devard Darling, Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Frampton, Minnesota Vikings
Brandon Gibson, Philadelphia Eagles
Jason Hanson, Detroit Lions
Jerome Harrison, Cleveland Browns
Jason Hill, San Francisco 49ers
Rian Lindell, Buffalo Bills
Rob Meier, Jacksonville Jaguars
Karl Paymah, Minnesota Vikings
Ropati Pitoitua, New York Jets
Marcus Trufant, Seattle Seahawks
September 9 (9:26 a.m.)
Good morning Cougar fans. Here are today's links...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had his PAC-10 NOTEBOOK and a RECAP from yesterday (both practice and press conference).
Howie Stalwick had THIS NOTEBOOK in the Kitsap Sun.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has HIS TAKE on yesterday's press conference with Coach Wulff.
With the NFL season gearing up tomorrow, I will have a round-up of "Cougars in the Pros" a little bit later this morning.
September 8 (6:29 p.m.)
Coach Wulff Press Conference...
Want to hear Coach Wulff's thoughts on Hawaii? Or how he feels about the Stanford game? He touches on a number of topics during today's press conference...
Click HERE to see Coach Wulff's press conference from this afternoon.
September 8 (6:13 p.m.)
Tuesday Practice Recap, TV Update...
The Cougars hit the practice field at 3 p.m. this afternoon, the first major practice in preparation of game number two against Hawaii.
Wide receiver Jared Karstetter continued his excellent play from Saturday, catching a couple of deep touchdown passes in scout and skelly.
The Cougars worked a bit on pass protection during individual drills. Running backs took on linebackers one on one, with Coach Broussard playing the role of quarterback. Watching the drill, I noticed Marcus Richmond had returned to practice. He looked good in individual drills, and took a couple of hits during scrimmage.
The defense seemed to be focusing on take-aways...LeAndre Daniels received an atta-boy for a pass deflection during scrimmage, but Brandon Jones' interception to close skelly got the coaches and players excited.
So...the lesson of the day? Pass Deflections < Interceptions...
Here is some TV news for the Hawaii game:
WSU-HAWAII GAME TELEVISED IN EASTERN WASHINGTON
Saturday's game against Hawaii will be shown live in selected part of Washington. Produced by FSN Northwest, the game will be seen throughout eastern Washington on KHQ-TV and KHQ's SWX Channel in Spokane, in the Tri-Cities on KNDU and in the Yakima area it will be shown on KNDO. Additionally, it will be distributed on the Universal Sports channel in the Seattle area.
September 8 (2:32 p.m.)
Just a reminder out there to everyone to tune into the Cougar Sports Radio Network for tonight's Coaches' Show with Paul Wulff and Bud Nameck.
The show runs from 7-8 p.m.
September 8 (11:13 a.m.)
Looking Back at Stanford...
Had some friends and family in town for the game and the three-day weekend, so I wasn't able to get this up. From here on out, you can expect this on Sundays...
After every game this season, we are going to be giving out some awards. Keeping with Coach Ball's theme throughout Fall Camp, we're going to give out Cougar Hard Hats to the defense. On the other side of the ball, we will be handing out Cougar Lunch Pails.
COUGAR HARD HAT
Louis Bland...After moving to middle linebacker the week before the game, Bland led the Cougars with a career-high 10 tackles.
COUGAR LUNCH PAIL
Jared Karstetter...Karstetter caught three passes for 91 yards, eclipsing his total from all of last season. He caught two deep balls, and wrestled another pass away for his first career touchdown.
Eric Block...Cougar fans got to see what happens when opponents step into the E-Block. I watched the replay (over and over and over) - that hit was HUGE...
September 8 (8:35 a.m.)
I hope you all enjoyed the three-day weekend. We will take a look back at Saturday a little later today, but for this morning, time to focus on Hawaii...
First, The Seattle Times had THIS PREVIEW of Seattle week.
September 5 (7:15 p.m.)
Photos and Notes...
Jason Krump put together this PHOTO GALLERY from today's game.
I also have some notes from the game...
- The Cougars had two true freshman start today's game against Stanford (Travis Long, defensive end; Gino Simone, wide receiver), the first time since the inception of the Pacific-10 Conference in 1978 two true freshman position players started a season-opener for WSU...The only other time WSU has started two true freshmen in a season-opener was in 2004 (Ropati Pitoitua, defensive tackle; Loren Langley, kicker).
- With his 47-yard completion to Jared Karstetter, wide receiver Jeffrey Solomon became the first non-quarterback to complete a pass since Dwight Tardy hit Alex Brink for a four-yard touchdown pass against Baylor in 2006.
- Continuing a trend from last season, the Cougars had eight players make their first-career start today against the Cardinal...on offense, Gino Simone and Zack Williams made their first-career starts for the Cougars...on defense, Travis Long, Bernard Wolfgramm, Josh Luapo, Jason Stripling, Brandon Jones and LeAndre Daniels made their first starts as Cougars...in 2008 26 players registered their first start for WSU, 17 on offense and nine on defense.
- With his 91 receiving yards, sophomore wide receiver Jared Karstetter eclipsed his total from all of last season...his third-quarter touchdown reception was the first of his career.
- Junior wide receiver Daniel Blackledge's six catches and 67 yards were both career highs.
- Reid Forrest's 64-yard punt was a career high, besting his 60-yard punt against Oregon in 2008...it was the longest punt by a Cougar since Kyle Basler's 87-yarder against Arizona in 2004...Forrest had three punts of more than 50 yards.
- Redshirt senior running back Dwight Tardy, who ranked 10th on WSU's career list for rushing attempts, moved into eighth all-time with 13 carries against Stanford...now has 434 career rushes...Tardy passed Dan Doornink (424; 1974-77) and Michael Black (424; 1996-97).
- WSU's 351 yards of total offense were the most against a Pacific-10 Conference opponent since accumulating 509 yards against Washington in 2007.
- Sophomore linebacker Louis Bland's 10 tackles led the Cougars and were a career high.
September 5 (12:13 p.m.)
A Happy Cougar Football Saturday to you all...
Can you believe how quickly game-day arrives? Here are some links to get you by until kickoff:
September 4 (6:28 p.m.)
Why You Should Be Excited...
I could give you a number of reasons why you should be excited for tomorrow. Those of you who have been to Pullman for a Cougar Football Saturday know that it doesn't get any better. But each week, I will give you three reasons why you should be pumped.
Reason No. 3: A New Tradition
The Cougars will be led onto the field by the inaugural honorary captain - and the individual's identity is being kept secret until right before the game.
Reason No. 2: The New Crop of Cougars
A couple true freshmen could start. A number of guys redshirting last year will start and/or see playing time. These guys that you have yet to see, and the guys returning from last year, are bigger, stronger and faster. You have heard and read about it throughout Fall Camp. Tomorrow, you finally get to see it.
Reason No. 1: First Place
The winner of tomorrow's game owns first place in the Pacific-10 Conference. Enough said.
See you all tomorrow, and Go Cougs!
September 4 (2:44 p.m.)
Happy Cougar Football Eve everyone!
I hope you all enjoyed the kickoff to the 2009 college football season last night. And hopefully you are all pumped about tomorrow's season opener against Stanford. If you're not, I will have a few reasons you should be up later on the blog...
On to today's links...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS RECAP from yesterday and THIS STORY on WSU's freshmen (likely) starters.
Bud Withers of The Seattle Times had THIS FEATURE on senior center Kenny Alfred.
Howie Stalwick had THIS STORY on the team in The Olympian.
KHQ had THIS PREVIEW of tomorrow's game, which also includes a video interview with quarterback Kevin Lopina.
September 3 (6:07 p.m.)
Thursday Practice Recap, Saturday's Captains...
Not much to report on from today's practice. Wearing shells (foam shoulder pads and helmets), it was a pretty light practice.
Light does not mean unimportant, however. Thursday is the day where everything comes together. You take what you have learned throughout the week so it becomes automatic during walk-thru, and instinctual during the game.
The team started together on Rogers Field, then split up to work on offense and defense - the offense was in Martin Stadium and the defense remained on Rogers. They reconvened down in Martin Stadium to work on special teams.
Looking ahead to Saturday...You are going to see something new this year that Coach Wulff hopes becomes a Cougar tradition. We will have an honorary captain lead the team out onto the field before every home game. Someone who has been a part of Cougar Football...and every week it will be a surprise. Look for that on Saturday...
In addition to the honorary captain, the Unity Council will be choosing game captains every week. This week's captains: Kenny Alfred and Andy Mattingly.
The Cougars hold walk-thru tomorrow, and then it is gameday...
September 3 (11:13 a.m.)
Thursday Morning Links...
In addition to some reading, we have some other forms of media to check out today.
First, THIS VIDEO from KHQ in Spokane. The video is a feature on Cory Mackay.
Also from Spokane today, Patchin, Osso and the Wingman will talk to quarterback Kevin Lopina at 4:05 p.m. You can listen on 700 ESPN The Ticket, or on the Web HERE
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review has this PREVIEW of WSU's challenge this weekend, and THIS RECAP from yesterday's practice.
Howie Stalwick had THIS PREVIEW in The Tacoma News Tribune, and THIS FEATURE on Cory Mackay.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com ranks REID FORREST fourth among punters, and NICO GRASU fourth among kickers.
Lew Wright of The Examiner TAKES A LOOK at Stanford.
The AP's Nick Geranios had THIS STORY in the Seattle PI on WSU freshmen that could play Saturday.
September 2 (6:26 p.m.)
Thursday Practice Recap...
The offense made some nice plays today, but as promised, tonight we focused specifically on the defense...
The Cougar D made plays in every segment of practice, starting with an early thud scrimmage session. Safety Xavier Hicks picked off a pass early, setting the tone for the remainder of the afternoon.
In a skelly session, both the first and second units had an opportunity to showcase their skills. Linebacker Louis Bland (who played at the Mike position quite a bit today) picked off a pass, and cornerback Brandon Jones had a nice pass break-up. In all, between the first and second units, only two passes were completed against the guys in the white jerseys.
Toward the end of practice, once the Cougars had their shoulder pads on, we got a live look during scrimmage. Defensive end Travis Long had a huge tackle-for-loss, swallowing a lineman and a running back virtually at the same time. Linebacker Jason Stripling also had a TFL playing against the first team offense.
It was another solid practice for the Cougars - on both sides of the ball. Tomorrow marks the last practice of the week before Friday's walk-thru. And then it is finally game day...
September 2 (6:13 p.m.)
Cougars All-Access on FSN...
Before we get to tonight's recap, I wanted to give everyone the times for Cougars All-Access on FSN.
The show will air tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Then, Cougars All-Access will be replayed at...
9:30 p.m. (Wednesday)
2:30 p.m. (Thursday)
2:30 p.m. (Friday)
5:00 p.m. (Friday)
In addition to Cougars All-Access, you can also catch FSN's Northwest Pac-10 Kickoff Wednesday (9 p.m.), Thursday (1:30 p.m.) and Friday (11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.).
September 2 (9:46 a.m.)
Wednesday Morning Links...
With the season-opener fast approaching, the internet is starting to flood with stories about Cougar Football...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS STORY on Pac-10 quarterbacks. He also RECAPS yesterday's busy day.
Bud Wither of The Seattle Times had a WSU NOTEBOOK.
Howie Stalwick had THIS NOTEBOOK in the Kitsap Sun.
The AP's Nick Geranios PREVIEWS Saturday's game.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame's Blog talked to Remy Martin last night, and you can read the story HERE.
The Tacoma News Tribune previews Saturday's game against Stanford HERE. I completely disagree with the prediction, but you can read and make your own predictions.
Lew Wright of The Examiner has FIVE QUESTIONS for the Stanford game.
September 1 (6:30 p.m.)
ONE MORE THING!
Don't forget...the first Cougar Coach's Show with Coach Wulff is tonight at 7 p.m. You can listen live on the family stations of the Cougar Sports Radio Network.
Bud Nameck will be hosting.
September 1 (6:22 p.m.)
Tuesday Practice Recap...
It was HOT out there today...I wanted to go back inside and change into shorts. No go, but I did take off the sunglasses to see if I could even out that tan I gave myself throughout fall camp.
I was wondering if everyone else also thought it was too hot, because they came out sans shoulder pads. About an hour into the practice they put the shoulder pads on though, so I guess that was all part of the plan...
It may have been hot, but you could definitely tell this was the first real practice of game week. There was added focus, more intensity and it was lively.
The two quarterbacks atop the depth chart - Kevin Lopina and Marshall Lobbestael - were hitting their passes. The three running backs atop their position - Dwight Tardy, James Montgomery (yes, he was back, though he wore a yellow jersey) and Logwone Mitz - were hitting holes and breaking tackles. The receivers are starting to get healthy and they look to be catching everything.
I was primarily focused on the offense today, but I did see Brandon Jones knock down a couple passes. To be fair, I will focus more on the defense tomorrow.
Nothing huge to report - just a nice, crisp, clean practice. The team looks like it's hitting its stride. Coach Wulff didn't talk after practice due to his teleconference earlier today. Had he spoken, I am sure he would have told you today was a good Tuesday for Cougar Football.
Speaking of Coach Wulff's teleconference, you can watch it by clicking HERE.
I will be back in the morning...
September 1 (8:17 a.m.)
Tuesday Morning Links...
If you can't wait for Cougar Football to get here, and it seems like it is taking longer than usual - it kind of is. The last time we played a game as late as Sept. 5 was in 1998, and in six of the last eight years we opened on today's date (Sept. 1) or earlier. Hang in there friends...only a few more days...
After a day off, the Cougars return to the practice field this afternoon. Here are some stories to get you through your day...
The Professor (Bill Stevens) and I put out our Game Notes/Weekly Release yesterday. You can view it in PDF form HERE.
You can see our Game Notes every week at wsucougars.com. On to this morning's stories...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review has his FIRST LOOK at Stanford.
Bud Withers of The Seattle Times had THIS FEATURE on three of WSU's freshmen.
Nick Geranios of the AP had THIS STORY on the WSU quarterbacks, which ran on the Seattle PI Web site.
August 31 (8:33 a.m.)
Monday Morning Links...
Good Monday morning to you all. It is officially Stanford week. No practice today...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review discussed SUCCESS IN 2009 with Coach Wulff. Vince also RECAPS FALL CAMP and HAS THIS STORY on the WSU quarterback and THIS RECAP from Sunday's practice.
Howie Stalwick had THIS STORY on the WSU quarterbacks in the Kitsap Sun, and THIS FEATURE on Dwight Tardy in The Columbian and THIS NOTEBOOK on CougFan.
Braulio Perez had THIS STORY on the WSU quarterbacks on CougFan. Howie also had THIS COLUMN in the Kitsap Sun.
August 29 (2:48 p.m.)
Young Alumni Weekend - Last Chance...
Join other WSU young alumni for a weekend of Cougar Football in Pullman taking place September 4 - 5! By signing up for this exclusive young alumni weekend you can take advantage of special opportunities and discounts being offered to young grads. If you have been looking for a good reason to come back to Pullman, make this your weekend!
Don't miss out on these exciting opportunities! Before the game sign up to attend an exclusive pregame event on Roger's Field with Women's Basketball coach June Daugherty and Men's Basketball coach Ken Bone. All-you-can-eat food and drinks are included in your registration price. Before the pregame, join us for a special tour of the player locker rooms and enjoy field access before the start of the game. Discounted weekend passes to the Rec Center are also being offered, along with a discounted membership to the WSU Alumni Association.
You have the option of choosing either an endzone or sideline ticket, and all ticket purchases include a special commemorative tee-shirt. Passes for the pregame rally can be purchased separately. Visit www.alumni.wsu.edu/YA_Weekend to view all the options. Lodging is not included in your registration.
Don't miss out on this fun-filled weekend with other Cougar fans!
All registrations must be completed by Monday, August 31. Register ONLINE at www.alumni.wsu.edu/YA_Weekend.
August 29 (12:43 p.m.)
Fan Fest Photos... Check out the link for photos from today's Fan Fest: PHOTO GALLERY
August 29 (12:20 p.m.)
Fan Fest, Practice Update...
Just got back from the Cougar Football Fan Fest...If you weren't able to make it this year, you should definitely try and get out here next year.
Once we were able to get all of the photos that we needed taken, players were signing autographs for fans, taking photos and playing with kids. Everyone who showed up looked like they were having a lot of fun...
The team also found out that today's practice was cancelled. The Cougars will have the rest of the day to rest, and then preparation for Stanford continues tomorrow.
We are about a week away from kickoff...
August 29 (8:34 a.m.)
Saturday Morning Links...
With everything going on yesterday, I missed putting up the morning links. No worries...there was more news this morning with the closing of Fall Camp for the Cougars. I sprinkled in a couple of the interesting stories I missed yesterday...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS PREVIEW of WSU's special teams. Vince also had THIS RECAP from Thursday in addition to THIS RECAP and THESE NOTES from the scrimmage.
The Pac-10 has THIS PREVIEW.
The Seattle Times put together THIS RECAP of yesterday's scrimmage.
Lew Wright of The Examiner shares his FIVE REASONS to expect more in 2009.
Howie Stalwick had THIS RECAP of yesterday's action.
ESPN.com's Ted Miller says JARED KARSTETTER is WSU's Practice Player of the Week. On CougFan, Braulio Perez had THIS RECAP from the scrimmage, and Jim Moore had THIS FEATURE on B.J. Guerra.
August 28 (6:28 p.m.)
Video Highlights from today's scrimmage: CLICK HERE
I also have some from yesterday's practice:
August 28 (6:12 p.m.)
Here are some photos from today's scrimmage: PHOTO GALLERY.
August 28 (6:09 p.m.)
The Washington State University football team completed its final scrimmage of Fall Camp Friday at Martin Stadium, and the Cougar quarterbacks continued to impress.
For the complete story, click HERE
August 28 (5:31 p.m.)
Story, photos and video coming soon, but here are the stats from today's - and the final - scrimmage of Fall Camp.
Arthur Burns 6/9; Carl Winston 6/9 (TD); Leon Brooks 2/8.
Kevin Lopina 9/11/123/1/0; Marshall Lobbestael 7/13/88/0/0; Dan Wagner 1/7/12/0/0.
Gino Simone 4/56 (TD); Nick Proen 2/28; Kevin Norrell 2/23; Randy Johnson 2/23; Jared Karstetter 1/37; Arthur Burns 1/18; Andrei Lintz 1/12; Remy Martin 1/7; Easton Johnson 1/7; Colin Huemmer 1/6; Daniel Blackledge 1/6.
August 27 (6:36 p.m.)
Practice No. 22 Recap, Captain America...
Before we get to today's recap, I thought I would share an interesting fact from some research I was doing today. Completely unrelated to football, but I would imagine there are some people out there who wouldn't mind sharing this with fellow Cougs...
Long story short...there are a number of rumors out there that different guys have attended different universities. I have heard Brad Pitt went here, I have heard The Game went here and I have heard the guy who played Ivan Drago in Rocky went here. Heck, while I was in school, I was under the impression that Stephanie Tanner from Full House was enrolled at WSU. None of these have been proven to be accurate...
Here is one that I can now back up with evidence...Randy Couture, the five-time UFC champion, was a Cougar. He was here in 1981, then left; he later enrolled at Oklahoma State and ultimately became The Natural and/or Captain America.
I, Joe Nickell, am going on record...Randy Couture was a Coug!
On to the recap...
The team was back out in Martin Stadium today, though I started out on Rogers Field thinking we were going to be there...
It was a back-and-forth practice as far as scrimmage was concerned. In the early session, redshirt freshman cornerback Terrance Hayward tipped a pass to himself and hauled in an interception. In a later session, fellow redshirt freshman LeAndre Daniels stepped in front of a pass and recorded an interception of his own.
But then the team ran 10-yard sprints for a while...
When they came back, Kevin Lopina hit Gino Simone for a 10-yard touchdown on the first play. But the defense responded. On the ensuing play, Aire Justin batted a pass and Myron Beck was there to haul in another interception for the Cougar defense. The defense seemed to have the momentum...
But then Remy Martin caught a touchdown pass. In addition to the score, Martin laid a couple guys out with blocks - one during special teams and one during scrimmage.
We will be back out in Martin Stadium tomorrow for a scrimmage. Practice starts at 3 p.m., the scrimmage will start at 3:30 p.m.
Hope to see you all there...
August 27 (8:31 a.m.)
Thursday Morning Links...
Another reminder about this Saturday's Fan Fest...
The Cougar football team will be holding a Fan Fest this Saturday in Martin Stadium at 10:30 a.m. Players will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, and there will be inflatable games, $1 hot dogs and $2 drinks. The first 300 fans will receive a free Cougar Football t-shirt.
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS PREVIEW on the Cougar secondary THESE NOTES from yesterday's practice.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com had THIS FEATURE on Andy Mattingly.
Lew Wright of The Examiner SUMS UP Coach Ball's interview with Ian Furness of KJR yesterday.
Don't forget about tomorrow's scrimmage - 3:30 p.m. at Martin Stadium. Today's practice starts at 4 p.m.
August 26 (6:25 p.m.)
SATURDAY'S FAN FEST
In case you haven't heard, the Cougar football team will be holding a Fan Fest this Saturday in Martin Stadium at 10:30 a.m.
Players will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, and there will be inflatable games, $1 hot dogs and $2 drinks.
The first 300 fans will receive a free Cougar Football t-shirt.
Hope to see you all out there...
August 26 (6:17 p.m.)
Practice No. 21 Recap...
The Cougars were back in Martin Stadium today, preparing for the season-opener against Stanford. Can you believe the game is only 10 days away?
Linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis returned to the field today, as did Aire Justin. Tight end Spenser Dayton, the newest Cougar, joined the squad today at practice. I hope to have everything back on he and quarterback Zach Gavin soon...
I spent a majority of practice up in the press box running the 40 second clock. I wish I could give you a better run down of today's goings-on, but all I have today is this: Coach Wulff was much happier with today's performance, and he called practice after an interception from redshirt freshman safety Kyle McCartney. McCartney dove for the ball, had it, then looked like he lost it; he had it again, looked like he was going to lose it, but he pulled it in. Nice play by the kid from Edmonds...
I suppose we could talk about running the 40 second clock. Not once did the Cougars have a delay of game, and they only called a time out once as the play clock was winding down. But being a glass-half-full kind of guy, I am going to take the blame for it. I might have started the clock a little early. Just remember though, during the season, although I am in the press box, I am not the one running the game clock. This is a practice-only, every now and then type of deal...
The team practices again tomorrow at 4 p.m.
August 26 (11:49 a.m.)
Freshman linebacker Darren Markle will be on AM 1340 The Whale in Anacortes today at 4:30 p.m. You can also listen live HERE, or check their site later for the podcast.
Senior defensive end Kevin Kooyman will be on AM 1380 KRKO with The Fish at 4:45 p.m. If you can't listen live, you can listen to the podcast following the interview HERE.
Sophomore offensive tackle Steven Ayers will be on AM 1170 KPUG in Bellingham at 3:35 p.m. You can listen live HERE, or listen to the interview later on the podcast portion of their site.
Junior safety Chima Nwachukwu will be on AM 700 The Ticket in Spokane with Patchin, Osso and the Wingman. I hope to have a time soon.
August 26 (8:43 a.m.)
Wednesday Morning Links, Radio Line-up...
In addition to the links below, there will be some radio interviews to check out today...
Freshman linebacker Darren Markle will be on AM 1340 The Whale in anacortes today at 4:30 p.m. You can also listen live HERE.
Senior defensive end Kevin Kooyman will be on AM 1380 KRKO with The Fish.
Junior safety Chima Nwachukwu will be on AM 700 The Ticket in Spokane with Patchin, Osso and the Wingman.
Sophomore offensive tackle Steven Ayers will be on AM 1170 KPUG in Bellingham.
As soon as I have times set for the final three interviews, I will post them here.
On to the links...
Vince Grippi continues his series of position previews for The Spokesman Review, THIS ONE is on WSU's linebackers. Vince also had THIS RECAP from yesterday's practice.
Vince also had a great find on his blog post this morning...THIS FEATURE on Brandon Gibson in The Philadelphia Daily News.
Howie Stalwick had THIS RECAP from yesterday's practice in The Tacoma News Tribune. The story also takes a look at WSU's quarterbacks.
Braulio Perez had THIS RECAP in The Daily Evergreen.
Lew Wright of The Examiner discusses TWO QUESTIONS facing the Cougars in 2009.
Bud Withers of The Seattle Times has THIS FEATURE on safety Eric Block.
August 25 (6:57 p.m.)
Mkristo Bruce News...
I received a press release from the Florida Tuskers of the new United Football League, and former Cougar defensive end Mkristo Bruce has signed a contract to play for the team.
Congratulations to MK!
August 25 (6:51 p.m.)
Practice No. 20 Video...
In addition to tonight's photos and practice summary, we also have some video footage for you to check out...
Click HERE for an interview with quarterback Kevin Lopina.
August 25 (6:28 p.m.)
Practice No. 20 Recap...
School is back in session, and the Cougars were back in Martin Stadium for practice...
With the fall semester underway, WSU is allowed to expand its roster. Thus, there were some pristine jerseys participating in practice today.
Linebackers Sam Tennant, Andrew Kreutz and Omari Guidri and running backs Remy Martin and Casey Thometz rejoined the Cougar squad. There was also a new face joining the Cougar fold: quarterback Zach Gavin.
In addition to the 2009 practice newcomers, a few Cougars returned to practice after missing time due to various injuries: Andy Mattingly and Daniel Blackledge were both participating, as was Myron Beck, who wore a yellow jersey. Tyree Toomer was in a yellow the last time I saw him, but he wasn't wearing it today.
After another day of class tomorrow, the team will be back at it. Practice starts at 3 p.m.
August 25 (6:02 p.m.)
Practice No. 20 Photos...
I will have a recap shortly, but you can click the link below for photos from this afternoon's practice...
August 25 (8:09 a.m.)
Scrimmage News, Morning Links...
Before we get to your Tuesday morning links, I have some information on WSU's next scrimmage...
The Cougars will be scrimmaging Friday at 3:30 p.m. in Martin Stadium. Practice starts at 3 p.m., so don't take off if you show up at 3 p.m. and it just looks like individual drills. This will be your last opportunity to catch the Cougars in live action before the season-opener against Stanford (Sept. 5).
On to the links...
I will be back later to recap the first practice of the 2009-10 school year.
August 24 (8:37 a.m.)
Monday Morning Links...
Plenty to read this morning - mostly from Vince - covering the last couple days of practice before the beginning of school...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS RECAP of Saturday's morning practice, THIS RECAP of Saturday's afternoon practice and THIS RECAP of Sunday's practice. Vince also had THIS PREVIEW of the Cougar quarterbacks and THIS PREVIEW of the Cougar offensive line.
Braulio Perez had THIS RECAP from Saturday on CougFan, which also looks at a little bit of injury information.
That is about it...No practice today. Enjoy your Monday!
August 22 (4:49 p.m.)
Practice No. 18 Recap...
Just finished with the final half of the last two-a-day of Fall Camp...
The practice was pretty light - the Cougars were in shorts, t-shirts and helmets. A majority of the practice was devoted to game-time situations, making sure everyone knows who should be where, and when. Second team punt return, third team kickoff, safety return, etc. - it was all covered...
Other than that, not much to report...The team will be back out at practice tomorrow at 3 p.m.
We are officially less than two weeks away from the season-opener...
August 22 (12:47 p.m.)
Lentil Fest Photos...
The football team is back from the Lentil Festival Parade, getting ready for today's second practice - the last half of the final two-a-day of Fall Camp.
Click the link for photos from the parade...
August 22 (10:40 a.m.)
Saturday Morning Links...
While I am sure a few regular readers of the blog were sleeping in this morning (Mike, Leigh and Tom, specifically), I was here bright and early for practice. Just not early enough to get the morning links up before I headed out to practice...
Well, it's still morning, so here are your morning links...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS POST on yesterday's practice and the Cougars' injury situation, THIS PREVIEW of the Cougar wide receivers.
Howie Stalwick had THIS NOTEBOOK in the Kitsap Sun.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com says BERNARD WOLFGRAMM was this past week's Practice Player of the Week.
August 22 (10:07 a.m.)
Practice No. 17 Recap...
If you walked by Martin Stadium last night and saw a bunch of people hanging out watching a movie, it was the football team - players, coaches and their families. The team held a special screening of Little Giants last night on the Martin Stadium video board.
Just a few hours later, the team was back in Martin Stadium for practice. We kicked things off a little early this morning, starting practice at 8 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., so the team could head down to the Lentil Festival Parade. The parade starts at 11 a.m. if you can make it down to watch, and the team will be handing out candy...
Daniel Simmons had what was probably his most impressive practice of Fall Camp, picking one pass and forcing another. Simmons tipped a perfect pass from behind, the ball bounced over the receiver, and Simmons took the ball off the receiver's back and ran it in for a touchdown. Later, during skelly, Simmons tipped another pass, grabbed the ball, and before he lost control shuffled it to Chima Nwachukwu for another interception.
In the first scrimmage possession the No. 1 defense forced a three-and-out, and in their second time on the field freshman defensive end Travis Long recorded a sack.
The first team offense drove down the field for a field goal try on their first possession, and with their second, Marshall Lobbestael hit Kevin Norrell for a 20-yard touchdown.
Jeff Tuel also hit Randy Johnson for a long touchdown.
After walking in the Lentil Festival Parade, the team will be back out at Martin Stadium for an afternoon practice beginning at 3 p.m. It will be a helmets-only practice.
August 21 (4:29 p.m.)
Just in case you were thinking about coming to Pullman for this weekend's Lentil Festival, the football team will be walking and giving out candy in the parade tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 a.m.
We will also have photos from the parade...
August 21 (1:13 p.m.)
Class of 2009 NFL Update
Congratulations to former Cougar wide receiver Brandon Gibson...Brandon tied for the team lead with four receptions last night, and led the Philadelphia Eagles with 49 receiving yards. He capped his night with a 21-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of last night's preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Last week Brandon caught two passes for 20 yards against New England.
Another one of last year's Cougar seniors, tight end Devin Frischknecht, is currently playing for the Green Bay Packers. Frischknecht caught one pass for seven yards last week against the Browns. The Packers play the Buffalo Bills Saturday at 5 p.m. at Lambeau Field.
August 21 (11:39 a.m.)
Practice No. 16 Photos...
Click the link below to view a photo gallery from this morning's practice:
August 21 (11:25 a.m.)
Practice No. 16 Recap...
We had a nice, quick practice this morning. It wasn't too hot and the team wasn't in full pads, but the Cougars got a lot done out on Rogers Field...
Yesterday the offense was moving the ball very efficiently, but today the defense tightened the screws. On the first play of the scrimmage session, senior safety Xavier Hicks picked off a pass. The defense kept the offense from scoring the entire scrimmage session.
During a two-minute drill, redshirt junior safety Chima Nwachukwu intercepted a pass (Chima won the Cougar Hard Hat today). Once again, the defense kept the offense out of the end zone.
The offense was able to put points on the board - Nico Grasu nailed a 54-yard field goal that would have been good from 60-plus yards, maybe even from 65.
A new kicker joined the fold yesterday - Blake Dunn, from Fresno, Calif. You can read more about him HERE, in a free story from CougFan.
The special teams units used the entire length of Rogers Field in the early part of practice to work on kickoff, kickoff return, punt and punt return. Patrick Rooney was booming kickoffs, a couple of which went over the fence.
I will have photos from this morning's practice shortly...
August 21 (8:40 a.m.)
Friday Morning Links...
Before we get to this morning's links, I wanted to direct you all to a great event being put on in conjunction with the season-opener against Stanford, WSU's YOUNG ALUMNI WEEKEND. In addition to attending the Stanford game, Young Alumni can attend a networking social, check out the Cougar Football locker room, get field access before the game and get all-you-can-eat food and drinks at a pregame event on Rogers Field.
Walk-ups will not be accepted the day of the game, so you will need to purchase your tickets early. Click the link above and check it out. Whether you are already planning on making it back for the season-opener or not, this is a great event with really good prices. Check it out...
On to the links...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS POST on yesterday's morning session, a href="http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2009/aug/20/wsu-likes-depth-running-back/">THIS PREVIEW of the Cougar running backs and THIS RECAP from the afternoon session.
Bud Withers had THIS FEATURE on defensive end Casey Hamlett in The Seattle Times.
Lew Wright had PART III of his Cougar offensive preview.
August 20 (1:48 p.m.)
Alfred Named to Rimington Fall Watch List
Washington State University redshirt senior center Kenny Alfred has been named to the Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List, the organization announced today.
The Rimington Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's top center. The winner will be honored at a presentation banquet held at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb., Jan. 16, 2010.
For the complete story, CLICK HERE.
August 20 (1:39 p.m.)
Simone on KJR...
Freshman wide receiver will be on KJR 950 AM at 2:38 p.m. If you are not in the Seattle area, you can listen live HERE. If you miss the interview, check www.kjram.com for the podcast.
August 20 (1:09 p.m.)
Coach Ball on Radio...
Coach Ball will be on "Wheels at Work," on 95.5 The Game in Portland at 1:15 p.m.
The show is hosted by Brian Wheeler (the play-by-play voice of the Blazers) and Kenny Vance (longtime Vancouver sports writer).
If you miss the interview, you can check out the station's Web site (www.955thegame.com) for the podcast later today.
August 20 (1:02 p.m.)
Kenny Alfred on Rimington Fall Watch List...
I will have a full release up on the Web site soon, but I have some big news on senior center Kenny Alfred...
The Rimington Trophy committee has released its 2009 Fall Watch List. The list includes 12 returning players from the 2008 Watch List.
One of those 12 returning players is Kenny Alfred.
In all, there are 43 players on the Watch List.
August 20 (12:57 p.m.)
Practice No. 14 Recap...
The Cougars were back in Martin Stadium for the third consecutive practice session this morning, and back in full pads as well...
In the early part of practice we watched the offensive and defensive lines working with each other. The defensive line was working on fighting off double teams and, conversely, the offensive line was working on double teaming defensive linemen. It was fun to watch and both groups were getting a lot out of the drill.
The offense was firing on all cylinders during scrimmage, and Coach Wulff talked after practice about what made them so successful today: Execution.
Logwone Mitz was ripping off 10-yard runs seemingly every time he touched the ball during an early thud session, and during scrimmage he scored on a 45-yard run.
Scrimmage started off with a big TFL by defensive tackle Josh Luapo, but the offense took over from there. On the next play quarterback Kevin Lopina hit wide receiver Jared Karstetter for a 45-yard touchdown. Later in the scrimmage Karstetter scored again, this time on a 20-yard pass from Marshall Lobbestael. Running back James Montgomery scored on a 20-yard rush.
Aire Justin had the biggest play of the day for the defense, ripping the ball away from a Cougar wide receiver during skelly, making the interception right before he hit the ground.
A couple of notes...
- Freshman quarterback Jeff Tuel took some reps with the first unit.
- Reid Forrest had a 73-yard punt during some special teams work.
The Cougars will hold their second practice of the day at 3 p.m. The team will be in helmets and shoulder pads.
August 20 (11:30 a.m.)
Practice No. 14 Photos...
We have a photo gallery from this morning's practice session. I will be back later with a recap...
August 20 (8:32 a.m.)
Thursday Morning Links...
Getting ready to head out to Rogers Field for the first of two practices today...
Vince Grippi had THIS STORY from yesterday's practice and THESE NOTES.
Jim Moore had THIS FEATURE on Andy Mattingly for CougFan (it's free).
Lew Wright of The Examiner has PART 1 and PART 2 of his preview of the Cougar offense.
Off to practice...
August 19 (11:25 a.m.)
Wednesday Morning Links...
My apologies for the delay on this morning's links...Without further ado...
One more link. I was up in Spokane a couple days ago with Larry Scott, the new Pac-10 Commissioner. Commissioner Scott met with members of the media, and John Blanchette had THIS COLUMN stemming from the meeting.
August 19 (11:25 a.m.)
Practice No. 13 Recap...
It is going to be a hot one today - it was about 80 degrees when I stepped into Martin Stadium this morning. Good thing we got practice out of the way early...
Check the entry below for photos from today's practice.
The Cougars were back in full pads this morning, and the team practiced in Martin Stadium for the second consecutive session. Martin Stadium kind of switches up the locations of drills in relation to where the media and I stand, so we got an up-close look at Coach Wulff working with the offensive tackles during individual drills.
The team worked on a number of gameday situations - Coach Sturdy was even up in the press box and the coaches used their head sets. Coach Wulff said after practice that they are trying to simulate game situations to get the team used to how things are going to work.
The team scrimmaged quite a bit today...Starting from their own one-yard line on their first possession, the first team offense marched down the field for a field goal try, and the second offense, also on their first possession, marched downfield for a touchdown.
The score came on an eight-yard run by Dwight Tardy, and Marshall Lobbestael and Jared Karstetter hooked up on two huge gains during the drive.
Freshman defensive tackle Justin Clayton took home the Cougar Hard Hat today.
Only one practice today, but I will be back later with all of this morning's links. The Cougars are back at it tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. The second practice of the day will begin at 3 p.m.
August 19 (11:07 a.m.)
Practice No. 13 Photos...
Just got back from this morning's practice...I will have a recap soon, but here are some photos to get you by until then...
August 18 (5:50 p.m.)
Practice No. 12 Video...
We have some video links from this afternoon's session.
August 18 (5:40 p.m.)
Practice No. 12 Recap/Photos...
Not a lot to report on from practice. The Cougars were in helmets and shoulder pads, and practice was held in Martin Stadium.
I do have breaking news however...
The season-opener against Stanford will be televised on FSN Northwest. Kickoff has changed to 3 p.m. For the complete release, CLICK HERE.
Jason Krump added some photos from this afternoon's practice to the photo gallery posted earlier today. CLICK HERE to view the photos.
The team will be back at it in the morning. Practice starts at 9 a.m.
August 18 (1:21 p.m.)
Karstetter on Patching, Osso and the Wingman...
Cougar wide receiver Jared Karstetter will be on 700 ESPN in Spokane this afternoon.
Karstetter will be on with Patchin, Osso and the Wingman at 3:45 p.m.
August 18 (11: 53 a.m.)
Practice No. 11 Recap...
There are some photos from this morning's practice in the entry below. On to the recap...
The first of two practices Tuesday saw the only contact of the day...
A majority of the contact stuff was thud, but much of it was live - full-on hitting and tackling. The most entertaining segment was a goal line drill. The first offense lined up against the first defense, and had three plays to score from the five-yard line.
The defense won the first battle.
Then the second offense lined up against the second defense, and after being stopped short on one play, Dwight Tardy leapt over the pile for the touchdown.
The Cougars had some background music at the beginning of practice - the tubas from the marching band played Jaws as much of the defense did the Cougar Chomp.
Coach Ball gave out the Cougar Hard Hat to defensive tackle Dan Spitz. With the defense getting an award every day, the offense might have to start giving out its own award - maybe the Cougar Lunch Pail?
Today's second practice will be in Martin Stadium, and the squad will be in helmets and shoulder pads.
August 18 (11:19 a.m.)
Photos from Practice No. 11
Fresh off his trip to work at the PGA Championship, Jason Krump was out at this morning's practice with his camera. Click the link below for a photo gallery from the morning session:
I will have a recap shortly...
August 18 (8:42 a.m.)
Tuesday Morning Links...
Just one link for you this morning, before I head out to the first of two practices today...
I will be back this afternoon with a practice recap
August 17 (12:53 p.m.)
The Cougars have their first day off since the beginning of Fall Camp, but there is plenty to read.
The WSU Athletic Department had an all-staff meeting this morning, hence the delay in posting links from yesterday and today...
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had a number of stories...THIS ONE on WSU's thoughts on choosing a starting quarterback; THIS ONE on Saturday's scrimmage; and THESE NOTES from the scrimmage.
Bud Withers of The Seattle Times had THIS FEATURE on WSU Strength and Conditioning Coach Darin Lovat.
Howie Stalwick had THIS FEATURE on quarterback Kevin Lopina at CougFan, and THIS RECAP from the scrimmage.
Braulio Perez had THIS STORY on yesterday's afternoon practice.
August 15 (5:29 p.m.)
I was taking stats the whole time, but I still have some notes from this afternoon's scrimmage at Martin Stadium.
Coach Wulff seemed to be pretty pleased with the way things went, especially since the Cougars are only eight practices into the 2009 campaign.
The story is pretty much all about the offense, because those are the only statistics we keep for scrimmages. But there were six sacks by the defense - and all of them came from defensive linemen.
In addition to the sacks, redshirt freshman Anthony Laurenzi had a monstrous tackle-for-loss - one that brought me back to 2002 when Rien Long was a force at the position. Laurenzi tackled both the offensive lineman in front of him and the running back carrying the ball.
The team was definitely going full contact, and the hitting got started early. Xavier Hicks laid someone out in skelly, and freshman linebacker Sekope Kaufusi had the biggest hit of the scrimmage, separating a wide receiver from a pass caught over the middle.
Prior to the scrimmage I was out at the Fifth Annual Past Meets Present Barbeque, and former Cougar Head Coach Jim Sweeney (1968-75) led the crowd in singing the Cougar Fight Song.
The Cougs get after it again in the morning. Practice starts at 9 a.m.
August 15 (5:15 p.m.)
Redshirt senior quarterback Kevin Lopina had an impressive showing Saturday, as the Washington State football team held its first scrimmage of fall camp at Martin Stadium.
"It was pretty clean in a lot of ways," Head Coach Paul Wulff said. "Our defense forced turnovers, which was good to see. But on the flip side, the offense fumbled it. I thought there were some plays made in the running and passing game. At times we got some pressure on the quarterback and there were some missed tackles and things, but after eight practices I am pretty darn pleased."
For the rest of the story, CLICK HERE.
August 15 (4:49 p.m.)
Story to come soon, but here are the offensive statistics from today's scrimmage:
Lopina - 6/6/94/1; Tuel - 5/6/75/0; Lobbestael - 4/7/32/0; Gilbertson - 3/4/11/0
Mitz - 6/32; Burns - 5/15; Richmond - 5/13; Montgomery - 4/20; Tardy - 4/17; Brooks - 4/1; Tuel - 2/17
Johnwell - 4/38; Karstetter - 3/29; Simone - 2/29; Richmond - 2/8; Gehring - 1/34; Stormo - 1/31; Tatman - 1/22 (TD); Solomon - 1/15; Tardy - 1/7; Lintz - 1/0; Johnson - 1/-1
August 15 (12:20 p.m.)
I am headed over to the Fifth Annual Past Meets Present luncheon. There will be a number of former Cougars and their families on hand for a barbeque with Athletic Director Jim Sterk and the football coaches, and then they will all head out to the scrimmage at Martin Stadium (2:30 p.m.).
I will be taking stats during the scrimmage. When everything goes final and we get all the media interviews done, we will have stats, a story and photos from today's action here at the blog and wsucougars.com.
August 15 (12:01 p.m.)
Saturday Morning Links...
My apologies for being MIA yesterday...Fall Camp crept up on me pretty quick, and there was a fence at the house that needed to get finished...
Here are some links from the past couple days:
As usual, Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review kept busy with his Cougar coverage. He had THIS FEATURE on Jeshua Anderson; there was THIS RECAP of the first day in full pads; there was THIS RECAP from the first of yesterday's two practices; there was THIS STORY on the return of the no-huddle offense; and THIS RECAP from yesterday's second practice session.
Howie Stalwick had THIS FEATURE on Dwight Tardy in the Tacoma News Tribune.
Lew Wright of The Examiner finished his three-part look at the 2009 Cougar defense with PART TWO and PART THREE.
Jay Tust of KLEW in Lewiston was at practice on Thursday, and has THIS STORY (also a video link).
The Cougars hold their first scrimmage of the 2009 season this afternoon at Martin Stadium. It's the only scrimmage on the schedule at this point, so if you have a chance, come out and take a look at this year's squad.
August 13 (6:05 p.m.)
Afternoon Practice Recap...
Every drill in practice is important, but there are some that are just a lot more enjoyable to watch. One of my favorites - Oklahoma - has been on the shelf thus far this camp because the team wasn't in full gear. That all changed today...
Lanes are created with tackling bags and an offensive lineman lines up across a defensive lineman straight up. The whistle blows, the quarterback hands the ball to the running back, and the defender tries to shuck the offensive lineman to make the tackle.
There are variations of the drill - sometimes you add a linebacker and a lead blocker - but it is always hard-nosed, smash-mouth football, and it is always intense. A couple of the guys from the morning practice were disappointed when they showed up and found out they missed the drill...
There were some big plays being made during thud. On the first play of the first thud session Kevin Lopina hit Kevin Norrell for a big gain. Later on Tyson Pencer and Zack Williams opened a huge hole - which Logwone Mitz ran through, all the way to the end zone. Mitz scored on another long run later in another thud session.
Daniel Blackledge made a few nice catches during practice, and he was praised by the coaches for his blocking during thud. Tony Thompson also made a nice grab - leaping and pulling down the ball with one hand.
The offense had their plays, but the defense also had theirs. The defensive line was disruptive at times, led by defensive tackle Toby Turpin. Turpin was awarded the Cougar Hard Hat at the end of practice for his efforts on the day.
The Crimson and Gray squads will come together tomorrow for the first two-a-day of Fall Camp. The first practice is at 9 a.m., and the second practice will be at 3 p.m.
August 13 (11:25 a.m.)
Morning Practice Recap...
The first group to strap on full gear in 2009 was the Gray squad, made up of rookies and a select group of veterans. Yesterday we got to focus on many of the newcomers for the first time in Fall Camp, and today we got to see them in full pads.
The offensive stars of the morning session had to be quarterback Jeff Tuel and wide receiver Esa Johnwell. The tandem connected on a number of plays during thud. Tuel also hit Easton Johnson for a long touchdown pass. Vince Grippi will tell you that Tuel was sacked, but I say he eluded the pressure - tough to tell when you can't tackle the guy wearing the yellow jersey. I give the nod to the young quarterback.
On defense, Anthony Houston made his presence felt at corner, laying a big hit on a receiver to knock him out of bounds. Houston is looking more and more comfortable after making the switch from wide receiver.
There were a number of veterans on the Crimson squad out at the Gray practice again this morning. The entire crop of linebackers and running backs and a few players from different positions were on hand to offer mentoring and support to their teammates.
My guess is with the leadership and maturity this team has shown thus far in Fall Camp, we can expect to see a number of the newcomers out at this afternoon's practice to watch and learn from the Crimson squad.
Crimson practice begins at 3 p.m.
August 13 (8:36 a.m.)
Thursday Morning Links...
Just about to head out to practice for the first day in full pads. The Gray squad (rookies and select veterans) has the morning session at 9 a.m., and the Crimson squad (first and second units) has the afternoon session at 3 p.m.
Vince Grippi of The Spokesman Review had THIS STORY on the morning practice, THIS STORY on Coach Wulff's return to practice and SOME NOTES from the second practice (also includes a story on Esa Johnwell, the younger brother of former Cougars Hamza and Huasain Abdullah). It was a busy day for Vince yesterday...
The AP's Nick Geranios had THIS PREVIEW on the season.
Lew Wright starts his PREVIEW OF THE COUGAR DEFENSE with the defensive backs.
Howie Stalwick had THIS PIECE in CougFan.
August 12 (6:35 p.m.)
Before I Head Out for the Night...
You can follow me on Twitter (@WSUFootballBlog or twitter.com/WSUFootballBlog). I will be giving live updates from practice throughout Fall Camp, and you will be the first to know when the blog is updated.
August 12 (6:30 p.m.)
Tight end Tony Thompson and center Kenny Alfred each did radio interviews today, and both of them will be podcast on the stations' Web sites.
To listen to Thompson's, check out the KPUG 1170 AM Web site at www.kpug1170.com, and to listen to Alfred's check out the 95.5 FM The Game Web site at www.955thegame.com.
August 12 (5:55 p.m.)
Afternoon Practice Recap...
Coach Wulff told the media after practice that the team is showing a lot of maturity and great leadership right now. The biggest example of the season thus far came today when the Cougars split the squad...
The Gray squad practiced at 9 a.m., but the Crimson squad came up to show support and offer advice. With the Gray squad given the afternoon off, a majority of the players made it out to practice at 3 p.m. to watch the veterans work and see how they do things.
There were two freshmen running with the Crimson squad in the afternoon session - wide receiver Gino Simone and defensive end Travis Long. Long had a tackle-for-loss during thud.
The big news from today's practice was the return of linebacker Louis Bland, who participated in a number of drills and a little thud.
Coach Ball's safeties have been talked about as one of the strengths of this year's team, and both Chima Nwachukwu and Xavier Hicks had interceptions today. Hicks really got up there to make the pick. Hicks said the defense won today's practice, but admitted he thinks they win every day.
For his efforts, Alex Hoffman-Ellis took home the Cougar Hard Hat today.
The offense had their moments, too...Kevin Lopina hit Daniel Blackledge for a 40-plus yard touchdown pass during thud. And in skelly Johnny Forzani caught a pass with a DB draped all over him. Aaron Gehring also had a nice grab, pulling a pass down with one hand.
We got to see the Cougar kickers for the first time this fall. Patrick Rooney hit 3-of-3 and Nico Grasu hit 2-of-4.
Paul Sorensen (1980-81) caught this afternoon's practice.
The Cougars will be in full gear tomorrow for the first time this season. The Gray squad will practice in the morning at 9 a.m., and the Crimson squad gets going at 3 p.m.
August 12 (1:39 p.m.)
Alfred Interview Update...
Kenny Alfred will be going on 95.5 The Game in Portland at 6 p.m., but he will be doing the interview with Chad Doing and former NBA player Antonio Harvey.
You can listen live at www.955thegame.com, and the station will podcast the interview later if you miss it.
August 12 (12:22 p.m.)
Morning Practice Recap...
The rookies and select veterans wrapped up their morning practice. With only half the team there we were able to get our first good look at some of the newcomers, and we also got some rain for the first time in a while...
Though they don't practice until later this afternoon, there were a number of veterans on hand for practice. Coach Niekamp's linebackers were heavily represented, with what looked to be the entire two-deep on hand.
The Big Unit - wide receiver Randy Johnson - had a great morning. Despite the rainfall, Johnson seemingly caught every pass thrown his direction.
The freshmen are already doing preparation off the field. Immediately after practice, while Jeff Tuel and Nolan Washington were waiting for post-practice interviews, they broke down what each was doing during scrimmage. Washington was discussing with Tuel where he had him beat, and Tuel was discussing with Washington what he did that caused him to check to another receiver. There seems to be a lot of camaraderie with the new group.
The Crimson squad starts practice at 2:30 p.m.
August 12 (8:32 a.m.)
Wednesday Morning Links...
We will have some radio interviews to listen to this afternoon. Tony Thompson will be on KPUG 1170AM in Bellingham, and Kenny Alfred will be on 95.5 FM The Game in Portland. As soon as I get a time locked down for Tony (sometime between 3:30 and 5 p.m.), I will pass it along. Kenny will be going on Strong at Night with John Strong at 6 p.m.
You can listen live on both stations (www.kpug1170.com and www.955thegame.com). Both stations will podcast their interviews, so if you miss them you can still listen later.
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review has this PRACTICE RECAP from yesterday, and this feature on DANIEL SIMMONS ascending up the depth chart.
Howie Stalwick also had a PRACTICE NOTEBOOK in the Kitsap Sun.
AllPac10.com has a preview on the WSU linebackers HERE.
August 11 (12:24 p.m.)
Practice Three Recap
I ended up catching more of practice than I thought I would - about an hour and a half - but I missed the end of practice while I was filming a Q&A session with Coach Wulff.
The team added shoulder pads to their practice gear, and we got to hear the sounds of pads popping for the first time this season. I was waiting for the first big hit - well, as big as you can expect without full gear - and apparently so was Vince Grippi, because when it happened he said exactly what I was thinking.
Football has felt like it was here for a while now: from Pac-10 Media Day, to Coach Wulff's first press conference, to the first day of Fall Camp. But when Casey Locker and Jamal Atofau crashed into each other during a special teams drill toward the beginning of practice, football felt like it had finally arrived.
We got to see some contact drills for the first time this season. With the addition of shoulder pads brought Inside Run. The defense knows what's coming, and the offense knows the defense knows - smash-mouth football at its BEST. On his second carry of the day, Dwight Tardy broke a tackle and scored on a 20-yard rush. On James Montgomery's second carry, he made a shifty move to pick up an extra 10 yards.
We also got our first live-action look at some of the freshman running backs. Carl Winston gained positive yardage on his first rush, but on his second one he picked up 18 yards - with a defender on his back for the final eight. Arthur Burns looked like he was going down after picking up about five yards, but he held his balance and crawled to pick up another five.
Everyone has been talking about the battle for playing time at the running back position, but I think it is going to be just as enjoyable to watch these younger guys progress as the season goes on.
A quick note...
Mike Graise stopped by practice again this morning, and Greg Trent stopped by for the first time this season. Trent is hoping to finish his degree after the fall semester. Both Trent and Graise were thoroughly impressed with how big their former teammates looked.
Tomorrow's practice will split the team into two groups - Gray in the morning session (9 a.m.) and Crimson in the afternoon session (2:30 p.m.).
August 11 (8:32 a.m.)
As usual, Vince Grippi has a couple things to peruse this morning. First, THIS STORY on how the Cougars spent their summer with Coach Lovat, and second, SOME NOTES from practice.
Howie Stalwick had a NOTEBOOK, and a PRACTICE RECAP for CougFan (though the practice recap requires a subscription).
Jim Moore had THIS FEATURE on Dwight Tardy (also requires a subscription).
Ted Miller, ESPN's Pac-10 blogger, talked to Coach Wulff for THIS STORY.
We had photo day yesterday with the team, including TV head shots, internet head shots and a video introduction that you will get to see Sept. 5. I hope to have all of the player mug shots up on the Web later this afternoon - that way you can all put faces to the new Cougar names you keep hearing about.
Today I will be spending a majority of practice with Coach Wulff for some video stuff. Not sure how much of a practice recap I will have, but I will post what I can.
August 10 (2:43 p.m.)
Practice: Day Two
It was another solid day out on Rogers Field for the Cougars. And Coach Ball said as much after practice...
"We are working on a lot of mental stuff because we're not in pads. We are stressing the little things, and we got a lot out of today."
There were a number of players flying around on defense - Alex Hoffman-Ellis broke up a couple passes, one of which was picked off by safety Jay Matthews - but Andy Mattingly seemed to be all over the place, which earned him the Cougar Hard Hat.
Vince Grippi talked a little bit about the Cougar Hard Hat yesterday with Andy Mattingly. This is what he said in Vince's blog:
"It's for the guy who is the toughest at practice each day," explained Mattingly, who missed most of spring with a torn bicep tendon. Asked if he wanted to earn it tomorrow, he smiled and said, "I want it every day. I might even go out and buy my own hard hat and paint it."
Remember, that quote was from yesterday - and Mattingly won it today. Vince talked to Josh Luapo today - let's see if he wins the Cougar Hard Hat tomorrow.
Mattingly wore the Cougar Hard Hat during his post-practice interviews...
Wide receiver Kevin Norrell returned to practice today, and he caught a number of balls in skelly. Norrell and the rest of the receivers do push-ups if they drop a pass or if the defense knocks the ball out at any point after the catch - even if the play is 20 seconds over.
As reported yesterday, former Cougar defensive tackle Chad Eaton has been watching practice the past couple days. I got to meet him today, and he said he is back in Pullman to finish his degree. He is a senior broadcasting student, and he is very happy to be back in Pullman.
A few notes...
I talked to a scout with the Philadelphia Eagles at the beginning of practice, and it sounds like Brandon Gibson is doing well back east.
The electronic timing clock is back. The timer was installed last year, but they chose to go with the old fashioned method of moving from period to period - one of the equipment managers, usually Josh Pietz, blows an air horn. Josh has been off the hook so far this year, which is good for the media - it can get pretty startling watching practice when an air horn is blown right behind you.
Other than the guys doing post-practice conditioning, the last guy off the field was redshirt freshman tight end Skylar Stormo. The coaches have been talking about toughness so far this camp, and Stormo seems to be the kind of kid they're talking about.
There is a photo gallery from today's practice in the blog entry below. There are also some videos from yesterday's practice, including highlights and interviews with Andy Mattingly, Dwight Tardy and James Montgomery.
There will be some more noise coming from practice tomorrow - the Cougars will put the shoulder pads on. Practice starts at 9 a.m.
August 10 (2:17 p.m.)
Photos and Video...
I will get to the practice recap soon, but here is a photo gallery from today's practice...
August 10 (8:25 a.m.)
There is plenty of Cougar football news this morning, which is not surprising considering all of the media at practice yesterday...
Before we get to that, Coach Wulff held his preseason press conference this weekend, and you can watch it in its entirety BY CLICKING HERE.
On to the links...
In the papers:
Vince Grippi has a couple of stories. THIS ONE on the Cougars putting last season behind them. He also has THIS ONE on the role toughness is going to have this season.
Howie Stalwick also has a couple of stories. THIS ONE for CougFan, recapping Day One. And THIS FEATURE on Jeshua Anderson for the Kitsap Sun.
I am headed out to practice in a bit. For live updates from Rogers Field, you can follow me on twitter (@WSUFootballBlog or twitter.com/WSUFootballBlog). August 9 (1:10 p.m.)
Day One Photos...
Take a look at some photos from Fall Camp Day One. Photos courtesy of Rod Commons.
August 9 (12:57 p.m.)
Only 28 more practices to go until the Stanford game.
Other than the special teams unit - Reid Forrest, Nico Grasu, Zach Enyeart, Patrick Rooney and Dan Wagner - I am usually one of the first people out at practice. Not so today. When I walked out on Rogers Field, the entire team was there ready to practice. No stragglers, every single player was there.
This should be your first impression of the 2009 football season: The Cougars wants to be better, and they want to be better now.
In talking to guys and asking how their summers went, one thing was clear: They worked hard this offseason. Everyone looks bigger, and they all credit Strength and Conditioning Coach Darin Lovat.
A couple notes:
In addition to what you will see on the field this year, the team also got new Nike practice jerseys with embroidered numbers.
Jeshua Anderson made the biggest play of the day, catching a deep ball in skelly, avoiding the touch from the defender, and sprinting to the end zone. He looks football ready...
Practice No. 2 is tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.
August 9 (8:24 a.m.)
Good Morning Coug Fans!
WSU's 2009 Football Fall Camp has arrived, and with it comes a number of stories. Thought I would pass along some link this fine Sunday morning...
Howie Stalwick ponders Five Key Questions About WSU Football in The Olympian.
Lew Wright says it's a new season for WSU in The Examiner.
KNDO/KNDU points out Coach Wulff's feelings on being a Coug.
CougFan has some news a notes headed into fall camp. (Subscription)
Lew Wright also highlights Kenny Alfred in this feature for Cougar Corner.
Vince Grippi of the Spokesman Review recaps his meeting with Coach Wulff during yesterday's press conference.
And finally, Vince has his preview of the beginning of fall camp up on his blog.
I am headed out to practice here in a few minutes. You can follow me on Twitter (@WSUFootballBlog or twitter.com/WSUFootballBlog). I will be able to update that from practice, and I will post a practice recap here following practice.
August 8 (12:56 p.m.)
Happy Fall Camp Eve...
There were a couple of things I wanted to point out heading into Fall Camp tomorrow.
Sure, you already know Andy Mattingly has moved back to linebacker. And most of you know that Anthony Houston has moved to cornerback from wide receiver. If you didn't, you're welcome. Now you do...
But if you came out to practice and saw a No. 21 carrying the ball, would you know who that was?
Let's take a look at this year's number changes (Last year's number in parentheses).
Kevin Baffney - 58 (59)
Adam Coerper - 50 (97)
LeAndre Daniels - 15 (30)
Deon Ford - 55 (35)
Casey Hamlett - 96 (92)
Anthony Houston - 17 (88)
Easton Johnson - 81 (25)
Brandon Jones - 3 (18)
Andrei Lintz - 87 (49)
Kyle McCartney - 39 (37)
James Montgomery - 21 (24)
Kevin Norrell - 4 (29)
Alex Reitnouer - 74 (65)
Patrick Rooney - 29 (28)
Daniel Simmons - 24 (36)
Dan Spitz - 92 - (41)
Sam Tennant - 49 (54)
Shane Thomas - 38 (19)
Tony Thompson - 14 (43)
August 7 (5:19 p.m.)
Hot Off the Press...
The 2009 Football Media Guide has arrived!
For those who don't know what a media guide is - basically, it has everything you could possibly want to know about Cougar Football...
You want to know who holds the single-game rushing record? Check the media guide. You want to know who the head coach was in 1904? Check the media guide. I think two examples is enough...
If you are interested in purchasing a guide, you can do so through the ticket office. They should have their shipment in some time next week.
My friend Scott bought one every year while we were in college. When the Cougars were away, we would watch games on TV at his apartment. It never failed...during the game, someone would spout some random claim about Cougar football - something like this: In 1946 there were five guys who rushed for 1,000 yards. Well, Scott would pull the media guide off his coffee table and tell whoever made the claim whether they were right or wrong. Usually, they were wrong, and Scott felt a great deal of joy every time he got to tell people as much...
August 7 (11:44 a.m.)
A Must-Read on Cory Mackay...
Bud Withers wrote a feature on Cory Mackay for the Seattle Times. Click HERE to read the story.
Cougar Nation is behind you Cory...
August 7 (11:30 a.m.)
The Preseason Coaches' Poll is Out...
If you didn't see this morning's USA Today, this will be breaking news to you...
The newspaper released the 2009 Preseason Top 25 this morning, which you can view by clicking HERE - but that is not the news I was referring to.
Drum roll please...
Coach Wulff is one of 59 coaches voting in this year's USA Today Coaches' Poll.
Taking a look at the poll...
Four Pac-10 teams start the year in the top 25, including USC (No. 4), California (No. 12), Oregon (No. 14) and Oregon State (No. 25).
In addition, Notre Dame - another team on WSU's 2009 schedule - begins the year ranked No. 23.
The Cougars are one of seven Pac-10 teams playing five or more games in 2009 against teams beginning the season in the top 25 (Washington - 6; Arizona - 5; Arizona State - 5; Oregon - 5; Stanford - 5; USC - 5). UCLA will face four preseason top 25 teams in 2009, while California and Oregon State will each face three.
August 5 (12:52 p.m.)
Fall Camp Schedule...
As promised, here is a complete schedule of WSU's 2009 Fall Camp. Also as promised, there were some changes, so if you saw an earlier version of the schedule and were making plans to come out, it would be wise to check this one...
The main things to keep in mind...
The Cougars will open with helmets-only practices on the first two days of fall camp, and will add shoulder pads on day three. The first practice in full pads will take place Thursday, Aug. 13. Practices four (Wednesday, Aug. 12) and five (Thursday, Aug. 13) will be split-squad, with the gray team practicing at 9 a.m., and the crimson team practicing at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, will mark the first of five two-a-days, with the entire team practicing at both 9 a.m., and 2:30 p.m.
Also, there will be a scrimmage Aug. 15 (Saturday), at 2:30 p.m.
2009 WSU Football Practice Schedule Sun., Aug. 9 9 a.m. Practice (Helmets only)
Mon., Aug. 10 9 a.m. Practice (Helmets only)
Tue., Aug. 11 9 a.m. Practice (Shoulder Pads and Helmets)
Wed., Aug. 12 9 a.m. Gray Practice (Shoulder Pads and Helmets)
2:30 p.m. Crimson Practice (Shoulder Pads and Helmets)
Thur., Aug. 13 9 a.m. Gray Practice (Full Pads)
2:30 p.m. Crimson Practice (Full Pads)
Fri., Aug. 14 9 a.m. Practice (Full Pads)
2:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Sat., Aug. 15 2:30 p.m. Scrimmage/Practice (Full Pads)
Sun., Aug. 16 9 a.m. Practice (Full Pads)
2:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Mon., Aug. 17 Day Off
Tue., Aug. 18 9 a.m. Practice (Full Pads)
2:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Wed., Aug. 19 9 a.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Thur., Aug. 20 9 a.m. Practice (Full Pads)
2:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Fri., Aug. 21 9 a.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Sat., Aug. 22 9 a.m. Practice (Full Pads)
2:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Sun., Aug. 23 9 a.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Mon., Aug. 24 No Practice - Start of School
Tue., Aug. 25 3:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Wed., Aug. 26 3:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Thur., Aug. 27 3:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Fri., Aug. 28 3:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Sat., Aug. 29 2:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Sun., Aug. 30 3:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Mon., Aug. 31 Day Off
Tue., Sept. 1 3:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Wed., Sept. 2 3:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Thur., Sept. 3 3:30 p.m. Practice (Full Pads)
Fri., Sept. 4 3 p.m. Walk-thru at Martin Stadium
Sat., Sept. 5 5 p.m. Cougars vs. Stanford
August 4 (7:01 p.m.)
Coach Wulff Chat Transcript...
Who would win in a wrestling match: Coach Wulff or Robbie Tobeck?
Coach Wulff answers this brainbuster and more in today's chat. To read it in its entirety CLICK HERE.
August 4 (8:59 a.m.)
A Wulff-Filled Day...
Coach Wulff was on KJR with Mitch and the Morning. He talked about getting Fall Camp underway, his thoughts entering this season and talked a little bit about last season.
If you missed the interview and want to hear it, check out www.kjram.com; they usually podcast their interviews on their Web site.
Don't forget about Coach Wulff's chat today at noon here at wsucougars.com. To submit a question to Coach Wulff, CLICK HERE.
I will post a link to the full chat transcript later today if you miss it.
August 3 (12:23 p.m.)
Less Than a Week Away...
Before we start talking about the start of Fall Camp, I finally have a photo gallery up from Pac-10 Football Media Day. Long story short...took the pictures, forgot the cable, then went camping. Anyway, I am back in the office, and you can now see a little bit of what Media Day looks like...
In addition to the Photo Gallery, you can also see video footage from Media Day HERE.
Now...On to Fall Camp...
The season is officially almost here. It has been almost here for a while now, but this is when it is REALLY right around the corner: the maintenance crew was out on Rogers Field repainting the lines and the numbers this morning.
As I am sure most of you are aware, the Cougars are starting Fall Camp this Sunday (Aug. 9). The rookies will be reporting Friday to get all of the pre-camp stuff taken care of, and the veterans will all report Saturday.
As far as gear goes, the first couple of practices will only require helmets. The team will throw on shoulder pads beginning Tuesday (Aug. 11), before going full-pads Thursday (Aug. 13).
Though the schedule could change, the first two-a-day is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 14.
I will put out a full run down of the Fall Camp schedule later this week. The one I have now, and the one you have seen out there, will more than likely have a few changes to it.
The main date to keep in mind is Sunday, Aug. 9, at 9 a.m. I will be there, and at every practice to keep the Cougar faithful up-to-date on the goings-on...
July 30 (8:45 a.m.)
Pac-10 Media Day...
Getting ready to go have breakfast with Kenny Alfred before we sit him in front of a number of different radio, television and newspaper media outlets today at Pac-10 Media Day...
The schedule basically looks like this:
At 9:30 a.m. we will listed to Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott - whom I met last night; he seems like a great guy.
Alfred and Coach Wulff will hit the podium at 9:45 a.m.
Once we are done there, we will be all over until we have lunch at 12:30...there are radio interviews - I would imagine we hit KJR at some point today; check the Twitter account (twitter.com/WSUFootballBlog) and I will make sure I update you - television interviews, PSAs...The list goes on and on...
We have lunch at 12:30, and while we are eating, writers have the opportunity to come up and talk to Alfred and Coach Wulff for a couple hours. Once 2:30 hits, we jump back on a plane and head home...
If I have time to post some pictures this afternoon, I will. Check the Twitter account all day and I will try to keep you posted on the goings-on...
June 30 (1:35 p.m.)
Greetings Long Lost Friends...
I know, I know. The blog is pretty much MIA in the summer. As we get closer to the beginning of fall camp, I promise we will get back into full swing.
For me, summertime is devoted to media guides, game programs and...golf.
The reason I am interrupting my silence is to bring you a three-part story on what goes into the Cougar coaching staff's recruiting. Lew Wright of the Washington State Cougars Examiner talked to Coach Rasmussen about the process, and he put together a nice story I wanted to pass along.
Hope you enjoy...
June 12 (6:30 p.m.)
WSU UNVEILS JERSEYS...
And now, for the moment you have all been waiting for...
I hope you all enjoy the new look. Have a great weekend.
June 12 (10:39 a.m.)
Well, Cougar fans...
We have less than eight hours until the new jerseys will be unveiled, so I thought I would explain a little bit more of what we will be looking at this evening.
If you are able to make it to the Tri-Cities Tailgate, you will get to see the jerseys unveiled live. For more information on the Tailgate, click HERE.
If you are unable to make the Tailgate, you can still see the jerseys here at WSUCOUGARS.com.
Here is how it is going to work here tonight...
I will be posting a photo gallery of three players wearing the jerseys: Kevin Kooyman, Chima Nwachukwu and Tony Thompson.
At 6:30 p.m., you are going to get the jerseys here on the blog. I will post a story on the front page as well, but the first place you will be able to see them is here at First and Crimson.
Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell any Cougar chomping at the bit...If you are unable to make the Tailgate, the first place to see the new jerseys is here at First and Crimson.
June 11 (11:14 a.m.)
More Honors for Alfred, Only One More Day...
Washington State center Kenny Alfred continues to garner preseason recognition, this time from Lindy's, the magazine announced recently.
Alfred, a rising redshirt senior from Gig Harbor, Wash., was named Lindy's second-team Preseason All-Pacific-10 Conference. Earlier this offseason Alfred was named second-team Preseason All-Pac-10 by Phil Steele, in addition to being named to the Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List.
For the complete story, click HERE.
The new jerseys will be unveiled tomorrow. If you can't make the TRI-CITIES TAILGATE, you can still check them out here at wsucougars.com.
June 10 (1:14 p.m.)
Only Two Days Left...
The Cougar football team will be unveiling its 2009 Nike football uniforms Friday at the Tri-Cities Tailgate. For more information on the Tailgate, click HERE
If you can't make the Tailgate, no worries...The jerseys will also be unveiled here moments later.
June 2 (4:10 p.m.)
Best of Pac-10 Coaches: No. 29...
Nick Daschel of Buster Sports is ranking the top 30 Pac-10 coaches during the last 50 years, and No. 29 is Jim Walden.
CHECK THE SITE to read the story.
June 2 (2:19 p.m.)
Six Cougars Named Preseason All-Pac-10
This is from the release I will be posting on the front page, but as usual, you are reading it here first...
The Washington State University football team was represented by six student-athletes on the Phil Steele Preseason All-Pacific-10 Conference Teams, the magazine announced today.
Kenny Alfred, a center from Gig Harbor, Wash., garnered second team honors on the offensive line. The rising senior was also named to the Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List a couple weeks ago.
Alfred was joined on offense by rising junior wide receiver Jeshua Anderson and rising senior kick returner Chantz Staden, whom were each named to the fourth team.
The Cougar defense boasted three individuals on the Preseason All-Pac-10 Fourth Team, including rising senior linebacker Andy Mattingly, rising junior safety Chima Nwachukwu and rising redshirt junior punter Reid Forrest.
May 20 (2:08 p.m.)
Alfred Named to Rimington Watch List
Washington State's Kenny Alfred was named to the Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List, awarded annually to the nation's top center, the organization announced today.
For the complete story, click HERE.
May 12 (11:46 a.m.)
This Summer's Golf Tour...
The Washington State University Athletic Foundation Golf Tournament tour is coming to a course near you...
The 2009 tour begins with the Yakima Valley Cougar Golf Classic, Friday, May 15, at the Apple Tree Golf Course, and the Broadmoor RV/SunWest Sportswear Tri-Cities Cougar Golf Classic, May 16, at the Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick.
Coaches and staff from the WSU Athletic Department will be in attendance at each event. Among the staff scheduled to appear at the Yakima event are Director of Athletics Jim Sterk, new Men's Basketball Head Coach Ken Bone, Women's Basketball Head Coach June Daugherty and Football Offensive Coordinator Todd Sturdy. At the Tri-Cities event, Sterk, along with Football Head Coach Paul Wulff, and several of his assistants will be among the staff present at the tournament.
Golf begins with a 1 p.m. shotgun start for each event, with a dinner and auction to follow. All proceeds benefit the Washington State Student-Athlete Scholarship Fund. For the first time, online registration is available. For more information and to register, please click HERE, or contact Todd Thrasher at 206-448-1335 or email@example.com for the Yakima event, and Lori Olson at 509-358-7541 or firstname.lastname@example.org for the Tri-Cities event.
The Yakima and Tri-Cities tournaments begin the 2009 Athletic Foundation spring and summer golf tournament schedule. The next tournament scheduled is the Devlin Cougar Golf Classic, May 21, at the Coeur d'Alene Resort, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. For more information on the Devlin, contact Lori Olson. Tournaments continue across the state throughout the summer. For a complete event schedule and to register, please click HERE.
May 11 (12:05 p.m.)
Many of you have been asking about WSU's new football jerseys next season, and I have some news...
The Cougars' 2009 Nike uniforms will be unveiled live at the Broadmoor RV/Towne Crier Tri-Cities Tailgate. The Tailgate will take place June 12 at the TRAC Center in Pasco, Wash., and the jerseys will be unveiled at 6:30 p.m.
The Tailgate is already a great Cougar event, so let me break it down for those unfamiliar with it...
You can purchase a ticket to the Tailgate for $30 if you are a member of the Athletic Foundation, and for $35 if you are not a member. In addition to the jersey unveiling, WSU coaches will be there to talk about the upcoming season.
The ticket also includes a steak and chicken buffet by Outback Steakhouse, a Tailgate Party souvenir glass, wine and microbrew tasting and live and silent auctions.
To register for the Tri-Cities Tailgate, CLICK HERE.
If you can't make the Tailgate, the jerseys will also be unveiled at our Web site (wsucougars.com) at 7:30 p.m.
There you have it folks. One month from tomorrow, the jerseys will be unveiled...Let the countdown begin...
May 4 (5:17 p.m.)
Check Out Pros vs. Joes...
Former Cougar Collin Henderson will star in the latest episode of Spike TV's Pros vs. Joes tonight 11 p.m.
Henderson will be competing against Tim Brown, Steve McNair and Simeon Rice.
Thought you all might want to check that out...
May 1 (10:53 a.m.)
Former Cougar to be Inducted to Hall of Fame
Former Washington State wide receiver Hugh Campbell has been announced as an inductee into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, the organization announced recently.
Campbell, who spent more than 20 years with the Canadian Football League's Edmonton Eskimos on the sidelines and in the front office, will be inducted into the Hall's builders category at a ceremony held in Toronto, Nov. 3.
For the complete story, CLICK HERE.