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Sat., Nov. 26, 2011, 10:50 p.m.

WSU loses Apple Cup and Wulff may be out

COUGARS

The Apple Cup is over and so is Washington State's football season. Is Paul Wulff's tenure as football coach at his alma mater done as well? There is a report of that being a done deal by Bud Withers of the Seattle Times, but I can't get confirmation – or denial – of that. Read on.

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• After Withers' story was posted, we texted athletic director Bill Moos asking if the report was accurate. His answer didn't address that question, just saying he wasn't the source of the information, which I would interpret as a confirmation. We'll see. Earlier, Moos had said he would meet with Wulff on the plane ride back and set a time for a meeting to discuss the future. Whether that would be Sunday, Monday or whenever, he didn't say. We'll be in Pullman for whatever, and we'll pass along whatever information we can find. ... As for the game Saturday night, I'm sure a majority of you folks saw the Huskies' 38-21 win, their third consecutive in the series. The slow start was a killer, as it put WSU back on its heels and allowed the Huskies to let loose the dogs up front. "When you are playing from behind, they can mix things up and you have to play more run defense," UW coach Steve Sarkisian said. "When you get ahead and force some things, (making them) throw the ball down the field, you can create some pressure and we were able to do that tonight." The pressure resulted in seven sacks, including two for Alameda Ta'amu, who played more of a three technique, getting upfield from his tackle spot. But that pressure also manifested itself down the stretch. WSU was able to hit some big plays late, but not scoring ones. And they were too few to get into the end zone. The one trick play it tried – a play WSU practices a lot but has never, to my knowledge used this season – didn't work and it almost looked as if the Huskies were waiting for it. With intended receiver Kristoff Williams on the ground, Marshall Lobbestael probably shouldn't have tried to hit Marquess Wilson there, but he was obviously trying to make a play. He shoulder the blame for the Cougars early troubles as well, telling me "I feel like at the start of the game I was maybe overthinking stuff a little too much. (Coach Todd) Sturdy got on me on the sideline a little bit, really doing a great job of coaching me up and calming me down. After we talked on the sideline and got stuff straightened out, that's when we started playing better." ... Here is our game story, our notebook and John Blanchette's column.

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• That's it for tonight. I have to be up pretty early tomorrow to see what I can run down on the Wulff situation. Until later ...




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

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