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Day off doesn’t mean no WSU news


With Washington State taken off yesterday, except for having a bunch of pictures shot and signing autographs at the FanFest, there's little in the way of Cougar news on the web. But don't despair. There is some, plus a trivia note from the WSU sports information office. And lots of junk on the conference. Read on.

• Washington State: To be honest, I didn't want to do another "who's the second string right guard going to be?" or "The toughest opponent is …" type of season preview. It seemed to me the key question this season would be how to decide if WSU is making strides. Winning games might be problematic, so there had to be another matrix out there to use. We got Paul Wulff's feelings on the matter, added a couple of players and viola, filled up Sunday's paper. We also decided to give our observations of where some battles stand and some surprises that came out of practice on this here post. ... The WSU football blog has some opinions on the quarterback position. And folks, that's all I found to link.

• Around the Pac-10: The Arizona Republic did its Pac-10 preview. ... The Times' Bud Withers doesn't look just at the Pac-10 in this column but it's interesting enough to take time with. ... Washington: It's time to start looking forward to the season openers, and Bob Condotta does that with the LSU Tigers. ... Todd Milles of Tacoma examines the changes among the Huskies. ... Oregon State: The Beavers' Mike Riley is in midseason form, talking up first opponent Portlans State. ... Oregon: Thursday night's showdown at Boise State will mark the beginning of the Chip Kelly era. ... Cal: Getting into Berkeley isn't that hard for football players. But staying there was for one receiver. ... Stanford: The defensive line seems to the Cardinal's No. 1 unit. ... USC: Another injury hits the Trojans and this is a big one. By the way, Aaron Corp had a excellent scrimmage Saturday. ...UCLA: The Bruins are getting a defensive tackle out of the state of Ohio. Actually, Ohio State. ... Arizona State: It's time to break down the Sun Devils. ... Arizona: The best player in the Pac-10? It might well be Wildcat tight end Rob Gronkowski.


• That's what we have for this fine Sunday morning. Except this: With Travis Long, Darren Markle and Gino Simone making bids to start as true freshmen Saturday, I asked Joe Nickell in the SID's office if there was any precedent for that at WSU. He was already working on it. Going back to when the Pac-10 was formed the year I graduated from college, the Cougars have started 11 true freshmen in the season opener. And only once, 2004 when one of the two was a kicker, have they started more than one. Here's the list:

2008 Jared Karstetter WR

2007 Chima Nwachukwu CB

2005 A’i Ahmu DT

2004 Loren Langley K

2004 Ropati Pitoitua DT

2002 Troy Bienemann TE

2000 Tai Tupai DT

1988 Jason Hanson K

1982 Glenn Harper P

1980 Lee Blakeney LB

1978 Tim Davey P

• That's really it. I'm having a good breakfast today. Then there's WSU first let's-get-ready-for-Stanford practice this afternoon. We'll have a story and a post. Until then …

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

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