It is a scrimmage day in Pullman – and around the Pac-10. For Washington State, today’s 8:30 a.m. scrimmage in Martin Stadium is a change on the schedule, as this morning’s workout – the Cougars will also practice this afternoon after an appearance in the Lentil Festival parade – was originally scheduled as a practice. We have more on that and news from around the conference, so read on.
• Washington State: The Cougars have reached a fine point right now. After two weeks of camp, they are ready to play. So they will today, scrimmaging early this morning in Martin Stadium. Then they’ll start throttling back a bit, with lighter practices planned for this afternoon and Sunday morning. A day off will follow Monday – school starts – before the ramping up begins next week in preparation for the Oklahoma State opener in exactly two weeks. Positions will be solidified, the game plan will be introduced and the process of sharpening the team to a fine point will begin once again. … We had more notes on yesterday’s practice in our blog post. … CougCenter has been doing position previews, and yesterday looked at the quarterback position. We’ll start our position previews in Sunday’s paper, and quarterback will be the first one up. Here’s a surprise: Jeff Tuel is No. 1 on the depth chart. … If a Cougar player was arrested, charged with striking a former teammate in the face with a beer bottle and thus breaking a bone, do you think there would be any doubt he would be sitting out a few games? Think back to Xavier Hicks a couple years ago. Anyway, Oklahoma State defensive lineman Jamie Blatnick returned to practice yesterday. If Blatnick will be suspended for any time this season has yet to be announced, which seems sort of odd. … After losing veteran quarterback Zac Robinson to graduation after last season, OSU turned to Brandon Weeden, a former minor league baseball player, to fill the void. But what if Weeden is injured? The backups are three freshmen. … The Cowboys will scrimmage today, working on their special team play.
• Around the Pac-10: Fridays, ESPN.com’s Ted Miller opens his mailbag to answer readers’ questions. … The Times’ Bud Withers continues his trip around the conference with a look at Oregon, the defending champs. … Washington: Halfway through fall practice, Washington is far and away ahead of last season, according to coach Steve Sarkisian. … Of course, that doesn’t mean Sark is relaxed. … Oregon State: There probably isn’t a better defensive line in the conference than the Beavers’. … Oregon: The sheer number of playmakers the Ducks can put on the field makes it tough for any defense. … Who do the players want to win the quarterback job? They’re split right down the middle. … One quick basketball note. The Ducks have canceled a scheduled trip to Italy this fall because they just don’t have enough players. … Cal and Stanford: A sixth-year senior could start for the Cardinal on the offensive line. What’s unusual is it could be his first start in college. … USC: Growing up a Catholic school kid in Southern California, there is no way you couldn’t root for J.K. McKay and Pat Haden when they were at USC in the early ‘70s. Looking at the picture with this very interesting story makes me wonder where the years went. … The Trojans are getting a little thin at tailback. … UCLA: This Bruin offensive lineman has had a long journey back to his “home.” … The Bruins are scrimmaging today. … Arizona State: So are the Sun Devils. … Arizona: As are the Wildcats, who will make it a lot like a game.
• That’s all for this morning. We’re headed over to the scrimmage and will be back later this morning with our usual report. Until then …