Made a quick stop at football practice, and saw a couple things worth passing on. Plus, we have information from Paul Wulff's press conference. Other than that, we're looking at basketball, which will start in a couple hours. Read on.
• Where to start with football? Before practice I was talking with Chad Eaton, who is finishing up his degree at WSU and watches practice most every day. We were talking about the injuries – more on that in a moment – and the inordinate amount the Cougars have suffered, especially the past few weeks. Eaton said someone asked him what you do in a situation like this. His answer was simple. How would I know, he said. I've never been through anything like this before. That's coming from a guy who played a few years in the NFL after his college career was done. ... Easton Johnson transferred in last season from junior college as a safety, played sparingly and moved over to receiver this season. The walk-on has been running with the scout team there, until Thursday. He's now a backup defensive back again. With Anthony Houston out – the injury Wednesday turned out to be a knee, with a torn ACL suspected but not confirmed pending an MRI – Johnson will join a defensive backfield that is positively emaciated. Don't be surprised if Johnson plays Saturday. Chima Nwachukwu is still out, but Wulff hopes to have him next week. "We need him," he said. ... The d-line is also boarding on starving, with Bernard Wolfgramm termed highly doubtful by Wulff and in street clothes Thursday. Talking with Dan Spitz before practice, he hopes to back for the Apple Cup but, with a concussion, isn't going to push it. ... Linebacker is a little better, with Sam Tennant available this weekend, joining Mike Ledgerwood, Joshua Garrett and Halston Higgins as backups. ...
On the offensive side, Jeff Tuel won't play (replaced by Kevin Lopina as we told you yesterday), Tony Thompson is out – his concussion isn't improving quickly – and Tyson Pencer is as well. Zach Tatman will start at tight end on senior day and Steven Ayers will be back at left tackle. ... Kicker Nico Grasu tried to kick a little yesterday, re-aggravated his quad and may now miss the Apple Cup. ... Wulff was asked about Chris Ball's comments on a Seattle radio show this week that the staff will be back next year. I was told this week the coaches were told about a month ago not to worry, that the school's administration understands their problems and believes the staff is on the right path. "We've had nothing but 100 percent support from everybody here," Wulff said. "We talk about it. They know we're doing all the right things. We're bringing in great young players and we're making a lot of headway. We've got something special brewing, we really do. If you're around the kids and players you can see a major difference in their attitude and people see that, people who are around the program see that. Everyone has been extremely supportive of the direction." ... If you remember, some of the Cougars weren't happy at the way the game with Oregon State ended last year, with the Beavers throwing a late, long touchdown pass and another throw as time ran out in a 66-13 OSU rout. Asked if that carries over, Wulff said, "Some of the individuals that were part of it carry that over with them. I did as a player. We will have some kids who will probably have that, there's no question." One of the most outspoken was Romeo Pellum, who, of course, is no longer in Pullman.
• That's it for now. We'll be back with basketball stuff. Until then …