The game is tomorrow. Before then, Washington State's football players will have more film work, they'll have a walk-through and they'll head off to the hotel for meetings and a good night's rest. Then there is the game, with UNLV heading up from the desert to challenge them. It's been a challenging week already. Read on.
• Washington State: That will be the thrust of our story for tomorrow morning's S-R, how challenging of a week the Cougars faced. It wasn't just getting ready for UNLV. It wasn't just the loss of quarterback Jeff Tuel. It was the addition of a nagging, if not debilitating gastrointestinal virus that shot down a number of players for 24 to 48 hours. ... We were going to save this for tomorrow morning, but the list of captains is already on WSU's blog, so were going to point something out. Three of the captains, picked by the coaching staff, are not unexpected, with seniors Jared Karstetter, Alex Hoffman-Ellis and B.J. Guerra. The fourth is a little bit of a surprise: sophomore C.J. Mizell. If anything better illustrates Mizell's turnaround this season, I don't know what it is. Here's a kid who almost threw away an opportunity to be a Pac-12 football player due to a lack of work ethic. A year later he's a captain, designated by his coaches as a leader of his team. I've tried to pass along the difference at practice, but just explaining how he's working doesn't tell the story as well as this designation. Now don't think Mizell has turned into Charlie Hustle at practice. He's not leading the linebackers by sprinting from drill to drill and he's not jumping around and high-fiving everyone after a scrimmage play. No, he's just gotten more professional, if that's the right term. He's not the first guy at practice, but he's no longer the last linebacker to show up. He's not the most vocal, but he is speaking up more. And you know he's doing his film work when you see him showing a defensive tackle where he was supposed to be after the scout team runs a play, or when he's talking with a fellow linebacker about a presnap alignment, they disagree and coach Chris Tormey agrees with Mizell. It's all part of the maturing process, one every college student is supposed to take, right? But sometimes it doesn't happen. It seems to be in Mizell's case. ... On to the links. ... We had our story today about UNLV's coach Bobby Hauck and WSU's Paul Wulff having a bit of a history. I've yet to meet a former Big Sky coach – and I know three pretty well – who has a nice thing to say about playing in Missoula. ... We also filed a short practice report last night. ... Freelancer Howie Stalwick has this feature on tight end Andrei Lintz. ... We have a few stories from Las Vegas so you can catch up on the Rebels. There's this one on a wide receiver who came back quickly from an offseason injury, Bobby Hauck's weekly column in the Review-Journal and this report from yesterday.
• Around the Pac-12: ESPN.com's Ted Miller asks if you knew this. ... San Jose's Jon Wilner has his picks and more on the possible changes to the conferences. ... Washington: All those new guys the Huskies played last week will get an even tougher test with Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz. ... Oregon State: A quarterback controversy is one thing, defending the Badgers in Wisconsin is another thing entirely. ... Oregon: The Ducks' offense needs to shake the rust off. How about just giving the ball to this guy? ... ... California: The Bears Zach Maynard has already made a connection with one of his receivers. ... Stanford: Turning a linebacker into a defensive end is not that unusual. ... Colorado: The Buffs are worried about how well the Bears run. ... The fans are worried about having to make trips to Stillwater and Lubbock – instead of LA – once again. ... Utah: If the Utes secondary doesn't play well, there is little chance Utah can win in the Coliseum. ... USC: Matt Barkley can now legally enter a bar. ... UCLA: The Bruins just looked petty over this. ... The defense just wants to show it can drive a sword into someone's offense. ... Arizona State: Missouri comes to Tempe tonight, giving the Sun Devils a chance to make a statement. ... Arizona: The Wildcats made a statement against ninth-ranked Oklahoma State, it just wasn't the one they wanted to make, losing 37-14 on national TV.
• That's it for this morning. If events warrant, we'll be back in the afternoon. Until later ...