Idaho's bye week produced more drama than some of the Vandals' game weeks have.
But during his weekly press conference on Tuesday, coach Paul Petrino did his best to snuff it out, refusing to address reports that quarterback Chad Chalich (above, in a photo from spring ball) has decided to leave the Vandals' program at season's end and transfer to the University of Montana.
The Vandals, winners of just one of 10 games, close their 2014 football season Saturday with a trip to new Sun Belt Conference member Appalachian State. For more, follow the link to the jump.
Gonzaga is back at Madison Square Garden for the sixth time. Four of the previous five GU games in New York City resulted in losses, one a humbling setback administered by Duke in 2009. Gonzaga's lone victory in that stretch was memorable, an 82-74 victory over No. 2 North Carolina.
GU faces Georgia (3-1) tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Here's a link to my preview.
Below, you'll find a recap of GU's five previous games at MSG.
Another game at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, same result for the Idaho men's basketball team. The Vandals have dropped their third consecutive game against Boise State at CenuryLink Arena, and their sixth consecutive against the Broncos.
Boise State outlasted Idaho 86-75 Tuesday night in the annual neutral court clash.
Read more after the jump.
Washington State's most dominant receiver wasn't at practice on Tuesday but still got some bad news afterward.
Vince Mayle already holds WSU single season records with 101 receptions for 1,404 yards. He's had two games with more than 250 receiving yards this season. But he wasn't one of the three Biletnikoff Award semifinalists announced by the Quarterback Club of Tallahassee today.
Who was? Alabama's Amari Cooper for one. OK, good decision, he's widely considered college football's best receiver and the only pass-catcher who's a serious Heisman candidate. Also Colorado State's Rashard Higgins was named a finalist. Makes sense, his team is 10-1 and the sophomore receiver leads the nation with 1,447 receiving yards and with 15 touchdown receptions, despite missing one game with a shoulder injury.
But the third finalist? West Virginia's Kevin White? He's had some pretty ridiculous catches on Sportscenter this season but the Mountaineers aren't having an exceptional year and Mayle has him beat in most meaningful receiving categories.
He'll have a chance to pad those statistics in the Apple Cup according to his coaches, despite his Tuesday absence.
When asked if the team would have Mayle available on Saturday coach Mike Leach replied, “Yes, we should. We're all healthy. Why wouldn't we?”
We've got a practice report after the jump.
Washington State announced earlier this year that Steve Gleason will be the lone Hall of Fame inductee this year, and that he would be honored during a home game this season.
Well, it's been apparent that the game would be the Apple Cup since it's been the Cougars' only remaining home game for a few weeks now. But now we know precisely when it will happen, thanks to a press release today from WSU Athletics. Gleason will be honored between the first and second quarters on Saturday. Team Gleason will also have a presence at the game to raise ALS awareness.
The school's release is after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
There's a fun game to play in the local sports bar with your buddies. You know the one I'm talking about, where you pick a subject and argue for hours. The most dominant Seattle Mariner pitcher? The Seahawk who meant the most to the franchise? Most entertaining Apple Cup? Well today we have a subject that, while interesting, wouldn't lead to a long discussion. Best non-conference win in Eastern Washington basketball history? Read on.
We've got more links after the jump.
Video courtesy of WSU Athletics
Video courtesy of WSU Athletics.
Washington State receiver Vince Mayle has accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama on Jan. 24. The game and the practices leading up to it, along with the NFL Combine, is one of the best chances prospective NFL draftees have to impress scouts and general managers. Hundreds of active NFL players once played in the Senior Bowl and the 2013 NFL Pro Bowl had 21 former Senior Bowlers, 16 of whom started.
The school's press release is after the jump.
Washington State released its Apple Cup game notes, which includes an updated depth chart. The big changes are that River Cracrat is back as the starting Y receiver, Gerard Wicks is again listed as the No. 2 running back and Marcellus Pippins is listed as the starting field cornerback.
While Idahoans wait for the Idaho - Boise State football rivalry to start up again (and they might be waiting for a loooong time), the two schools are willing to play each other regularly in one sport, at least.
The two schools meet tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise for their annual men's basketball rivalry game, which has been played every year since both UI and BSU were in the Big Sky Conference.
Read what Idaho coach Don Verlin has to say about the game after the jump.
James Ruffin, who was honored as the 2014 AFL defensive lineman of the year, will return to Spokane for the 2015 season, the team announced.
Ruffin set a franchise record with 14 sacks last season and was named first-team All-AFL. The Northern Iowa product also owns the Shock record for career sacks with 26 in three seasons. Ruffin joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in training camp following the AFL season, but was released in late August.
“There aren’t many players out there, at any level, like James Ruffin,” Shock coach Andy Olson said. “During his time here in Spokane he has been a model example of what it means to be a leader both on the field and in our community.”
Video courtesy of WSU athletics.
Here is a video of Mike Leach addressing the media during Washington State's Monday press conference, courtesy of WSU Athletics. A transcription of the highlights is available after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Ask a group of football coaches what play really swings momentum during a game and you'll get a variety of answers. A kickoff return for a touchdown, one might say, just because of how suddenly it deflates an upbeat team. An interception return for six, another may chime in. But there is one play that seems to pop up in this discussion more than any other. A blocked punt. Read on.
The Apple Cup returns to Pullman on Saturday, where the Cougars could have a nearly unprecedented level of success in front of their home crowd. That's the thrust of today's story.
We've got more links after the jump.
Eight of the Spokane Chiefs' 12 wins this WHL season have been by one goal. Sunday night continued the trend as Spokane won its third 2-1 game in three days. Read story
No. 13 Gonzaga faced winless Division-II St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) on Saturday and the result was predictable: GU 109, STAC 55. The margin of victory eclipsed GU’s 52-point win over Saint Joseph’s earlier in the week for most lopsided win in the McCarthey Athletic Center.
More below in the day-after post.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Usually on Saturday night, I have a nice dessert. Something special, as in a piece of chocolate cake or a hot fudge sundae. But last night, after a dinner of comfort food – including mac and cheese – I skipped dessert. Nope, not because I'm watching my waistline. Mainly because I had my sugar quota for the day thanks to Washington State: A lunch that was “highlighted” by five turnovers. Read on.