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Going back in time thanks to a golden voice

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Are there certain things that take you back to childhood? Certain odors or tastes or sights that transport you from this day to one years and years ago? I was able to experience that feeling last night and, yes, it was fun. Read on.

Tuesday morning Pac-12 links

We have a tradition around here on Tuesday mornings. Actually, we have it every morning. It's the tradition of collecting stories from around the Pac-12 conference and consolidating them into a links post.

Take part in our tradition after the jump.

Quoting Cracraft, Peterson and Eklund

Left guard Gunnar Eklund, linebacker Mitch Peterson and receiver River Cracraft were available to speak with the media during Washington State's weekly Monday press conference. Highlights from those interviews are after the jump.

Mike Leach Monday press conference

 

 

A transcription of coach Mike Leach's remarks is after the jump.

Back in the day, small schools took on the big boys

The Greater Spokane League will crown two football champions this season with their new 4A and 3A divisional set-up.

In the beginnings of high school athletics, there were no classifications by enrollment. Schools scheduled games regardless of the size of their opponent. Some smaller schools in the early days had some success against their larger neighbors. Valley High School of Menlo won the 1936 State Basketball Tournament defeating much larger schools along the way, including Lewis and Clark, to win the title. It was Washington State’s “Hoosier” moment.

 

Cal game set for 7:30

Washington State's football schedule has been updated to show a 7:30 p.m. kickoff for the Cougars home game against California on Saturday, Oct. 4. With a 6 p.m. start for the following week's game at Stanford that means the Cougars will play at least seven consecutive night games to open the 2014 season.

Grading the Oregon game

Washington State went toe-to-toe with Oregon for 60 minutes on Saturday, playing well at every offensive and defensive position. The Ducks have NFL talent at quarterback, running back, receiver, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, cornerback and safety, and if the Cougars had played poorly at even one position then UO's counter would probably have been too great to keep the score close.

But everyone rose to the challenge and it was almost enough to pull off a monumental upset.

Our unit grades are after the jump.

Wilson’s ability can stand on its own

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Can we all agree that Russell Wilson is really good and leave it at that? Read on.

Utah week

It's Monday and that means it's time to start thinking about Utah. We'll speak with coach Mike Leach and three players this afternoon, tomorrow we'll join the Pac-12 coaches teleconference and on Wednesday don't miss our live chat.

For now, let's follow the jump and get to those links.

A little night practice

There were 32,948 fewer fans in the seats when the Cougars returned to Martin Stadium. One night after taking No. 2 Oregon to the wire in front a packed house Washington State returned for an hour-long practice in front of two pairs of parents, as well as some reporters and staff members.

Destiny Vaeao was back at practice, although still limited, and there were a couple interesting depth chart notes on the defensive side of the ball. We also spoke with defensive coordinator Mike Breske and offensive line coach Clay McGuire to get their thoughts on the game.

Our practice report is after the jump.

WSU basketball lands 6-8 wing

Derrien King, a six-foot-eight wing from Los Angeles, California has given a verbal commitment to coach Ernie Kent to play at Washington State, according to multiple reports.

King's commitment appears to have been first announced on the Twitter page of his AAU team, the Compton Magic. It was later confirmed by recruiting websites such as Rivals.com and Scout.com.

King was apparently on campus this weekend for an official visit and gave his commitment to Kent during the trip.

Kent has now two known recruits in the 2015 class: King and power forward Jeff Pollard from Utah. DaVonte Lacy, Dexter Kernich-Drew, and Jordan Railey are all seniors on WSU's full roster, so unless there is some attrition Kent will have one more scholarship to offer in this class.

Here's an article on King from the Los Angeles Sports Journal.

Day after Oregon links

The Cougars gave a national television audience a show last night, nearly knocking off the No. 2 team in the country in front of a packed house. Alas, the Ducks pulled it out in the end and WSU fans are left to grumble about a truly-horrific blown call that would have put Washington State in a great position to tie the score late in the fourth quarter.

But what's done is done and now it's up to use to make sense of it all. In the paper today I have a game story, John Blanchette has his column on a game the Cougars got mostly right and Jim Meehan was good enough to come down and write a notebook. On the blog I have my final thoughts from the game. We also have post game video from Mike Leach, Connor Halliday and Xavier Cooper, courtesy of WSU athletics. Photojournalist Tyler Tjomsland was at the game and has a gallery of photos.

For the opposing perspective check out Andrew Greif's story on questions the Ducks now face after almost getting knocked off in Pullman and Tyson Alger's on freshman running back Royce Freeman who came up big when it mattered most.

Recaps from the rest of Saturday's Pac-12 games are after the jump.

Final thoughts from the Oregon game

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 missed 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

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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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