There have been shrieks of disgust from the soccer fans downstairs, but we've ignored them as we pounded out the follow to Washington State's 20-13 defeat to California on Saturday. That elicited shrieks of disgust as well, we're sure. Read on.
• Coach Paul Wulff covered the loss in his evening conference call, with questions ranging from injuries – something that, sadly, has to be covered every week – to the offense's struggles – the focus of our follow that I'll pass on as soon as it's available. Here are some of his thoughts we didn't cover in the story. ... I asked Wulff which injuries have hurt the most this season and he mentioned Rickey Galvin's broken arm and Louis Bland's knee. He felt both bring something to their respective sides of the ball that isn't available right now. He also mentioned the series of losses to the offensive line, made worse recently with David Gonzales' broken arm. ... There will be some guys returning from injury soon and I asked Wulff which ones the Cougars really need back. He mentioned Sekope Kaufusi and Daniel Blackledge. Kaufusi's return is still up in the air, as is Carl Winston's but Blackledge and James Montgomery should be back on the practice field this week. With Gino Simone out, Blackledge's presence is crucial. ... Wulff mentioned that Daniel Simmons hurt his rotator cuff, the severity of which won't be known until he can have an arthrogram on Monday. ... One of the questions that has interested me the past few weeks as WSU's losing streak grew concerned the attitude of the average team playing the Cougars. Not the studs, but teams like Cal, UCLA, ASU. Wulff's had those teams in his past and I wondered how they reacted when they played a team like WSU. It seems to me no one would want to be "that team" that lost to the Cougars. "There's a lot to that," Wulff said. "I've been on that side of it. A lot of times you are prepared because you understand the challenges. When you watch that team that hasn't won in a while, you see they are fighting and digging and clawing to try to win a game, and that's a scary thing when you know you're going to face somebody who is busting their butt and playing hard to try and win a game." ... Oregon State is a 23-point favorite on the early line. ... I asked if Jeff Tuel's struggles throwing could be traced back to asking him to run more on Saturday and Wulff didn't think so. He felt it had more to do with how unsettled the pocket was all game and the inability of the receivers to help him. ... Anthony Laurenzi, playing instead of Brandon Rankin, earned defensive player of the game honors for his play. ... I asked Wulff if Rankin's future might be at end, the position he played a lot Saturday in the Cougars' nickel scheme. Wulff said maybe, but it all would depend on the recruiting success over the next couple months. Asked if they were looking at junior defensive linemen, Wulff said yes. I know they are also looking at JC offensive linemen as well. ... Finally, with the early signing period for basketball this week, I asked Wulff his thoughts on having one for football. He said he's been a proponent for a while, feeling it would allow schools to ink a few players, then spend more time on filling out the rest of the class. Asked who is keeping an early signing period at bay, Wulff said he believes it’s the power schools, saying they want more time to evaluate talent. It's a reason he scoffed at, adding everyone has the same amount of time. ... .
• That's it for now. We'll be back to link the follow story. Until then ...