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(Spring) pregame from Albi

 (Christian Caple)
(Christian Caple)

COUGARS

FROM SPOKANE -- We're in the press box at Albi Stadium, where fans are enjoying the various concessions available, as well as some bouncy-house type activities for the kids. Pretty laid-back feel so far. More like a carnival than a football game, for the time being.

...

We're still more than an hour away from kickoff, and the only players on the field right now are the specialists, punting back and forth as they would before any game. Saw quite a few WSU players among the crowd gathered inside the gates but outside the actual stadium -- Rahmel Dockery, John Fullington, Jake Rodgers, Tana Pritchard (on crutches) and Zach Brevick among them -- some signing autographs, others posing for pictures. There are workers stationed at the gates handing out rosters and flyers detailing a contest being put on by ESPN to have GameDay film a commercial on a college campus. WSU is hoping to win and force GameDay to come to the WSU flag, instead of having to bring the flag to them. ... As for the weather, it's not quite the perfect afternoon some had  envisioned, but it's certainly fine. Still a little grayness, but plenty of blue sky and temperatures in the high 60s. ... The roster also includes a scoring system for today -- in addition to your standard football scores, the defense will be awarded three points for an interception, two for a fumble recovery, two for a 3-and-out, one for a fumble and one for a sack. The offense doesn't have any special ways to score points, other than putting the ball in the end zone or through the uprights. ... Saw Chester Su'a standing down on the field earlier with Darryl Monroe. Both were wearing their jerseys with no pads and shorts. Of course, nobody had dressed for the game yet, but I think it's safe to assume that neither of those guys will play today, as expected. So expect a starting linebacking corps of Eric Oertel, Darren Markle and Corey Laufasa, plus Travis Long, depending on whether he's lined up at the buck linebacker spot or at defensive end. It can be hard to tell sometimes. I'd expect Daniel Simmons and Damante Horton to start at cornerback, with Deone Bucannon and Anthony Carpenter at safety. The defensive line is also up in the air a bit, with Lenard Williams out the past couple days. Anthony Laurenzi has been a regular with the No. 1 unit in the middle, with Xavier Cooper at end. That last spot will be interesting to watch. ... As for the offense, keep an eye on the receiver rotation with the starting unit. Guys have been shuffled in and out quite a bit during scrimmages so far this spring. I wonder if Mike Leach might choose to stick with a more regular rotation, this being the spring game and all. We'll see.

OK. That's all for now. We'll be back with plenty more after the game.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple




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