This week's Western Hockey League notebook leads with a class action lawsuit filed in Toronto last Friday that seeks $180 million in compensation for outstanding wages for past and present Canadian Hockey League players, including those in the WHL. The CHL said it will “vigorously defend” the way its teams operate, claiming that league players are amateur student-athletes. Read story
After practice Mike Leach said that turnovers weren't any particular point of emphasis on Tuesday, but the defensive ones and twos seemed to make it a priority forcing three consecutive fumbles at one point in practice.
Taylor Taliulu got things started with a big hit on a wide receiver, then the next two were forced by group of defenders all converging on the ball carrier.
“(Upcoming opponent Arizona is) the Indy 500 of offenses,” defensive line coach Joe Salave'a said. “Tempo never slows down one bit so I think our tempo in our practices is going to be critical and our work this week is going to be critical. We don't half-step anything and we're trying to keep up with the pace of the offense.”
Lineman Darryl Paulo capped a solid day for the defense with a pair of consecutive sacks and Darryl Monroe, who was recently passed on the depth chart by Peyton Pelluer, had the hit of the day on running back Austin Hall as the ball carrier tried to bounce a run outside only to be met by Monroe in the backfield.
We have more from practice after the jump.
(6:15 p.m. Update: After Tuesday's practice Mike Leach confirmed that Canada has left the program. The running back was not listed on the practice roster.)
Chris Shaw, who covers Washington State football for Cougfan.com, reported on Twitter that freshman running back Squally Canada has left the WSU program. Canada's departure is surprising given that he has played well for the Cougars during underclassmen scrimmages and has drawn a lot of praise from the coaches. Canada, along with some other players including regular contributors, was absent from Saturday's bye-week practice.
I haven't been able to confirm Shaw's report but the Cougars practice at 3:30 so we'll ask the coaches after that.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
The weather, so nice and warm over the weekend, is going to begin to turn today, making its inexorable march to the depths of winter. You know what that means, right? Tonight must be the start of the World Series, when the Boys of Summer finish their season in the Fall Classic. Read on.
Yesterday the Pac-12 announced that Washington State's home game against USC will kickoff at 1:30 p.m., making it the earliest WSU game of the season. It comes on the heels of WSU's first day game, this weekend's contest against Arizona, which starts at 3 p.m., a time that Mike Leach said on Wednesday is “probably the perfect time to play, really.”
The Cougars put a badly-needed bye week behind them yesterday by getting back to the normal game week routine and that meant a Monday press conference. We have video and highlights from Mike Leach's appearance as well as video of players Cole Madison, Jamal Morrow and Destiny Vaeao. We also have game notes and a first look at Arizona.
More links are after the jump.
Washington State's game notes for this week's matchup against Arizona are out, along with a new depth chart that shows Peyton Pelluer as the starting Mike linebacker over incumbent Darryl Monroe. Monroe, a junior, has started every game following a redshirt season his first year on campus but has been somewhat limited in practice this week. While no other significant changes are listed on the depth chart, it will be interesting to see if players like Kalafitoni Pole and Charleston White are available after not practicing last week.
Destiny Vaeao has practiced at nose tackle in Pole's place, and today said that Pole “is down” during a press conference. Cornerback Kevin Griffin is not listed on the depth chart but practiced with the twos on Sunday.
The notes are after the jump, the depth chart is on page 11.
Here's running back Jamal Morrow at today's Washington State football press conference, courtesy of WSU Athletics:
Here's defensive lineman Destiny Vaeao at today's Washington State football press conference, courtesy of WSU athletics.
Here's offensive lineman Cole Madison at today's Washington State football press conference, courtesy of WSU Athletics:
Washington State football coach Mike Leach addressed the media during his Monday press conference. The video above is courtesy of WSU Athletics and the highlights are transcribed after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Who was it that said, “you are what your record says you are?” Or something to that effect? Read on.
The bye week is over and that means a return to our weekly Monday press conference. Washington State began their on-field preparations for Arizona last night with a short practice at Martin Stadium.
But that's not all. More links are after the jump.
The Cougars returned to game preparations with their weekly 8 p.m. practice on Sunday night. Washington State only practiced for about 45 minutes or so but we've still got a practice report, and some quotes from defensive coordinator Mike Breske, after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Sunday mornings are usually the pivot point for the football weekend. We look back, we look ahead. Not this morning. No rearview mirror today. We're headed full speed down the highway. Destination: St. Louis. Read on.
Oregon's offense was unstoppable on Saturday night and Stanford's never got started. Another wild Pac-12 weekend is in the books and we have links to the highlights, after the jump.
It appears likely that the Spokane Chiefs will play many 2-1 and 3-2 games this season. Nine games into their Western Hockey League season, the Chiefs have played six games decided by one goal. Four of the final scores have been 3-2 and two have been 2-1. The Chiefs continued the trend Saturday during a 3-2 overtime loss to the Everett Silvertips at the Arena. Read story
Nuke LaLoosh, the bumpkin philosopher of “Bull Durham,” said it all: “I love winning, man. It's like, better than losing.”
If they weren't clear on the concept before, the Idaho Vandals certainly were by Saturday night. RIding plays like Josh McCain's 49-yard touchdown catch of a Chad Chalich pass (pictured above), the Vandals halted a 13-game losing streak, dumping New Mexico State 29-17 to make it a happy homecoming weekend in Moscow.
And for the record, yes, it seemed like genuine joy trumped the relief of ridding themselves of the longest drought in the Football Championship Subdivision, even if it was somewhat tempered by the blow to the head that sidelined starting quarterback Matt Linehan — though no one is saying the “C” word yet.
For more on the Vandals and their victory, follow the link below.
Freshman running back Squally Canada was one of the players absent during today's football practice. So during the Cougars' third and final Thursday Night Football scrimmage of the week, Keith Harrington got all the work between the tackles.
He's doing so well that running backs coach Jim Mastro won't give him back to the receivers. Mike Leach wouldn't go so far as to make the switch permanent for the receiver, who did play running back in high school, but admitted that “we're heading in that direction.”
More on today's practice is after the jump.
Phil Steele's magazine and website are go-to resources for statheads and football junkies and the relative success of his numbers-based prognostication means his awards lists carry more weight than most other analysts.
That's good news for four Cougars, who were named to Steele's midseason All-Pac-12 teams, including a pair of first teamers in offensive lineman Joe Dahl and receiver Vince Mayle.
Follow the jump for more on their selection.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Doesn't it feel as if you had vacations in Seattle that lasted longer than Percy Harvin's tenure there? Let's hope when you finally left town the hotel clerks and cab drivers spoke better of you than the Hawks have of Harvin. Read on.