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The usual Friday post, with a basketball note

COUGARS

What an event down in Tucson last night. Note that I didn't write “game.” The game itself wasn't great shakes, but the whole aura surrounding it, along with the blowout nature, which gave the ESPN guys plenty of time to talk about Rick Neuheisel's future, and the pre-halftime fight, made it must-see TV. Read on.


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• Washington State: I know this isn't really WSU-centric, but watching that game last night, I just kept thinking this is similar to what Jeff Tuel would have done against the UCLA defense. Did you notice how often Nick Foles kept plays alive with his feet, giving the receivers just enough time to get seperation? That didn't happen in Pasadena and probably would have if Tuel had been healthy. …  Wonder how the postgame phone call between Colorado coach Jon Embree and his son, UCLA wide receiver Taylor Embree, went? Probably similiar to the one between the UA student, who ran on the field dressed as a referee and caused the ruckus, and his dad. … By the way, how about the ESPN talking heads saying the Bruins don't have much talent? There are Pac-12 coaches that will tell you UCLA is as physically gifted as any team in the conference, including Oregon and Stanford. … We'll have more on this game in the UCLA and Arizona sections, but, boy, was that fun to watch up until halftime. After that I was able to get some work done around the apartment. … The Cougars will go through their usual routine today, with a walk-through this morning in Martin Stadium followed by a bus trip to the … well it's usually to the airport but this time it's to Seattle. They'll relax in their hotel, have a walk-through tomorrow at CenturyLink Field and hold their meetings. Then it's time for the game. … We have our story today on Oregon State's woes on defense. … Last night we added some practice notes and a summary of Paul Wulff's press conference. … I'm sure you've already heard about Jerome Harrison's brain tumor, but we have this story in the S-R. … A look at the Cougars at midseason from CougCenter. … And, finally, WSU basketball coach Ken Bone got the big guy he needed. One of them anyway, as 6-foot-7 forward Richard Longrus commits to the Cougars. What, a 6-7 big guy? Sure. Folks, I saw this guy walking around campus when he was on his official visit and he's so well built, I thought he might be a linebacker recruit or a defensive end. He's got arms that look like my legs –when I was in shape. The Cougars bagged their 6-7 scorer in Brett Boese. Now they have their 6-7 rebounder.

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• Around the Pac-12: ESPN.com's Ted Miller had his what to watch yesterday, but nowhere in it did I see “guy in referee garb trying to steal football.” He's slipping. … He also told us what we didn't know. … John Canzano has turned against the BCS. … Jon Wilner has his picks for the weekend. … Washington: There are some great individual matchups in the game with Stanford and some team tests. All of that is courtesy of Steve Sarkisian. … Oregon State: There's a bit of a contrast coming Saturday. The Cougars want OSU quarterback Sean Mannion to move his feet, hoping pressure will force him to make a mistake. The Beavers want to keep Tuel in the pocket, afraid his mobility will cause them problems. … Oregon: This Duck isn't afraid of hard work. … After being nearly beheaded two years ago in Eugene, this is one column I am squarely, 100-percent, full-tilt behind. … California: There's a test awaiting the Bears' right tackle this week and not in the classroom. … Stanford: The Cardinal lost a key defensive back against WSU, which will hurt, but they have their best offensive lineman matched with UW's best defensive lineman, which should help. … Colorado: With injuries, a couple of local guys will fill in. … Utah: The Utes deny the physical nature of the Pac-12 is playing into their injuries. … USC: Robert Woods would like to write his name into the USC/ND lore. … UCLA: The Bruins' 48-12 defeat Thursday night may be costly for Neuheisel. … Arizona State: A bye week. … Arizona: The Wildcats' win, in the first game of the post-Mike Stoops era, may have repercussions down the road. But for now, UA is just celebrating the victory.

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• That's all for this morning. It's Friday, so there is little in the way of more happening today. We'll be back when events warrant. Until then …


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