Washington State's depth is starting to catch up to the starters. Or maybe the backups just had a good day. Either way, Wednesday's WSU football practice saw some big plays from players you don't normally hear about.
Our practice report is after the jump.
Busy day on the Gonzaga beat and a couple of hours this afternoon spent co-hosting a weekly radio show with Toby Howell on KGA AM-1510.
I put together a Gonzaga notebook for Thursday's S-R with the first item concerning Angel Nunez's hardship waiver appeal. It was denied by the WCC, which means Nunez is now listed as a senior. Gonzaga plans to appeal the decision to the NCAA. I've added notebook items on Matt Santangelo returning to the analyst role on GU radio broadcasts, Mike Hart returning to the program to be the video coordinator and John Jakus being hired as director of operations. He'll spend this season learning from Jerry Krause, who is stepping down from the director of ops position he's held since 2001.
—The Bulldogs also released their non-conference schedule. Most of the matchups have been publicized (UCLA, Arizona, WSU, Memphis, SMU, etc.) but there were a few new names dotting the home schedule (an exhibition game vs. Thompson Rivers from Kamloops, B.C., Texas Southern, Southeastern Louisiana, etc.)
Because we were caught up in the hubbub of some late-night scheduling news and other stuff for the paper we never got a practice report up last night. We make amends for that omission after the jump.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Who knew attending a college football game might actually be good for your budget? It just may be that way next year. Read on.
Second-ranked Eastern Washington is rested and ready for No. 14 Montana State, but in this series, being favored isn't necessarily a good thing. Here's my story from Tuesday's practice, and here's a link to the game preview from the EWU Sports Information Office. … New MSU quarterback Dakota Prukop is off to a great start, and earned a big honor this week. Of course, that won't help the Bobcat defense, which is still looking for answers on how to stop EWU QB Vernon Adams and company. … You'd think No. 2 vs. No. 14 would be the biggest game in the Big Sky this week, but you'd be wrong: No. 4 Montana is at top-ranked North Dakota State. The Missoulian is rising to the challenge with this early look at the task confronting the Griz. … Look out: UC Davis has two weeks to get ready for a Sept. 27 home game against the Eagles. … Idaho State receiver Broc Malcolm enjoyed a career day last weekend. … Fresh off a blowout Homecoming loss to South Dakota State, Southern Utah will have a tough time bouncing back at Fresno State.
With the exception of the Apple Cup, which makes a premature return to Black Friday, the 2015 Washington State football schedule doesn't include any weekday games. By contrast the Cougars have already played games on Thursday and Friday this season, with another Friday contest coming up when WSU travels to Stanford.
Now if only they can do something about those night games.
It's one of those back-to-the-drawing board weeks for the Idaho Vandals.
Confident they had something to build on when they came home from their season opener at Louisiana-Monroe, the Vandals instead find themselves picking up the pieces after a nasty lesson delivered by Western Michigan on Saturday in the Kibbie Dome. Coach Paul Petrino dissected the 45-33 loss on Tuesday and looked ahead to another venture into the Mid-American Conference at Ohio University.
The link below will take you to more about the Vandals.
The Pac-12 released its conference football schedules on Tuesday evening during the Pac-12 Football Weekly on the Pac-12 Networks. Washington State's schedule is as follows:
Week 1: 9/5 Portland State
Week 2: 9/12 @ Rutgers
Week 3: 9/19 vs. Wyoming
Week 4: BYE
Week 5: 10/3 @ California
Week 6: 10/10 @ Oregon
Week 7: 10/17 vs. Oregon State
Week 8: 10/24 @ Arizona
Week 9: 10/31 vs. Stanford
Week 10: 11/7 vs. Arizona State
Week 11: 11/14 @ UCLA
Week 12: 11/21 vs. Colorado
Week 13: 11/27 @ Washington
Through three games Washington State has put up some impressive stats, and not just because of its high-volume passing offense. The Cougars are also rank highly in certain special teams and defensive categories.
We'll take a look at some of the Cougars' superlative statistics after the jump.
Washington State receiver has been added to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List following his 227-yard, three-touchdown performance against Portland State last weekend the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced Tuesday.
The award will be given on December 11, 2014 to the best receiver in college football as determined in part by online fan voting. Were Myers to win it would mark the third time a receiver has won the award while being coached by Mike Leach – the first two were in 2007 and 2008 when Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree won back-to-back.
Myers currently leads the Pac-12 conference with 26 receptions and 423 receiving yards. He's likely to continue putting up big numbers; quarterback Connor Halliday says Myers is the receiver he has the best rapport with as well as the team's best route-runner.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's hard to admit when you are wrong. But it's also good for the soul. Cathartic is the term, I believe. But I could be wrong. Again. Read on.
The schemes may vary and the personnel is obviously never the same but for all other intents and purposes the Washington State football team considers all opponents to be one in the same.
If the Cougars can maintain that inward focus and block out the fastest, flashiest, highest-ranked team in the west all week then they can do it against anybody. No. 2 Oregon comes to Pullman on Saturday with ESPN in tow. Whether or not the Cougars like it this is a big game, and a big win or even a good performance this weekend could propel the team to some badly-needed wins against Utah and California in the following weeks. But it would be tough to recover from a bad loss or some critical injuries.
Yesterday the Cougars addressed Oregon during their weekly press conference and there were even a few basketball items throughout the day. All that and more is after the jump.
The U.S. Division was the toughest of the Western Hockey League's four divisions last season. The Spokane Chiefs finished fourth in the five-team U.S. Division last year and face some tough prospects for the 2014-15 season, which begins Saturday in Kennewick. Read story
The Pac-12 announced the 2014-15 conference men's basketball schedule moments ago during the Pac-12 Sports Report on the Pac-12 Networks. Washington State's Pac-12 season begins at Stanford on Jan. 2 and the Cougars won't play at home until they host Oregon on Jan. 15.
The Cougars' first three conference games, on the road, are all afternoon games but WSU won't play before 4 p.m. again until the Feb. 8 game at Oregon. Washington State only has a pair of afternoon games in Pullman.
You can view the entire WSU basketball schedule for the upcoming season by clicking this link: WSU men's basketball schedule
Cyrus Coen, Dom Williams and Kalafitoni Pole spoke to the media on Monday. The videos, courtesy of WSU athletics, are after the jump.
Mike Leach addressed the media on Monday, as is his custom, to discuss Washington State's upcoming game against No. 2 Oregon. Leach emphasized that the key on Saturday will be not “squandering” plays because the Cougars will need to maximize every opportunity to keep pace with the Ducks.
He acknowledged UO's exceptional talent on both sides of the ball but said that the Cougars' focus will on on themselves and taking care of what they can control.
The highlights from our interview with Leach are after the jump.
For the second consecutive year the Washington State men's basketball team won't make its annual trip to Seattle's Key Arena for the Cougar Hardwood Classic. The Cougars were scheduled to face Hawaii on Dec. 13 but will instead travel to face Santa Clara on that date.
The event began in 2005 against Utah and has seen teams such as San Diego State and LSU travel to the Emerald City to face the Cougars.
WSU's press release announcing the cancelation is after the jump.