Archive for August 2011
Fourteen FBS games are on the docket Thursday night to start the college football season, and one of them will take place in the freshly remodeled Kibbie Dome when Idaho and Bowling Green square off at 6.
We've got lots to get to regarding the Vandals below.
Practice is over for Wednesday afternoon. Which means just two more practices, probably neither in full pads, before the opener Saturday vs. Idaho State. We have a few things from practice and some other, more personal, thoughts, so read on.
WE'RE ABOUT 30 hours away from kickoff in the first Washington prep football game. Can you smell pork (pigskin) in the air?
Our combined college and prep football preview section that will be included in Thursday's newspaper. It should be a good read full of lots of information on every high school league in our region.
Anyway, I want to know what you, prep football fan, think of the upcoming season. I know what a few coaches think - at least the ones who have taken a few minutes to fill out questionnaires I sent them - but I'd like to know what you think. Check in here and leave your comments. Go as far as listing an order of finish for each league.
Thanks and I'll see you on the gridiron soon. (Pictured above is Central Valley quarterback Gaven Deyarmin)
Can you remember back to, say, when you were eight? And that week before Christmas? Remember how the time seemed to pass by so slowly? Every day seemed like a week, every hour like a day. Christmas would never come. Well, this week is nothing like that. Sure, the college football season opens this week, but waiting for another kickoff is nothing like waiting for Santa Claus. Just forget I brought it up. Read on.
Coach Paul Wulff's radio show is about to begin and we don't want to miss all the excitement, so we'll keep tonight's post-practice post short. Read on.
Coach Paul Wulff just finished his Tuesday afternoon local press conference and the subjects ranged from facing Idaho State and its coach Mike Kramer – who has a long history with Wulff – to personnel questions among the Cougars. Read on.
What type of team is Idaho State? Well, no one really knows. It's easy to look at last year's record (1-10 and winless in the Big Sky) and figure the Bengals are just this side of hapless. Last year they were. But that was before Mike Kramer took over in Pocatello. Read on for more.
Washington State is off the field after its first workout of the Idaho State game week and there was a different feel to tonight's practice. Read on.
Andy Olson was introduced as the Shock's new head coach Monday and the 28-year-old addressed several topics of interest (Erik Meyer, Kyle Rowley, Raul Vijil, his coaching staff). Click here for more on Olson and his plans here.
Update: Here's John Blanchette's take.
Justin Veltung's injury is well known — Idaho's top receiver has been battling a turf toe injury since the first scrimmage of fall camp. But Preston Davis' is a recent development, and it will keep him out of the season opener against Bowling Green — a team he starred against two years ago — in the Kibbie Dome on Thursday night (6 p.m.).
Read on for more about the injuries to Idaho's top two receivers and other notes.
Unless you have been on vacation in Antarctica or pulling a Rip Van Winkle at the lake, you probably realize the college football season begins this week. So we don't have to remind you that the Cougars host Idaho State on Saturday. We'll have our first look at the Bengals in tomorrow's S-R. Today we have links from around the Pac-12. Read on.
The Spokane Shock on Sunday confirmed the hiring of Andy Olson as their new head coach and Olson confirmed that line coach Travis Crusenberry will remain on staff.
Majority owner Brady Nelson said a press conference announcing Olson’s promotion from offensive coordinator to head coach will be held Monday. Olson joined the Shock coaching staff as offensive coordinator three games into the 2011 season. Olson replaces Rob Keefe.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun and a ton of hard work, but I’m very eager to get going,” Olson said.
Crusenberry coached for the Shock the last two seasons and also in 2006.
It's Sunday morning, the day your daily newspaper swells to the size of the roast we're having for dinner. And, because it is the Sunday before college football season begins, those papers are full of stories about Wossamotta U. We link those stories, though, sadly, Bullwinkle is out with an injury.
Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin gave his starters the day off on Saturday and scrimmaged with second- and third-stringers. But he still found plenty to like about the performance of his younger players.
You can get an early look at the scrimmage story that will appear in Sunday morning's S-R here, and you can see what EWU's sports information department posted about the final scrimmage of fall camp here.
Be sure to check back next week for more details, features and thoughts on the Eagles season opener against Washington next Saturday. And feel free to leave any thoughts you might have about how EWU might fare in its attempt to defend the national championship it won last year.
Less than a week from the Vandals' season opener against Bowling Green, and we've got lots to get to tonight regarding the team's health and rotation. Read on if you're interested.
UPDATE: You can read an early version of my Sunday story on the Idaho defense here.
Just filed this update to our Web site on offensive coordinator Andy Olson being selected as the Spokane Shock's new head coach. He replaces Rob Keefe, whose contract wasn't renewed. Olson is pictured above in his Shock playing days as a wide receiver.
Click here for a short article on Olson's promotion. I'll update if more information becomes available.
The preseason camp is over. Long live game week. If there is anyone more ready for this week to close than the Washington State players, I haven't met them. Scratch a player and the blood would write “I want to hit someone in another color uniform” on their skin. After a day off Sunday, they get a chance to start preparing themselves for just that Monday evening. Read on.
With the high today expected to be somewhere in the 90s, it's a good thing Washington State is holding a morning practice. Especially for the offensive linemen, who have a tendency to sweat a bit more than most of their teammates. The other unintended consequence? The beat writer is up early, pouring himself a cup of coffee and poring over stories. The results can be found on the link, so read on.
There is a time and a place to write that a team is injury free. The time is never and the place is fantasyland. Read on.
There is not much to add from last night's scrimmage post, but we have to feed the blog beast, so we came up with something. Read on.
The best thing about holding a scrimmage, the last one of preseason camp, under the lights at Martin Stadium? It was perfect weather. Not too hot, not too cold. Sort of like the play on the turf. Read on.
Gonzaga and Washington State will be the opening game in ESPN's fourth annual College Hoops Tip-off marathon, which will include 17 men's games and two women's games.
The Cougars visit GU in the McCarthey Athletic Center at 9 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, a midnight tip time for East Coast viewers. It will mark the first of nine straight games televised on ESPN. The Gonzaga-San Diego State contest was part of last year's Tip-off Marathon.
Gonzaga is No. 25 in ESPN.com's Andy Katz's preseason rankings.
More here. Schedule listed below.
A quick post to let you know Washington State's basketball opener at Gonzaga on Nov. 14 will be televised by ESPN to start the network's 25 hours of hoop. Tipoff time in Spokane will be 9 p.m. You can read more here in the ESPN news release. If you were wondering why WSU opened with the Bulldogs, now you know.
Spokane has now completed four interviews — current offensive coordinator Andy Olson, former O.C. Matt Sauk, Chicago Rush O.C. Sherdrick Bonner and veteran arena coach Chris MacKeown.
Majority owner Brady Nelson didn't rule out additional interviews.
“Tough choice,” said Nelson, who has returned to Spokane from AFL meetings in Phoenix.
COUGARS • UPDATED 3 P.M.
The sun will be settling toward the horizon today when Washington State finally takes the field for the day's workout. And that's not the only thing that will be different on this Thursday. Read on.
To paraphrase the Jackson 5, one bad practice didn't spoil the whole week. After drawing coach Paul Wulff's ire about the focus on Tuesday, Washington State had a much better practice this afternoon. For more, read on.
Spokane has interviewed three candidates for its head coaching position: current offensive coordinator Andy Olson, former offensive coordinator Matt Sauk and veteran arena football coach Chris MacKeown, according to majority owner Brady Nelson.
The team also plans on visiting with Chicago offensive coordinator Sherdrick Bonner.
Tonight, Shock officials will have a face-to-face interview with Sauk in Salt Lake City.
Loads of info on all nine (that still sounds strange) WCC basketball teams in the summer prospectus.
It's less than a dozen days until the season-opening football game next Saturday at home vs. Idaho State, which means it's probably time to get moving on our season previews before the boss kicks my behind. But before we get those stories done, we have to finish our daily commitment here. So read on.
It's the first week of school. Tuesday was the first practice since school started. So how did it go? “It wasn't very good,” an obviously perturbed Washington State coach Paul Wulff said after it ended. Why was Wulff so upset? Read on to find out.
We're quite a bit later than usual today but life has a strange way of intervening occasionally. But we have a chance to sit and cover the day's news and note, so read on.
The WCC on Monday released the broadcast schedule with ESPN, a 21-game conference slate highlighted by Gonzaga's two games against Saint Mary's and BYU as well as the WCC Tournament.
Gonzaga will appear on ESPN's family of networks a WCC-leading seven times. Saint Mary's and BYU will be on six times. In addition, GU's home showdowns with Notre Dame (Nov. 30), Michigan State (Dec. 10) and Butler (Dec. 20), and road games at Illinois (Dec. 3) and Xavier (Dec. 31) all will be aired on ESPN2.
More on the TV schedule here. List of ESPN games below.
As we say, oh, about 52 times a year, Monday mornings are “The Walking Dead” of links days. There is just very little out there. But what we can find, we pass along, so read on.
It's Sunday morning and we're still not back at practice, so we're going to delve into a couple important areas, eligibility and progress. If such things sound interesting to you, read on.
Everything is going so well here, we have time to sit down and write a blog post. It's either that or read “The Help” while the wife sleeps. Read on.
A small crowd had gathered at the Kibbie Dome. Boosters were on hand to see the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the $27 million renovation. Even officials showed up. But mounting injuries prompted Idaho coach Robb Akey to call off the Vandals' third scrimmage of fall camp. Instead, UI went through a quickish practice with game situations and lots of special teams work.
Still, plenty of notes and tidbits came from the practice and Akey afterward, so read on.
Gonzaga will open WCC play in December for the first time ever, entertaining Portland on Dec. 28. With the addition of BYU, the conference will go to a 16-game slate, prompting an early start to the WCC schedule.
The highly anticipated GU-BYU matchups will take place in February. The Bulldogs will visit BYU on Feb. 2 and entertain the Cougars on Feb. 23. The Zags games with Saint Mary's are on Jan. 12 (in Moraga) and Feb. 9 (in Spokane.
The Spokane Shock were back in the news Thursday with yet another controversial move. The Shock sacked head coach Rob Keefe after two seasons, the first ending in an ArenaBowl championship and the second ending in a playoff loss to Arizona.
You can read about the reasons for Keefe's dismissal, both the organization's and Keefe's opinions, and the search for a successor here in an article that will run in Friday's S-R.
Keefe was scheduled to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Spokane Indians game Thursday night, but that plan was revised.
The afternoon practice is over and I'm not exaggerating by saying it certainly lacked the intensity of the morning workout. I don't know if it was because the players were in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts) or if it was because coach Paul Wulff was MIA, headed to Spokane for an evening event, or if it was because of something else. Despite the lack of intensity, there is news, so read on.
Rob Keefe is out as head coach of the Spokane Shock.
Keefe, who has been part of arena football championships as a Shock player, assistant coach and head coach, will not return for a third season as the head coach. Keefe led Spokane to the ArenaBowl title in 2010, but the team had a rocky 2011 season, finishing 9-10 and losing in the first round of the AFL playoffs.
Washington high school football teams began practicing Wednesday. Defending 4A state champ Ferris will have a new quarterback after returning starter Ben Goodwin suffered an elbow injury. Click here to read a story about Goodwin (pictured above).
Just a quick post after Washington State's morning workout. Title the first practice of the day “When The Defense Attacked.” Probably the best workout of camp for that side of the ball, especially in the back seven, where there were, seemingly, more pass deflections than the entire last couple weeks combined. The day was also a bit contentious, with at least three decent scraps breaking out between offensive and defensive players. Heck, the last play of the practice, held in full pads and featuring “thud” team work (no tackling), ended with an after-the-whistle battle. As for injuries, cornerback Daniel Simmons returned to practice off his hamstring strain, but defensive end Adam Coerper missed his second consecutive day with a hammy and Kristoff Williams watched with a left knee bruise. How long either will be out is still unknown. … We'll be back after the afternoon workout. Until then …
Another Thursday, another two practices for the Washington State football team. We've got to be on the field by 8:30 this morning, so a quick blog post is in order. Except quick isn't easy when there is a this much to cover. Read on.
I spoke with Robb Akey after the Vandals' practice this afternoon to get an update on injuries. I have some new information below, as well as my guess at the depth chart.
Do we have a lot for you. Washington State held its first Martin Stadium scrimmage of camp – with officials – and we have some notes from that. And we have our position preview on the linebackers for tomorrow's S-R and we have some more notes on that. So let's get to it. Read on.
The Washington State basketball schedule for 2011-12 is available, and though the Pac-12 part of it has been known a long time, there are some interesting games. You can access the entire schedule here, but before you do, let's look at some key dates. … The opener is in Spokane at Gonzaga on Nov. 14. Nice start. … Sacramento State comes in on that Thursday for the home opener (we're not counting the Nov. 5 exhibition against Lewis-Clark State). … The tournament in Anaheim is a big deal but it is over Apple Cup weekend. It's possible the Cougars could play Santa Clara in the second round of that tournament. They also host the Broncos on Dec. 11. … The December schedule includes the Seattle game Dec. 22 vs. Pepperdine. … And then the Pac-12 opener Dec. 29 against Oregon in Spokane. The Oregon State game that weekend will be at the Arena as well. It will probably be my swan song. … The first Pac-12 road trip takes WSU to Utah and Colorado. … WSU will not play in Pullman from Dec. 18 to Jan. 19, which covers the time the students are gone. … The Washington games are Sunday, Jan. 15 in Seattle and Saturday, Feb. 25 in Pullman. … The Cougars final two Pac-12 games are in Los Angeles the week before the Pac-12 tournament - in Los Angeles. Stay or come home?
Washington State will head to Martin Stadium this afternoon for a scrimmage that will have more game-like elements than the first live hitting the Cougars did last week. But before we can look forward toward that, we have to look back to yesterday, so read on.
Washington State's players had a day off Monday but the coaches didn't After examining film of the first week of practices, some changes were made. Read on for more.
Today was scheduled to be the third of Washington State's five allowed two-a-day practices. But yesterday the news came out the Cougars would practice in the morning as planned, but not in the afternoon. You know that feeling you get when you find a $10 bill in a coat pocket? I had that same thrill when I read the email about the time off. Then it hit me. I still had to get up at 6 to make the early morning workout. Read on.
It didn't take long for the Idaho offense to assert itself in this afternoon's scrimmage. Five plays and a quick connection from Brian Reader to Preston Davis, who sidestepped at least four defenders on his way to the end zone, and the Vandals were rolling.
Read on for more about the scrimmage, the Vandals' running back depth chart and the team's injury toll.
Mondays are usually the light day when it comes to links around Washington State and the rest of the Pac-12. Today doesn't change that, but there are a few more things to pass along than there will be in a few months as the season wears on. Trust me on that and read on.
The second of the five two-a-days finished up Sunday afternoon and Washington State began to show signs of a tired football team. But after a team get-together tonight and a day off tomorrow, Tuesday should be different. Read on for more.
A quick post with some thoughts on today's morning practice. Read on.
You know how, at work on Friday, you look forward to that day off Saturday? And how, sometimes, no matter how hard you try to concentrate, the thought of getting a nice mid-afternoon nap on the couch the next day keeps wandering into your mind? That's what faces the Washington State players and coaches today. After eight long, hot days on the football field, the Cougars will have a day off tomorrow. But first, they have to get a lot accomplished in two practices today. We'll see how that works out. We also get a day off tomorrow – at least from standing in the hot sun on the football field. But before we get there, heck before we even get out into that sun to watch practice, we have our links and notes on the morning post. Read on.
The first Saturday practice is over and we have a few things to report, one important thing to correct and a big piece of news to pass along. Read on for more.
Wide receiver Greg Orton, who has been with the Spokane Shock most of the last two seasons, has signed with the Denver Broncos.
Orton had landed a spot on UFL Omaha’s roster, but he’s now a member of the Broncos, who are battling injuries at the receiver position. Orton was in training camp with
Orton joins former Shock teammates Laupepa Letuli (
Also, Shock offensive lineman Chris Pino has signed with UFL Omaha.
Today marks the seventh consecutive day Washington State will be on the football field (the Cougars will go eight straight, and 10 practices, before they get a break) so I wouldn't be surprised if today's practice wasn't a bit slow. Sort of like today's news. Read on.
Talk about baking in the mid-summer sun. The fact the intensity during Washington State's second practice wound down in the final 20 minutes or so was understandable if you were standing out on Rogers Field. Read on for more.
Washington State held its first morning practice of preseason camp and the Cougars went in full pads. They'll wear shells this afternoon as they finish their first two-a-day. Read on for more.
There is not much time before Washington State hits the practice field for the first of two workouts today. So we'll get right to the links. Read on.
Changes to college football coaching staffs are not necessarily expected at this time of the year, just a few weeks before the season. But Idaho coach Robb Akey went looking for a new assistant after linebackers coach Rob Christoff left to pursue other professional opportunities.
Read more about Akey's new hire below. We also have an update on receiver Justin Veltung.
Back in the summer, as the Washington State football coaches were penciling out the preseason practice, Paul Wulff and his staff decided they wanted to get to live hitting as soon as possible in camp. That would be today, when the Cougars appeared in full pads for the first time. So WSU finished Thursday's practice with a 51-play, 30-minute scrimmage. Read on for more.
Eastern Washington's defending NCAA Divisioin I football champions opened fall camp in Cheney on Wednesday, and most of the question directed at head coach Beau Baldwin and his players were about the possibilities of repeating last year's magical run.
You can read the practice story that appeared in this morning's S-R here.
Believe it or not, this is the most important day of the year. Maybe not for you, maybe not for Washington State athletics, but for someone connected to this blog. If you're interested in whom and you want to get your daily fill of WSU links and notes, read on.
I never know what I'm going to learn from Robb Akey. After Wednesday's scrimmage, the Idaho football coach introduced me to a term I had never heard before. “I think we got a war daddy in (Michael) Cosgrove,” Akey said. “The ol’ cave man, he’s pretty doggone good.”
What exactly is a war daddy? Check out this Slate.com article for a good summary.
And keep reading for news and notes from Moscow after Idaho's first scrimmage of fall camp.
After four warm days on Rogers Field, this afternoon's practice – the last before the Cougars go to full pads – ended on an upbeat note. On what could have been a downbeat day for Washington State fans. Read on for more.
Back in 2007, my first year of covering this beat, I did a story on Washington State safety Husain Abdullah. The senior was going through practice and games while fasting during daylight hours for Ramadan. You can read the piece I wrote here. … Last year, he and his brother Hamza – another former Cougar – made the national news while doing the same thing during the NFL season. Now the two will break their fast tonight at the White House. Pretty interesting evening for a couple of very good people.
Got a pretty extensive to-do list today. Work out. Call the cable company and get an explanation why my bill jumped $50 in one month. Wash the dishes. Pick up some more sunscreen. That should do it … no, there's something else this afternoon. What is it …? Right. Practice. Sorry, it already seems like we're in the middle of the season and such mundane aspects like practice start to slip my addled mind. For more along those lines, read on.
All of a sudden, Washington State's football players had broader shoulders. Yes, the Cougars added shoulder pads Tuesday under the incremental steps of padding the NCAA enforces. And, with more pads on, there were more popping noises heard on Rogers Field. Read on.
Another beautiful August morning in the Palouse, with the sun shining and the temperature rising. And that's your Tuesday weather report. Now let's get to the news. Read on.
Eastern Washington University will open fall camp on Wednesday, and seems to be handling the added pressure of trying to defend the NCAA Division I football championship it won last season. You can read the pre-camp story that ran in Tuesday morning's S-R here, and check out a few additional thoughts and comments below — along with some links to other preseason stories about the Eagles.
Read on, and be sure to check back for an update following Wednesday's first fall practice.
Maybe it was just my imagination, but seemed quite a bit hotter Monday for Washington State's second 2011 practice than it was Sunday. But no matter. The second day was a mirror image of the first, with a few differences. If you want to know what they we were, read on.
It was warm yesterday in Pullman, but it really couldn't be defined as hot. Not for an early August day in the Palouse. Basically I would have to say it was perfect training camp weather, just hot enough to get really loose but not so hot everyone could be cramping up. But then again, I'm not running around for 2-plus hours on turf, or hitting someone every 10 seconds, or doing up-downs. Just standing, watching. And today? It's supposed to be a bit warmer (hitting the mid-80s during the afternoon practice) without a cloud in the sky. Another perfect day. For more on what happened Sunday, read on.
Washington State's first practice of 2011 is in the books. From the pre-practice walk-through to Paul Wulff's post-practice talk, the players sweated their way through a warm Palouse afternoon. We have notes, observations and comments from the day, so read on.
Today's the day. The beginning of the 2011 college football season, Pullman style. Which means it's also time to get back into the routine of daily blog posts containing Washington State news and notes, along with links to other stories from around the Pac-12. Read on.
Three days of fall camp complete, and the Idaho Vandals have also finished their first practice in pads. That came this afternoon during a gorgeous Palouse day.
I've got a report below — as well as a quick Q&A with senior tailback Princeton McCarty, one of only two players on the UI roster not signed by Robb Akey. Can you guess the other?
We conclude the last of our five-part series on collegians from our area who are playing professionally overseas with former Zag Jeremy Pargo. He's played in Israel the last two years and he's headed back in about a month. Pargo was his customary candid self in a 30-minute phone interview.
Here's my feature on Pargo that will run in Sunday's S-R. We'll also have a list of former Zags, their whereabouts and their most recent stats in tomorrow's paper.
Meanwhile, the GU-Western Michigan game will be the annual Ronald McDonald House Charities Classic. Ticket info here.
Thanks to Twitter, there was some news last night on the eligibility of one freshman. Read on.
It's difficult to make any strong statements after one practice session. But if anything, Thursday's opener of fall camp for Idaho was a good opportunity to get a first look at newcomers and see the progression of guys who have been in the program for a year or two. See my notes below and my story from Moscow here.
Paul Wulff met the media today and though he didn't impart any real ground-breaking news, he did cover quiet a bit of ground. We summarize what he had to say (most of it at least) on the link, so read on.
Preparations for the 2011 football season get under way for the Idaho Vandals today with a 3:30 practice. We'll have a report from the first day of fall camp. But until then, check out our advance for today's paper and our extended 2011 preview post below — with six storylines to follow through camp for Robb Akey's crew.
COUGARS • UPDATED 8 P.M.
If you are interested in attending any of Washington State University's preseason football practices in Pullman, bring sun screen, a good hat and a diet coke. That last item is for me. Just kidding. Anyhow, if you are thinking of heading to Pullman any time soon, you might want to check out the practice schedule on the link.
I wasn't planning on posting during a few days of vacation, but here are a couple items of interest: The latest on David Salinas here, GU apparently will entertain Western Michigan at the Arena and Rotnei Clarke is Butler bound.
Just three days before the start of Idaho's fall football camp, coach Robb Akey is dealing with another off-the-field issue. Backup wide receiver Robert Hatchett III was arrested in Pullman Sunday morning on allegedly driving under the influence. The junior from Compton, Calif., failed two field sobriety tests and was cited and released on the misdemeanor charge, according to KXLY.
In an email to the Idaho Statesmamn, UI publlicist Becky Paull said, “We are aware of this matter. It will be handled in a manner consistent with our departmental policy.”
Earlier this summer, linebacker Conrad Scheidt was also arrested on misdemeanor DUI charges.