There are some notes we couldn’t get to in our practice story, from a game-time change (and a television pickup) to a possible (probable?) destination for a former Cougar. Read on.
• If you were planning to be in Pullman Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. to watch the Cougars open the Pac-10 season against Stanford, make new plans. The game will now start at 3 p.m. And, if you can’t get to Martin Stadium, you’ll still be able to see it. FSN Northwest and WSU announced Tuesday the game will be televised. That brings the total of 2009 WSU games currently scheduled to be televised to two. That number should grow, though, as the season wears on.
• Nothing official, but we heard today J.T. Levenseller will probably end up about 75 miles up U.S. 195 at Eastern Washington. We made some calls but couldn’t confirm what we’ve been told, that Levenseller will soon accept a ride from Eastern. … WSU opens almost every practice with special teams work. This afternoon, working on the Martin Stadium turf, the concentration was on kickoff return and coverage. The guys returning kicks were the ones you probably would suspect, the team’s faster guys: Kevin Norrell, Brandon Jones, James Montgomery, Gino Simone and Daniel Simmons. Jeshua Anderson had also filled the role until his hamstring strain. … Anderson said he’s a few days away as his hamstring has gained strength. Andy Mattingly said the same thing about his groin. And Norrell, who skipped the latter part of the afternoon workout, said he had just cramped up a little in the heat. His entire uniform was drenched in sweat.
• There were eight possessions of thud contact – players aren’t tackled to the ground – at the end of the afternoon. The biggest plays were: Jeff Tuel to Colin Huemmer for about 40 yards, setting up a field goal; Chima Nwachukwu breaking up a Marshall Lobbestael passed headed to Nick Proen with a big hit; Simone catching a short Lobbestael pass, juking past LeAndre Daniels, getting a great block by Norrell and motoring 30 yards down the left sideline; and, finally, a great grab by Easton Johnson in the last possession, giving the second offense a chance to score. … The best catch of the day, however, came during a passing drill which matched receivers with defensive backs. Jared Karstetter got a step on Aire Justin but Kevin Lopina’s pass was just a little short and outside. Karstetter adjusted in midair, was able to get just one hand free of Justin yet still hauled in the toss while knocking Justin away and falling to the turf. The catch was so good, even Jones, the transfer from Cal who is one of the defensive guys who love to trash talk, clapped his hands and ran off the sidelines to congratulate Karstetter.
• That’s what we’ve got for you this evening. We’ll be back in the morning. Hope you are too. Until then …