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Final thoughts from the Oregon game Edit

The Cougars came up just a few plays short of knocking off the No. 2 team in the country in front of what was easily the finest crowd I've seen in Pullman. It was like an Apple Cup crowd but with fewer visitors.

Yes, I raised my eyebrow in the direction of the officials more than once in the fourth quarter, but I don't think a clock that started too soon or a pass interference call changed what this game ultimately was: a great college football game in which one team was tougher and crisper, but the other team had the best player on the field (Marcus Mariota), a Heisman candidate for obvious reasons who made just enough big plays to give his team the victory.

I can understand if you'd rather not think about this one for a few hours (or a few barley pops) but I have my thoughts from the game after the jump.

Ohio drops Vandals to 0-3

What had the early makings of another step backward for the Idaho Vandals turned into something else altogether.

What it didn't turn into was a victory.

Big plays by a pair of freshmen allowed Ohio University to hold off the Vandals 36-24 on Saturday in Athens, Ohio — dropping Idaho to 0-3 this year and 1-14 in the Paul Petrino erea.

The link will take you to more about the Vandals.

Balance highlights Chiefs’ season-opening win

Who leads the Spokane Chiefs in scoring after one game of the 2014-15 Western Hockey League season? Ten players are tied with one point apiece. A true team effort Saturday night helped the Chiefs knock off the Tri-City Americans 4-2 at Toyota Center in Kennewick. Read story

WSU vs. Oregon

S-R photojournalist Tyler Tjomsland covered the WSU vs. Oregon game.  Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.

WSU pregame chat

 

Try Relay: the free SMS and picture text app for iPhone.

 

Breaking the rules occasionally pays off

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Any list of best or greatest managers in Seattle Mariners' history begins and ends with one name: Lou Piniella. That's how it should be. But last night, Lloyd McClendon went against one of Piniella's cardinal rules and it worked. Boy, did it ever work. Read on.

Eastern football links

It's game day here in Bozeman, where No. 2 Eastern Washington visits No. 14 Montana State. Here's my game preview, and, in case you missed it, the replay from Thursday's live chat. … The hometown Bozeman Daily Chronicle has a big package on the game, including a reprise from last year's EWU win, a profile of EWU coach Beau Baldwin and a game preview highlighting new MSU quarterback Dakota Prukop…. In other games, Montana faces a huge challenge at top-ranked North Dakota State. Here's a preview from the Missoulian. … Interestingly, Eastern's next two opponents, UC Davis and Idaho State, have the week off. … Southern Utah is hoping to rebound, but that won't be easy at Fresno State. …

Game da… night links

The last time the Cougars played at 7:30, a whole fortnight ago, the game ended at 11:04. Let's see if Oregon and Washington State can beat that tonight (they won't).

And now for the links, which are right after the jump.

Chiefs set to open WHL season at Tri-City again

The Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans will renew their rivalry on Saturday night when the teams open their 2014-15 Western Hockey League seasons in Kennewick. We'll be there to see the latest chapter. Read story

Gonzaga Prep defeats Mead 28-14

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

Week four Pac-12 picks

Give credit to Utah for making a trip to the Big House to make Week 4 interesting for Pac-12 viewers. The rest of the nonconference schedule is as bland as a beige rainbow.

The week’s most interesting storyline can be found in Colorado, where the Buffaloes take on a Hawaii team that lost close games against Washington and Oregon State. Can we just decide that the winner of that game gets to stay in the Pac-12?

All games are Saturday, all picks should be used for kindling purposes only.

Last week: 7-1 straight up, 1-5 against the spread.

Overall: 26-5 straight up, 8-15 against the spread.

Just tell me who won

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There is something calming in this day an age when you are forced to turn off all your electrical devices and avoid human contact through your smartphone. But it isn't really advisable to do it during a pennant race. Not if you want to have any fingernails left. Read on.

Friday Pac-12 links

Just one more day until Washington State takes on No. 2 Oregon in front of a sold-out Martin Stadium. Can't wait? Time travel may not exist, but watch how quickly the day flies by as you make your way through our morning links.

By the way, it's International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Do with that what you will.

Ferris defeats University High 45-36

S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Ferris vs. University High game at Joe Albi.  Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.

The future of the WSU defense looked bright on Thursday

After Washington State finished its final full practice before Saturday's game against Oregon the underclassmen had their Thursday Night Football scrimmage. The defense looked great. The offense, well, they had to do some up-downs.

Our report from practice is after the jump.

Chiefs ready for new season with new look

The Spokane Chiefs must reshape many phases of their game, but they prepare to enter the 2014-15 Western Hockey League season with the will to compete. Read story

Ewu sports chat Sept. 18 (noon)

Read the full transcript of Thursday's chat in the extended post.

A big weekend is ahead

A GRIP ON SPORTS

You know, this weekend might be the best weekend ever in terms of sports depth around here. The Seahawks are playing the Broncos in a rematch from last year's Super Bowl, the Cougars host No. 2 Oregon, the Mariners face a key series at Houston in their chase for a postseason berth for the first time in 13 years and there are a bunch of other games. Too bad I won't be around. Read on.

Week four Pac-12 power rankings

The out-of-conference games took their toll on the Pac-12 and now that the conference’s teams are sufficiently beaten up they’ll start to play each other. With a 25-4 record in nonconference games the Pac-12 mostly solidified its reputation as one of college football’s top conferences.

Still, it’s hard not to think that the Pac-12 missed an opportunity to really be considered elite. USC is still one of the conference’s most talented teams and could certainly win the Pac-12 South. If it does, it will make every good program it beats look bad in the process, losing to the team that lost to Boston College.

Even though UCLA went undefeated, the Bruins’ six-point average margin of victory against what wasn’t thought to be an imposing schedule is going to diminish the national perception of one of the Pac-12’s most talented teams for the rest of the year.

At least Oregon took care of business.

Eastern football notes

Has it really been two weeks since we chatted about Eastern Washington football? We'll do it again today at noon, right here at SportsLink. One topic of conversation should be new Montana State quarterback Dakota Prukop. who's the subject of today's Big Sky notebook. …MSU's underdog status is personified by Bobcat lineman Taylor Dees, according to this article  in the Billings Gazette, which also has a preview of Saturday's Montana game at North Dakota State. … Two weeks from now, Idaho State will bring a veteran offensive line against Eastern. …Suddenly, the Eagles' win over Sam Houston State doesn't look so impressive.

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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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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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