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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

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.

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SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.

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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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