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Fri., Aug. 28, 2009, 7:05 p.m.

More on WSU’s scrimmage


COUGARS

We covered quite a bit in my story on the previous link, so you're pretty well in the know. But we have some other things to pass on. If you want to know, read on.
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• Let's look back at Friday's scrimmage, then move forward into what the week ahead holds, with a special emphasis on this weekend. ... The offense showed right from the start it would be able to pass the ball, with the first play a 41-yard connection between Kevin Lopina and a wide open Gino Simone. But that drive stalled when Lopina was sacked by Josh Garrett. The second group came on minus center Chris Prummer, joining Jeff Tuel and Casey Locker on the flu-list – more than 100 cases have been reported on campus and the list is growing. Prummer's absence was felt immediately as usual guard Brian Danaher and Marshall Lobbestael missed connections on the first snap. Despite that, Lobbestael guided the twos on a eight-play drive that stalled at midfield. ... After Xavier Hicks blocked Dan Wagner's punt, the first-team offense started at the 11 and scored in four plays, with Carl Winston punching it in from 3-yards out. ... The second offense went three and out, with Reid Forrest's punt flipping the field and giving the offense the ball back at the 28. That's when Lopina led the day's best drive with the big gainer a 37-yard pass to Jared Karstetter and the touchdown coming on a 7-yard bullet to Simone. ... That was pretty much it for fireworks, though Forrest's 62-yard punt was impressive and Travis Long sacked Lopina during a goal-line drill. ... The offense failed to move the ball on the ground, gaining just 28 yards on 14 carries (not counting the sacks). Part of it was Logwone Mitz, Dwight Tardy and James Montgomery not playing (Tardy came in for one play and blocked) but part of it was a lack of blocking by either o-line.

• The Cougars will hold a FanFest today in Martin Stadium starting at 10:30 a.m. and running through noon. There's activities for the younger set (a bounce house will be set up) and T-shirts for the first 300 fans in attendance. The players will be available to sign autographs. ... When that's over, the players will eat lunch and get ready for practice, scheduled for 3 p.m.

• Tomorrow will begin the preparation for next Saturday's Pac-10 and season opener against Stanford. "I think it's time for that," Wulff said. "You can have too much practice where you get sluggish and you're going through the motions. I don't think this team has done that. They've done a heck of a job. But I also think it is time to get into game preparation." ... It looks like a lot of players who were questionable for the game are moving into the probably category. Brandon Jones woke up this morning feeling much better. The rehab he's been doing for his sprained right ankle seems to be working and he will probably be able to play. James Montgomery said he feels a little soreness but he thinks he'll be able to go as well. Jeshua Anderson and Jeffrey Solomon feel the same way, with Anderson telling me he'll be back on the practice field by Tuesday. ... Other than that, no one else expected to contribute would be even questionable, though the flu that's roaring through campus might play havoc with the team's health, no matter how many precautions they take. ... We'll leave you with this thought from Lopina: "Opening at home is an advantage. It will be a great challenge for us, playing against a team we didn't play too well against last year." My first thought was, there aren't too many Pac-10 teams that last part doesn't fit.

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• That's it for now. We'll be back tomorrow morning with our usual links. Until then …




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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