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Back to game preparations with a Sunday night practice

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 road block may be ahead this morning

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 rises, Stanford does not

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.

Chiefs continue trend of close, low-scoring games

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

Chalich steps in, Vandals step up to snap 13-game losing streak

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.

 

Keith Harrington, running back

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.

Four Cougars named to Phil Steele’s midseason All-Pac-12 teams

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.

Hawks say goodbye to Harvin

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.

Lots of Pac-12 intrigue today even without WSU

Washington State doesn't have a game today but a lot of other Pac-12 schools do. Follow the jump for previews of todays' action.

Kelowna streak may be best

The Kelowna Rockets, 10-0 to open the Western Hockey League season, are off to the best start in franchise history. Whether it's the best start in league history is hard to determine, because the league's official record book doesn't include that category. Read story

LCHS defeats CDA 45-42

S-R photojournalist Kathy Plonka covered Lake City High's  45-42 win over Coeur d'Alene in OT.

Gonzaga Prep defeats Central Valley 49-24

S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Gonzaga Prep vs. Central Valley game.  Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.

Fall football always finds a way to entertain

A GRIP ON SPORTS

The yard is ready for winter. Well, the lawn is. Now if the darn leaves would just fall, I could settle in for a couple months of football watching before having to shovel snow. Read on.

Eastern sports links

Eastern Washington running back Mario Brown handles more than a football. Here's my feature on Brown, plus a link to yesterday's live chat. …  There's also some interesting basketball news out of Eastern. … Back to football: Here's all you need to know about Northern Colorado. …Northern Arizona faces a big test at Portland State. … Montana's defense is getting a lot of praise.

Morning links: Utah outlasts Oregon State

The weekend's Pac-12 football action got an early start last night when Utah traveled to Corvallis to avenge last season's overtime loss to Oregon State. It was another close one, but this time the Utes came out on top after two overtimes. John Canzano says the Beavers began celebrating too early, and it cost them.

Road teams are now 15-4 in Pac-12 games.  More links are after the jump.

Idaho football: Tom Hennessey and the value of keeping on keeping on

Tom Hennessey is a Vandal legacy, in that his father — also named Tom — was a standout linebacker for Idaho during its stretch as a Big Sky Conference power, specifically in the mid-1980s.

But he'll leave a legacy, too. Though he's played during one of the worst stretches, in terms of the won-lost record, in Vandal history, the one-time walk-on has provided a singular example of hanging tough that some of his younger teammates might want to emulate — even if the program begins to experience success.

For more on the younger Tom Hennessey and the Vandals, whose homecoming game on Saturday against New Mexico State might seem to be a pretty good opportunity break the nation's longest FBS losing streak, click on the link below.
  

All sorts of shuffling at WSU’s practice

By my count there were 11 limited players at WSU's practice on Thursday and a few more appeared to be absent. That led to a number of players getting reps at new positions or with new units. Afterwards, the Cougars held a Thursday Night Football scrimmage for the second week in a row.

Our practice report is after the jump.

Ewu sports chat Oct. 16 (noon)

Read the transcript from Thursday's chat in the extended portion of this post:

Rivalries are fun until we’re the someone who gets hurt

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Rivalries are fun. Except when your rival is head-and-shoulders more successful than your team. Then rivalries are sad. Crying in your diet soda sad. Read on.

Eastern football links

The Eagles are back home this weekend, facing an improving Northern Colorado program that leads the nation in turnovers.. Here's our weekly notebook, a report from practice, and a link to today's live chat, where we can discuss all of it. …. Want more? Here's a preview of the game. courtesy of EWU sports information director Dave Cook. .. Don't have a ticket? Better make some friends. … Elsewhere, Northern Arizona is at Portland State in a game that both sides need to win. … Montana is concerned about UC Davis' improving offense. … MSU quarterback Dakota Prukop is added to the Payton watch list (what, he wasn't already?)

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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