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Archive for September 2013

Russell Wilson reminds me of someone


While watching the Seahawks game yesterday, I heard the announcer say something about Russell Wilson. And it triggered a memory. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

The Eagles returned yesterday from Texas, and have some work to do following their 49-34 loss at Sam Houston State. Speaking of which, yesterday's links didn't include a game story from the Huntsville Item, so here it is. Next up for the Eagles is Weber State, which is struggling mightily. So is the following week's opponent, North Dakota, which was routed by Montana State. And speaking of the Bobcats, they're back on track, according to this story from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. So is Southern Utah, which is 4-1 after a win at Northern Colorado.

Chalich picks up player of week award

Idaho quarterback Chad Chalich, a redshirt freshman from Coeur d'Alene, was named independent offensive player of the week by College Sports Madness after collecting 424 total yards in a 26-24 win over Temple on Saturday.

The Vandals (1-4) are one of seven independent teams in FBS, joining Notre Dame, BYU, New Mexico State, Army, Navy and Old Dominion.

Chalich is believed to be the first UI quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards and run for at least 100 yards. He was 26 of 43 for 310 yards through the air and he ran for 114 yards on 14 carries, including a clutch 10-yard run late in the fourth quarter on third-and-10. He also scooted around the left corner on an option keeper for 52 yards earlier in the game.

The last time an Idaho quarterback rushed for 100 or more yards was Doug Nussmeier, who ran for 107 in a 49-16 victory over Boise State on Nov. 20, 1993. He threw for 198 yards in that game. On Oct. 20, 1984, Scott Linehan rushed for 104 yards and threw for 248 in a 32-25 loss to Eastern Washington.

“It’s a great experience,” Chalich said after the game. “It’s a great win for me and especially for this team.”

Idaho hosts 23rd-ranked Fresno State on Saturday at 2 p.m. before embarking on a two-game road trip. The Bulldogs (4-0) have opened as a 241/2-point favorite.

There are good things about today


The best thing about Sundays? If your college football team won, you have all day to savor it. If your team lost, then you can use the NFL to cleanse your palate. Read on.

Eastern, Big Sky links

The Eagles can leave it all behind now, getting ready for Big Sky play after Saturday's 49-34 loss at Sam Houston State. Here's my game story, and my story on the success of the Sam Houston program. Elsewhere in the Big Sky Conference, Montana State welcomed back QB DeNarius McGhee and crushed North Dakota, while Sacramento State routed Weber State - Eastern's next opponent - 31-3, but the big news came out of Flagstaff, where Northern Arizona routed No. 7 Montana. In other games, Southern Utah won 27-21 at Northern Colorado in the first conference game for both schools, and UC Davis did the same at home against Idaho State, 30-13.

Tale of the tape: Stanford 55, WSU 17


FROM SEATTLE — The ugliest game of Washington State's season is over. Stanford dominated every way possible in a 55-17 blowout, and we parse the details below with our usual tale of the tape.

Chiefs tie club record with 4-0 start

The Spokane Chiefs set a club record Saturday while playing their first home game of the Western Hockey League season. Spokane's 2-1 win over the Tri-City Americans boosted its record to 4-0 and tied the 1992-93 Chiefs for the best start in team history. Read story

Young Vandals give Petrino first win

The last Idaho quarterback to rush for at least 100 yards was Doug Nussmeier in 1993. The last Idaho QB to rush for 100-plus yards and pass for 200-plus yards was Scott Linehan in 1984. And the last Idaho QB to eclipse 100 yards rushing and 300 yards passing in the same game? Apparently, that hadn't happened until today in the Kibbie Dome.

Chad Chalich (pictured with his helmet twisted on a run) was masterful with his arm and his legs in guiding the freshmen-laden Vandals to a 26-24 homecoming win over Temple — their first victory since beating New Mexico State last October. The redshirt freshman QB threw for 310 yards on 26-of-43 passing and rambled for a game-high 114 yards on the ground.

We've got notes and the transcript from Paul Petrino's news conference after his first career win, as well as quotes from Spokane product Austin Rehkow — who booted four field goals, including a clutch 25-yarder late in the fourth quarter.

Stanford defeats WSU 55-17

S-R photojournalist Tyler Tjomsland covered the Cougs' Seattle game against Stanford.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

Eastern, Sam Houston State delayed

HUNTSVILLE, Texas - Eastern Washington's football game here against Sam Houston State was delayed for 90 minutes while a lightning storm passed through south central Texas.

The game was scheduled to resume at 1:25  p.m. PDT.

Will there be an upset tonight?


The answer to the question in the headline is yes. Where it will occur, I'm just not sure. Read on.

Sam Houston State doing it right

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The plains of east Texas look nothing like the West Plains of Spokane County – especially on a hot and sticky Saturday morning.

The land here is flat  and green. The trees are thicker, and so is the traffic, which fans out toward Houston to the south, Dallas to the north and College Station in the next county to the west.

Then you take a closer look.

Like the West Plains, much of the economy here is built on broken lives, but instead of Eastern State and the Geiger Correctional Facility, this city of 38,000 is home to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, is by far the biggest employer in Walker County.

Beyond the city, lakes and farms spread in every direction. So do sporting opportunities of every kind: hunting, fishing and football.

Winning football, just like in Cheney.

Idaho-Temple preview

For the first time, the Idaho and Temple football teams will meet today. Both teams are looking for their first breakthrough of the season, and it's homecoming in Moscow.

We've got our usual preview in capsule form below.

Eastern and Big Sky links

Yes,everything IS a little bigger in Texas - even the hotel rooms. The Eagles are spending the weekend at the LaTorretta Resort in Conroe, the same place where Alabama stayed a few weeks ago for their win at nearby Texas A&M. Several players have already Tweeted about “living large.”

That will change this afternoon, when the Eagles visit Sam Houston State for the biggest FCS non-conference game of the year. Here's my preview, a short pre-game capsule, and my report from last night's practice. The local newspaper, the Huntsville Item, has a pregame interview with SHSU coach Willie Friz as well as a look at the newcomers on defense.

Eagles don’t feel the heat - yet

MONTGOMERY, Texas – One thing for sure: the Eastern Washington football players have a lot of sweat equity in today’s game at Sam Houston State.

Leaving behind a 45-degree morning in Cheney, the Eagles practiced Friday evening under the lights of a Texas High School stadium that seemed almost as big as Roos Field. Temperatures were down only a few degrees from the daytime high of 95 in the Houston area. But as they say, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

Both will be intense for today’s 2 p.m. kickoff (noon PDT) at 12,986-seat Bowers Stadium.

WSU vs. Stanford: Links and such to start your Saturday


FROM SEATTLE — It's another WSU gameday that will require a bit of patience, as the Cougars don't begin their game against No. 5 Stanford until 7 p.m. Until then, you can read these links and watch a whole bunch of football.

Undefeated Chiefs set for home opener

Before the Western Hockey League season began, Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur mentioned how the team's difficult early-season schedule would allow the players to bond. The Chiefs are playing eight of their first 10 games on the road, but three of those road games are already in the books as big wins for Spokane. The Chiefs will play their home opener Saturday against the Tri-City Americans, giving Spokane fans the first look at a high-powered offense that has scored six goals each game. Read story

Lake City defeats Post Falls 36-30

S-R photojournalist Kathy Plonka covered Lake City's win over Post Falls.  Check out this big picture gallery of  her photos.

Mt. Spokane wins 10-0 against Mead

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the Mt. Spokane vs. Mead game.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

Shadle Park defeats Gonzaga Prep 42-13

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered Shadle's game against Gonzaga Prep.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

Zags await practice opener

Gonzaga and area D-I schools can begin practicing as early as today (Saturday in GU's case) so we put together a short preview for Friday's S-R.

Under a new NCAA rule, teams have 42 days before their season opener to conduct 30 practices. Teams can spread out practices more or they can stick to essentially the same schedule they've used for years. GU will experiment to determine the best approach but it seems, considering their strong starts in recent seasons, they might not want to mess with success too much.

A bit more below.

WSU’s Lawhorn ‘not participating’ with team after rules violation


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State men's basketball coach Ken Bone announced Friday that junior point guard Danny Lawhorn is not participating in team activities after violating a team rule.

No further details were provided about what rule Lawhorn violated, and no timetable has been set for his return.

WSU begins practice today with a weekend retreat in Lewiston, then has its first practice in Pullman on Tuesday.

Lawhorn, a junior-college transfer, figured to compete for the team's starting point guard job. He led the NJCAA in assists during his two seasons at San Jacinto (Texas) College. But this news seems to leave his status in flux.

The Cougars will also be without freshman guard Que Johnson for the first few weeks of practice while he recovers from a stress fracture in his shin. Johnson comes off his crutches on Monday, Bone said, and the coach estimates that Johnson will miss two or three weeks of practice. But he does expect him to be ready to go by the time the season starts.

Roundup of Idaho football, hoops news

For just the second time this season, the Idaho football team is at home — for homecoming, no less. It plays host Temple on Saturday (2 p.m., SWX), and the Vandals and Owls will kick off about the time the Idaho basketball team ends its first practice of the fall.

We have Idaho-flavored basketball and football news to pass along.

Care to make it three in-a-row?


For consecutive days we've had pretty spirited discussions here. The first was on my misbegotten thoughts – to some – concerning the women's basketball tournament. The second was about the best detective shows of the 1970s. Talk about eclectic. Read on.

Friday links from Pullman


FROM PULLMAN — We're off to Seattle in a few hours — both for Saturday's game and for the foreseeable future — but not before putting together a few links while we wait for the movers to arrive. Let's get to it.

Cougars hold final practice before Stanford


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State departs for Seattle tomorrow, then faces Stanford on Saturday at CenturyLink Field. It practiced for the final time this week at Martin Stadium earlier today. Here are some notes and quotes from that session.

A little of this, a lot of that


Let's keep it short and sour today. After all, we're never sweet. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

GameDay and Lee Corso won't be there, but Saturday's Eastern Washington-Sam Houston State game is plenty big. Here's my preview, along with a story and a look back to last year's playoff game from the Huntsville (Texas) Item. Want more links? Here's the preview from the EWU Athletic Department, and another from Sam Houston State, which also offers a feature on the Bearkat offensive line. Finally, The Sports Network wishes for more of these high-profile matchups. And if you wish for more to talk about, come to today's live chat at See you then.

Practice notes and Thursday links


FROM PULLMAN — Volleyball duties pushed our schedule back last night, which means that instead of posting our practice notes late at night when nobody is going to read them, we saved them for this bonus-filled morning post. Because, well, sometimes we have good ideas like that. That, and not a whole lot happened. Read on.

Aviani scores four times as Chiefs romp again

The Western Hockey League season couldn't have started any better for the Spokane Chiefs, who are 3-0-0-0 after Wednesday night's 6-1 victory at Victoria, British Columbia. Spokane defeated Tri-City 6-2 to open the season on Saturday and posted an identical score during Tuesday's win at Victoria. The Chiefs are off to a blazing start without having played a home game. That will change Saturday at the Arena against the Tri-City Americans. Read story

Let’s look for some gems


There is hype. And then there are hidden gems. It's the latter we are concerned with this morning. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

So how is the new group of Eastern Washington receivers faring this fall? Just fine, thanks in part to the leadership of senior captain Ashton Clark. Here's my profile of Clark, the Eagles' leading receiver this season. I'm working on a few other pieces before I fly out early Friday morning to Huntsville, Texas, for the big game at Sam Houston State. We can talk about all that and more during Thursday's live chat, but until then, here are a few more links:

Live chat today, plus links


FROM PULLMAN — It's Wednesday, which must mean we're holding a live chat at 1 p.m. We also have the following links with stories about college students who play football. Read on.

Practice notes and Thursday links


FROM PULLMAN — Volleyball duties pushed our schedule back last night, which means that instead of posting our practice notes late at night when nobody is going to read them, we saved them for this bonus-filled morning post. Because, well, sometimes we have good ideas like that. That, and not a whole lot happened. Read on.

Chiefs improve to 2-0 with second rout

Sometimes repetition can make people feel as if they're in a rut. But the Spokane Chiefs' brand of repetition for the young 2013-14 Western Hockey League season is anything but oppressive — unless the view is from Spokane's opponent. The Chiefs registered their second consecutive 6-2 victory on Tuesday, strolling past host Victoria and moving to 2-0 behind the leadership of Mitch Holmberg. The Chiefs 20-year-old had two goals and one assist to go with the three goals and one assist he scored Saturday night against the Tri-City Americans. Read story

Alberta flood affected Blazers’ Macklin

Here are some notes from around the Western Hockey League, leading with Kamloops Blazers forward Aaron Macklin and how his family was affected by June floods near Calgary, Alberta. Read story

Breske talks Idaho, Stanford after practice


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State practiced under an occasional drizzle on Tuesday afternoon. It was a typical workout, though we do have a few notes and a conversation wtih defensive coordinator Mike Breske to pass along.

We switch gears this morning


Mondays are usually the quietest days of the week, at least in the area sports scene. Oh sure, there is the occasional Monday Night Football game in CenturyLink that has some drama (see Packers vs. Seahawks, circa 2102) but other than that, it's mainly a day of rest. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

The Eastern football players are back with a vengeance - but they're not calling it that. According to head coach Beau Baldwin, it's only human nature - not revenge - to want a little payback against Sam Houston State. Here's my report from Monday's practice as the Eagles prepare for the trip to warm and  muggy Huntsville, Texas. The misting fans have already been ordered, I'm told, for this high-profile matchup, which if you go by this week's rankings is the biggest in FCS this year. … We can discuss all that and more in our weekly live chat on Thursday. … The Huntsville Item has several stories related to the game. Here's a link to the   school web site  , which includes a rundown of the Bearkats' 52-21 win last week over Incarnate Word. …

WSU back to practice on a Tuesday


FROM PULLMAN — Preparation for Stanford begins for Washington State later this afternoon. Well, it probably began yesterday on a handful of iPads — that's how players watch film these days — but the Cougars return to the practice field at 3:30 p.m. after Sunday's session was cancelled. We have links and such.

Leach talks Stanford, other things


FROM PULLMAN — Mike Leach spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes today, using much of that time to preview this week's game against Stanford. Read on for a transcript.

WSU vs. Cal game time set for 1 p.m.


FROM PULLMAN — Hey, a day game.

Washington State's game at California on Oct. 5 is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will air on FOX Sports 1. The Cougars play at 7 p.m. this week against Stanford.

More on Morrison

A few more topics addressed by Adam Morrison that weren't included in Sunday's article.

Read on.

It didn’t seem like a chore for Seahawks


Sunday was spent like it usually is in the fall and early winter: getting chores done, watching the Seahawks game, making – and eating dinner – and going to bed. The best part of it? The Hawks game. Though dinner was good too. The worst part of it? The chores. Read on.

Big week starts for WSU


FROM PULLMAN — In terms of the impact such a game could have on Washington State's season, I don't know that I recall one as highly anticipated as Saturday's matchup with Stanford. Discuss that and more after the jump.

WSU in the stats


FROM PULLMAN — Here's your weekly look at where Washington State stands in the national statistics rankings.

Source: WSU page

Stat Rank Value
Total Offense 73 391.8
Rushing Offense 119 63.0
Passing Offense 16 328.8
Team Passing Efficiency 72 131.16
Scoring Offense 61 31.0
Total Defense 10 264.8
Rushing Defense 54 146.5
Passing Yards Allowed 2 118.3
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 15 92.43
Scoring Defense 13 12.0
Turnover Margin T-105 -0.8
3rd Down Conversion Pct 59 0.426
4th Down Conversion Pct T-16 0.750
3rd Down Converstion Pct Defense 13 0.267
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense 76 0.571
Red Zone Offense T-110 0.647
Red Zone Defense T-15 0.667
Net Punting 86 35.19
Punt Returns 32 13.13
Kickoff Returns 7 30.80
First Downs Offense T-41 83
First Downs Defense T-40 60
Fewest Penalties Per Game T-61 6.00
Fewest Penatly Yards Per Game 56 47.75
Time of Possession 112    26:22

Morrison returns to GU

Good morning. I can't remember a more enjoyable 22-minute interview than the one I conducted with ex-Zag great Adam Morrison earlier this week. Morrison, 29, is back at GU to finish his degree and help as a student assistant.

Morrison was candid, colorful, self-depracating and insightful. If you come in with a preconceived notion — I didn't, I interviewed him in 2008 when he was coming back from a torn ACL (I cut-and-paste that article below) — it won't match up with reality.  

Now, he'll freely admit doing interviews isn't his idea of fun. At one point former Zag and current administrative assistant Alex Hernandez noticed Morrison being interviewed, prompting Morrison to crack, “Hi Al, back at it man, I avoided it for two years!”

Turning more serious, Morrison said, “I'm very private but I understand how it is. To me it's about these kids now. I'm just a student assistant, that's all I am.”

Here's a link to my article on Morrison.

I covered a lot of ground with Morrison, some of which didn't make the article. I'll post more of Morrison's thoughts on a variety of topics, including what he thinks of the 2013-14 Zags, later tonight.



Late-night fireworks in Pullman


A late night in Pullman. Check that. It turned into an early morning in Pullman and Colfax and Steptoe and Thornton and Rosalia and Spangle. Read on.

Day after blowout links (again)


FROM PULLMAN — For the second consecutive week, today's links are about a lopsided victory for Washington State. Let's dive in.

UI does little right in border beatdown

So much for the positive vibes after last week, when Idaho almost took down Northern Illinois. The Vandals were whitewashed in Pullman by Washington State, 42-0. It was the Cougars' first shutout since they held Idaho scoreless in 2003. And it was the first time Idaho was shut out since Week 5 a year ago against North Carolina.

We've got quotes, notes and our story to pass along. And if you want a rundown of the heated exchange between Paul Petrino and Mike Leach, Christian Caple has the details here.

Tale of the tape: WSU 42, Idaho 0


FROM PULLMAN — It's late, but we've climbed from beneath the crush of another tight deadline to pass along our usual tale of the tape. Read on.

Chiefs begin season with strong effort

True, true, true: It's just one game. But would you rather begin your season with a 6-2 win or a 6-2 loss? The Spokane Chiefs did the former, not the latter, as their 2013-14 Western Hockey League season began in grand style Saturday night in Kennewick. Read story

WSU holds on final series, clinches shutout of Idaho

(A short preview of our final game story)

PULLMAN – Washington State’s defensive players could feel the end zone against their backs, lined up against Idaho with the Vandals looking at a 1st-and-goal from WSU’s 2-yard line in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

Idaho rushed. It lost a yard. It passed. The ball fell incomplete. Then it tested the middle of the Cougars’ defensive line. Two yards, to the 1. Then again up the middle on fourth down. Nothing, a ferocious goal line stand giving the ball back to WSU and sent the few remaining fans in Martin Stadium into a frenzy.

They yelled. They leapt. They rejoiced.

The Cougars won the game 42-0.

But that final series felt as meaningful as any for WSU this season, as it clinched its first shutout since a 25-0 victory over Idaho in a 2003 game at CenturyLink Field.

They wanted this one badly, and the desire to notch their first shutout in a decade was already burning.

And then …

“You know, what really got us going was coach (Mike) Leach,” said senior safety Deone Bucannon.

Accurate. Leach about lost his mind after a highly questionable roughing the passer penalty against linebacker Eric Oertel gave the Vandals a first down at WSU’s 5-yard line. Leach so fervently objected to the call that he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, a call that made the stadium louder and moved Idaho to the 2-yard line.

“He was fired up,” Bucannon said, “and if the coach is fired up, we better be fired up.”

“That was something special,” defensive lineman Xavier Cooper said of the final stop. “That really shows what type of football team we are. When it comes down to the goal line situations, we really showed up as a defense. That’s our personality. We’re going to come in here and fight for all four quarters.”

Leach had little to say about the penalty – either of them – but was pleased with the result. The Cougars had their second-string defense in the game for most of that final series, but a few first-stringers — such as Bucannon and linebacker Darryl Monroe — ended the game on the field.

“Without commenting on penalties and all, I felt like our guys deserved a shutout, should get it, and so they did,” Leach said. “So that turned out well.”

WSU defeats Idaho 42-0

S-R photojournalist Tyler Tjomsland covered the WSU vs. University of Idaho game in Pullman.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

Chiefs open with big win

Assistant captain and 20-year-old Mitch Holmberg accounted for three goals and one assist Saturday night as the Spokane Chiefs opened their Western Hockey League season with a 6-2 win over the Tri-City Americans at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Story to come.

Chiefs’ offense is clicking in opener

Mitch Holmberg already has a hat trick after two periods as the Spokane Chiefs lead the Tri-City Americans 6-2 in the Western Hockey League season opener for both teams at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. Holmberg's first two goals came 2 minutes, 48 second apart in the first period. His third goal came with 5 seconds left in the second period. He also has an assist. Mike Aviani and Connor Chartier have one goal and one assist apiece for the Chiefs, who hold a 26-18 advantage in shots on goal.

Who did you expect, Elmore Leonard?


Expectations. It's a pretty long word. And one of the toughest words to deal with in the English language. Read on.

Idaho at WSU gameday links


FROM PULLMAN — Another gameday has arrived in the Palouse, where the weather is supposed to deteriorate a bit from what it was today. It'll be dark by the time this one kicks off, anyway. Brighten up with some links.

Idaho-WSU primer, from UI’s perspective

Last season, Mike Leach’s first at Washington State, the Cougars went 3-9. This season, Paul Petrino’s first at Idaho, the Vandals are 0-3 with a daunting schedule ahead of them. Most Idaho fans would probably take a 3-9 record, all things considered.

Last season the Cougars played 17 freshmen (including redshirts), as Christian Caple notes. The Vandals played eight true freshmen last week alone.

So, yes, there are similarities between this year’s Vandals and last year’s Cougars — something Paul Petrino drew attention to this week. “They’re probably a little ahead of schedule,” he said. “They probably went through a little bit last year what we’re going through right now.”

The two Palouse teams play in Pullman at 7:30 tonight. We’ve got a primer, focusing on Idaho’s perspective, after the jump.

Gonzaga Prep defeats Ferris 38-35

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the GSL showdown between Gonzaga Prep and Ferris.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

North Central defeats Rogers 28-21

S-R photojournalist Dan Pelle covered Rogers' loss to North Central at Joe Albi on Friday.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.


Jets reassign Kichton to AHL

Brenden Kichton, last year's Western Hockey League defenseman of the year with the Spokane Chiefs, was reassigned to the AHL by the Winnipeg Jets. Read story

And we are back to football …


We've been asking you for a couple days, via a poll, if you believe Washington State and Idaho have a football rivalry. If we had asked the same question 70 years ago, there would be no question about the answer. Though then would have had to either go door-to-door or use a dial phone to ask. And we would have been really tired. Read on.

It’s Friday link time


FROM PULLMAN — Homecoming weekend is nearly upon the Washington State football team. But you're already home, so here, have some links.

Mt. Spokane defeats Central Valley 35-16

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the GSL game between Mt. Spokane and Central Valley.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.


WSU vs. OSU is sold out


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State announced Thursday that its Oct. 12 game against Oregon State at Martin Stadium has sold out.

It will be the first sellout at Martin Stadium since WSU's home opener against Eastern Washington last season, and the second since 2007.

Tickets remain for Saturday's game against Idaho, as well as the Oct. 31 game against Arizona State and the Nov. 12 game against Utah. Tickets also remain for WSU's Sept. 28 game against Stanford at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Breske speaks, plus Thursday Night Football


FROM PULLMAN — What would a Thursday be without Thursday Night Football and a conversation with Mike Breske? Why, it wouldn't be Thursday at all. Read on.

Kennedy signs with pro team in Germany

Former Lewis and Clark High star Brittany Kennedy has signed to play professional basketball in Germany. Read story

A baseball interlude in football season


I know no one is thinking about the Mariners right now. After all, they are mired in mediocrity (again) and football season has taken all our time (again). But a couple things happened yesterday that may have ramifications down the road. So we couldn't let them pass. Read on.

Eric Russell’s Idaho start, plus links


FROM PULLMAN — Today marks Washington State's final practice before it faces Idaho on Saturday. It is also my mother's 58th birthday. What does this mean for the Cougars? Likely not much. But it is a fine day nonetheless. Read on for links.

Graves looks at program, coming year

Gonzaga women's basketball coach Kelly Graves talks to College Hoops Journal: Read story

Chiefs ranked sixth in Massey Ratings

The Massey Ratings, compiled by Kenneth Massey with the assistance of OurSports Central, list the Spokane Chiefs at No. 6 among 22 Western Hockey League clubs. The Chiefs' offense is ranked fourth, which would probably even surprise the Chiefs. Read story

Chiefs look for big boost from Helewka

Who will pick up the scoring slack? Spokane Chiefs fans — and the Chiefs themselves — may ask that question with the Western Hockey League regular season set to begin. After all, five players who accounted for a significant amount of scoring last season are no longer on the roster, either because of graduation, trade or signing with another team. One person who could rise up and boost his offensive production is 18-year-old Adam Helewka, last year's Chiefs rookie of the year. Read story

Cougars practice, McGuire talks OL


FROM PULLMAN — The warm(ish) weather returned to the Palouse this afternoon, and Washington State's football team returned to a much dryer practice field. We have notes, along with a few comments from offensive line coach Clay McGuire.

Bruton looks back at Memorial Cup

Here's a Calgary Herald story about Chris Bruton, who will always be known as the Spokane Chiefs player who “dropped” the Memorial Cup. Read story

WSU-Idaho TV situation


FROM PULLMAN — If you live in Washington or Oregon, this doesn't apply to you. If you live anywhere else, you're going to want to read the following information from the Pac-12 about how to watch the WSU-Idaho game on Saturday.

This weekend the Washington State-Idaho and UCLA-New Mexico State games share the same telecast window and we want to make sure fans know how to get their games on Pac-12 Networks. The WSU game will be live on Pac-12 Washington and Pac-12 Oregon, while UCLA-NMSU will air on the other five Pac-12 Networks. 

DISH has set up an additional channel to give fans access to both games. The UCLA game will be on channel 413, while the Washington State-Idaho game will be on the Hopper on channel 406-02 and on non-Hopper systems on channel 5454 (HD) and 5453 (SD). 

For fans who do not get Pac-12 Washington or Pac-12 Oregon on their televisions, many of Pac-12 TV providers do allow their customers remote access to all seven of the Pac-12 Networks on computers or mobile devices. Fans can check to see if they have access by visiting and clicking on the regional network they would like to watch. If their provider is listed, they select it and enter the username and password they have established with their provider to authenticate. 

Comcast subscribers can log in on computers only through or by using the following links associated with each regional network. Fans looking for the Washington State game will need to select Pac-12 Washington or Pac-12 Oregon.

Don’t get in Red Bryant’s way


There was a GIF circulating on the Net yesterday. It featured the Hawks' Red Bryant in the starring role. Also featured, in a supporting role no one ever wants, was former Idaho star and now 49er guard Mike Iupati. Read on.

Live chat, but links first


FROM PULLMAN — 'Tis Wednesday, which means we'll spend our 1 p.m. hour taking questions from you during our live chat. First, we have live links.

Receivers, RBs, QBs stay late for WSU


FROM PULLMAN — The rain started early Tuesday afternoon and didn't stop, making this Washington State's wettest practice of the season. It was also the longest practice of the year for a select few players. Read on for details.

Winterhawks stand tall in WHL U.S. Division

Until the Spokane Chiefs, Tri-City Americans, Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips can prove otherwise, the Portland Winterhawks are the elite team in the Western Hockey League's U.S. Division. The Winterhawks are strongly favored to win the division race this 2013-14 season. Portland easily won the division title last year on the way to the WHL championship and a berth in the Memorial Cup. Spokane and Tri-City had strong seasons last year, and Seattle and Everett made it a 5-for-5 divisional showing in the postseason. Read story

Today’s subject just flitted away


Ever watch a hummingbird attack a hanging pot of flowers? It flits here and there, probing a virtual buffet of blooms before heading off, I presume, in search of a safe place to sleep off an overdose of nectar. That's how today is for me. There are so many things to go over, I'm afraid I am going to flit here and there and be overwhelmed. Heck, I've already forgotten the main piece I wanted to cover today. Had it all figured out an hour ago but can't remember it now. Too much nectar I guess. Read on.

WSU, Idaho and links


FROM PULLMAN — So this Washington State/Idaho rivalry is still a rivalry, yes? No? Doesn't seem like it from here. We touch a bit on that subject in today's newspaper, so read on for that and other links.

Kraziness set for Oct. 12

It's hard to believe but basketball season is right around the corner.

A sure sign of that is Gonzaga's Kraziness in the Kennel, the first chance for fans to check out the latest edition of the Bulldogs. The event, which features a team scrimmage, poster giveaway and autograph session, will be Saturday, Oct. 12, at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Doors open at 3 with festivities beginning at 4. If past seasons are any indication, get there early. The place is typically packed.

The Bulldogs, 32-3 last year, return starting guards Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell Jr. Sam Dower and Przemek Karnowski, backups last season to the frontcourt tandem of Elias Harris and Kelly Olynyk, both of whom have moved on to the NBA, will take on larger roles. Familiar faces returning include David Stockton, Kyle Dranginis and Drew Barham. Newcomers include freshmen Luke Meikle and Ryan Edwards, and transfers Gerard Coleman (Providence), Angel Nunez (Louisville) and Kyle Wiltjer (Kentucky). Coleman is eligible immediately and expected to contribute at the '3', Nunez, a 3/4, becomes eligible in December. Wiltjer will sit out this season under NCAA transfer rules. 

More here.

WSU vs. Stanford to kick at 7 or 7:30


FROM PULLMAN — It's going to be a late night in Seattle next week. And even later if you're watching on the east coast.

WSU's game against Stanford at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 28 will begin at either 7 p.m. on ESPN, or 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2. The Cougars also played at 7:30 at USC, and will host Idaho at 7:30 this week. They have another 7:30 game scheduled against Arizona State on Oct. 31.

Leach all business … for the most part


FROM PULLMAN — Mike Leach gave pretty standard-issue answers to nearly every question he was asked Monday, but a blase press conference turnedmore interesting when he was asked to give some Pullman-specific dating advice.

That's not exactly an original question, because Leach did something similar when he was coaching at Texas Tech. But his answer was at least amusing. We have that and the rest of Leach's session with the media transcribed below.

This column has been interrupted by a weather warning


It can be really hard to concentrate on a football game when it is constantly – and consistently – interrupted by warnings of an upcoming apocalypse. I did learn one thing, though, thanks to my Twitter feed. Seahawk fans would rather watch their team destroy the 49ers then hear about any possible tornadoes and the like. Safety first? Only if it meant Colin Kaepernick would be tackled in the end zone. Read on.

Monday links from WSU


FROM PULLMAN — With the Idaho football team making the 8-mile drive to Pullman later this week (someone else will be driving, but you get the point), WSU begins its week with the usual press conferences and a day off from practice. We begin it as usual, too. With links 'n such.

Breske on Idaho: ‘They’ve got my attention’


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State was back at it on Sunday night, getting in their brief practice before thunder, lightning and rain descended upon the Palouse. We beat the elements back to the homestead, and have the following notes to pass along.

Where WSU stands in the stats


FROM PULLMAN — With three games under its belt, I thought it'd be a good time to look at where Washington State stands in the national stats rankings. As expected, the Cougars are faring quite well defensively.

Source:'s WSU page.

Stat Rank Value
Total Offense 77 383.3
Rushing Offense 121 60.3
Passing Offense 17 323.0
Team Passing Efficiency 86 122.65
Scoring Offense T-72 27.3
Total Defense 11 268.7
Rushing Defense 76 169.0
Passing Yards Allowed 1 99.7
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 4 81.85
Scoring Defense 23 16.0
Turnover Margin 87 -0.3
3rd Down Conversion Pct T-68 0.400
4th Down Conversion Pct T-20 0.667
3rd Down Converstion Pct Defense 10 0.268
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense T-82 0.667
Red Zone Offense T-112 0.636
Red Zone Defense T-49 0.800
Net Punting 105 33.50
Punt Returns T-36 11.50
Kickoff Returns 17 27.25
First Downs Offense 51 62
First Downs Defense T-30 43
Fewest Penalties Per Game T-62 6.00
Fewest Penatly Yards Per Game T-57 49.00
Time of Possession 90 28

So WSU ranks in the nation's top 25 in four key defensive categories — pass defense (1st), pass efficiency defense (4th), total defense (11th) and scoring defense (23rd). They also rank 17th in passing offense, but just 86th in passing efficiency.

A good morning to look back … and ahead


It's not often there's a college football game played on the Palouse in which the temperature is north of 90 degrees at the start. Certainly not in Moscow, where the Idaho Vandals play inside their air-conditioned dome. But it's possible in Pullman and such was the case Saturday. Yet the weather wasn't a factor, and was not even the hottest topic as Washington State routed Southern Utah. Read on.

Day after blowout links


FROM PULLMAN — After spending the last two Sunday mornings in airport terminals, I'm spending this one in the comfort of my own apartment. Washington State will spend it, perhaps, reflecting on its thumping of Southern Utah yesterday. We have links to our coverage of said blowout, so read on.

Idaho can’t complete upset vs. NIU

It would have been a major upset — a 29-point underdog toppling a BCS bowl team from a year ago. But Idaho couldn't sustain its explosive offense as the game progressed, and Northern Illinois took control up front to pocket a 45-35 win at the Kibbie Dome.

Our game story is here. And we've got notes, as well as excerpts of an impassioned postgame news conference from Idaho coach Paul Petrino, after the jump.

Leach: ‘Bright spots in all phases’


FROM PULLMAN — Here's some of what coach Mike Leach had to say after WSU beat Southern Utah 48-10 on Saturday.

(General comments) “I thought there were real bright spots in all phases. I thought the fans were fantastic, especially our student section really turned out. Disjointed at times. I thought defensively we really heated up the second half. Offensively we did a good job of getting big plays. Had one drive where we converted a couple third-and-longs, which I thought was really good. Pretty good composure through the game. Squandered a play here and there. We’ve just got to steadily improve and get a week better.”

(Offensively) “I thought we got in a good rhythm as we went on. I thought we did some good things that way and really did start to get in a rhythm, which it was a good game for us that way and something we have to continue to build on.”

(Was this your best game here?) “Heck, if you beat SC that’s a pretty good performance. If you beat Washington, that’s a pretty good performance. It’s one that will help us get better. We improved a week this week.”

“I thought receivers improved, Connor’s (Halliday) improved. I thought our o-line improved, so it was just a good overall effort in all phases.”

(On Austin Apodaca playing) “We need to get him a few reps. I don’t think he ever entirely settled down. He needs to just settle down and go out and there and play like he does in practice. He plays real good in practice. Don’t think he ever really shook the nerves. Wish we would have had a little more time to get him more reps and get him settled down.”

(On Kache Palacio) “I thought he did some good stuff. He was explosive. Would have to see the film to know for sure, but played real fast.”

(What changed defensively in second half?) “Just get 'em off the field. We were just letting them move the ball too much, let them off the field on some third downs, then they really stoked it up and got turnovers. Then there were some that were close to turnovers. They were around the ball and in position and if you’re that close and you’re getting your hands on the ball, you’re going to end up with some of them. I thought they were in really good position, played real fast, I thought, the second half.”

(On Riley Sorenson and Isaac Dotson seeing the field) “They’ll play some more this year. They do a good job out there. Right now they provide depth.”

Tale of the tape: WSU 48, Southern Utah 10


FROM PULLMAN — Here's our usual postgame tale of the tape, this one coming after the most lopsided victory of the Mike Leach era at Washington State.

Eastern falls 33-21 at Toledo

David Fluellen rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns as Toledo outlasted Eastern Washington 33-21 on Saturday night.

Toledo's powerful ground game eased the burden on freshman quarterback Logan Woodside,who took over when starter Terrance Owens injured his knee early in the second quarter.

Cassius McDowell added 89 yards on 10 carries as the Rockets (1-2) bulled their way to 325 yards on the ground. Most of Woodside's 185 yards came on an 81-yard score to Bernard Reedy near the end of the third quarter, giving Toledo a 23-14 lead. He finished the game 14 of 24.

The Eagles (2-1) responded as Vernon Adams hit Cooper Kupp for his third touchdown pass, closing the lead to 23-21 with 14:55 left. However, Toledo answered with a 12-play, 88-yard scoring drive. A late Jermiah Detmer field goal iced the game.

Adams finished 21 of 42 for 326 yards for the Eagles.

WSU hammers Southern Utah, 48-10

PULLMAN – Connor Halliday finished Saturday’s game exactly how Washington State wanted.

That is: on the sidelines, wearing a baseball cap, watching as freshman Austin Apodaca made his collegiate debut with the Martin Stadium bleachers emptying in the fourth quarter.

That Big Sky member Southern Utah was WSU’s opponent in its home opener is of little consequence. What’s more important – and what the Cougars had yet to achieve in the Mike Leach era – was that they walk out of here with not only a victory, but a convincing one.

So 48-10 will do just fine.

This was the easiest, most complete, most dominant WSU victory since Leach was hired as coach, and it improved the Cougars to 2-1 with another likely cakewalk – Idaho, after all – waiting next weekend.

Halliday completed 32 of 41 passes for 383 yards, five touchdowns and an interception, helping to build a lead that allowed Apodaca to take over early in the fourth quarter.

Damante Horton, Daquawn Brown and Deone Bucannon each had an interception, and Horton returned his 72 yards for a touchdown. It was his second pick-6 in as many games, and third of his career. That number ties Jason David for the most in WSU history.

We'll be back later with more.

WSU defeats Southern Utah 48-10

S-R photojournalist Tyler Tjomsland covered the WSU game against Southern Utah in Pullman.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

Another packed Saturday morning


Saturday mornings are always full. There is the high school football from last night to pass along. There is the college football happening today to mix in. And, this week at least, there is a rivalry game from Seattle to add in. And, oh ya, there is the Seahawks hosting the 49ers on Sunday. Let's not forget that. Read on.

Idaho-Northern Illinois on tap in Moscow

After two weeks on the road, the Vandals' first game day in Moscow is here. Today's 2 p.m. matchup with Northern Illinois actually starts a stretch of four straight Saturdays on the Palouse for Idaho, counting next week's game at Washington State. But that doesn't mean it gets any easier for the Vandals.

We have a look at Idaho-Northern Illinois and a Q&A with Vandals' defensive end Quinton Bradley, whose main goal today is to try to bring down Huskies quarterback and Heisman hopeful Jordan Lynch.

Eastern and Big Sky links

Can the Eagles do it again, knocking off a second FBS team in as many weeks? Here's my preview of today's game against Toledo. Also, here's a preview of the game from the Eastern athletic site, and from Toledo. … Sam Houston State opens a four-game home stand today against Texas Southern. The Eagles will be in Huntsville, Texas, in a couple of weeks, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. … Fresh off a 70-7 loss to Utah, Weber State is at Utah State today. … The Billings Gazette features new Montana State quarterback Jake Bleskin, who's filling in for injured DeNarius McGhee. … The Gazette also previews today's Montana-North Dakota matchup. … Southern Utah isn't being overlooked by Washington State, as our Christian Caple reports. … Idaho State has a chance to start the season 2-0. … The top-rated offense in FCS is …. Portland State, which hosts Northern Arizona today.

It’s gameday from Pullman (and a live chat!)


FROM PULLMAN — After today, Washington State's football season will be 25 percent complete. Unless you're counting on a 13th game. Which, after the way the Cougars played last week, isn't out of the question. But Southern Utah is the focus right now. So are these links. Mmmm. Links. Read on.

Skyline defeats CDA 38-23

S-R photojournalist Kathy Plonka covered the CDA game against Skyline.  Check out this big picture gallery of her photos.

CV defeats Rogers 49-7

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the CV vs. Rogers game.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

Gate changes: What you need to know for tomorrow


FROM PULLMAN — Thought it would be a good idea to pass along some information from Washington State about which gates to use for tomorrow's home opener, since the west end of Martin Stadium is closed due to the construction of the football operations building.

First of all, Gate I, the student entrance in the northwest corner, is no longer accessible. Students will use Gate A, which is located on the east end. Fans seeking entrance to the north side of the stadium should use Gate A or Gate B, and those sitting in the south side should use Gate E, F, G or H.

Here's a handy seating chart that also lists the locations of each gate.

Cougville will still be open on what's left of Rogers Field. Just can't get into the stadium anywhere on the west end.

Mead defeats North Central 42-7

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the NC vs. Mead game at Joe Albi.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

A full weekend looms


There is a lot on our plates this weekend, and by “our,” I mean everyone who is reading this missive along with myself. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

It wasn't by design, but the story of Eastern Washington linebacker and former walk-on J.C. Agen contrasts nicely with all the ugly stuff going down at Oklahoma State. … We also had a lively live chat; here's the transcript. … One sure thing about Toledo: their kicker doesn't miss. The Toledo Blade also has a nice feature on a longtime fan. Want more? Here's a link to the  unofficial fan site, plus a link to the school's athletic site. … There's seldom much local coverage of Sam Houston State, although there's this story about a major athletic fund-raising drive, and there's always the school athletic site. … North Dakota is having problems with the running game - on both sides of the ball - as it prepares for Montana. … Sure enough, the Grizzlies have noticed … The best coverage of Southern Utah football is right here, as the Thunderbirds happen to be at Washington State this week. … At Idaho State, winning isn't a given, but it's contagious.

Horton, notes and links


FROM PULLMAN — It's the day before Washington State's home opener, and you can begin it by reading a little more about Damante Horton, and looking at some highly artistic iPhone photos of new stuff in Martin Stadium. You will enjoy it. So keep reading.

A quality nonconference home foe for Idaho

Idaho has hosted quality teams in the Kibbie Dome in recent years — Nevada with Colin Kaepernick, Boise State with Kellen Moore, the 2007 Hawaii team that went to the Sugar Bowl. But each of those opponents played in Moscow as fellow members of the Western Athletic Conference.

So when was the last time a nonconference foe with the bona fides of Northern Illinois — which will meet Idaho on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Vandals' home opener — came to the Kibbie Dome? We explore that question below and give a season ticket update.

What you’ll see at Martin Stadium


FROM PULLMAN — Martin Stadium has changed a bit since the last time Washington State played a football game here.

It's really the surroundings that have changed more so than the stadium itself, but those changes will certainly be noticeable. 

In the above photos, you'll first see the current construction progress of the Football Operations Building in the west end zone, as well as what the end-zone seating now looks like (there isn't any, which is what reduced the stadium's capacity to 32,740.

The second photo is of the new scoreboard, and you can see the smaller ribbon boards beneath it. Those are also new.

The third photo is of the new ribbon board on the facade of the premium seating structure.

Simmons on receivers, plus practice notes


FROM PULLMAN — After snapping a few photos of the new additions to Martin Stadium — those will be up in a few minutes — we had a brief chat with outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons. Then we came home, typed words on a laptop, and now you are reading those words. There are more of them about footballs and football players after the jump.

Ferris defeats Shadle Park 38-14

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered the Ferris vs. Shadle game.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

A good night to see a prep game


If you are going to see only one high school football game this year, today is probably the best day. After all, it's not often around here you get to watch a prep game and get a sun tan at the same time. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

So, who has the bigger chip on their shoulder, FCS power Eastern Washington or Toledo, which is off to an 0-2 start? Here's my story, along with an invitation to join today's Live Chat right here at noon. … There's a lack of confidence in Toledo QB Terrance Owens, according to this story. … The Toledo school web site also has several stories on the game. … Eastern's athletic department web site also has an excellent overview. …  So does Sam Houston State, which doesn't get a lot of ink unless they're playing Johnny Manziel. … Montana is preparing for a big-play North Dakota offense. … For the first time in 40 games, Montana State will have a new quarterback.

Looking at SUU on a Thursday


FROM PULLMAN — Does anyone else think Southern Utah's abbreviation just looks kind of weird? No? OK then. Regardless, we have a look at the Thunderbirds in today's newspaper, and we have our usual Pac-12 links below. Away we go.

Chiefs fall to Americans on EWU rink

It's wise not to put too much stock into preseason games, even when it means losing to a bitter rival. But the Spokane Chiefs still had a few concerns after Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Tri-City American at the Eastern Washington University Recreation Center. Read story

Wednesday notes: Washington to start


FROM PULLMAN — We have some notes and quotes to pass along from Wednesday's practice, which was fairly garden-variety. If there are football players in your garden, anyway.

Gonzaga recruit McClard backs out

Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves confirmed Wednesday that the school has granted a release to touted recruit Bayli McClard of Hanford, Calif.

McClard, a 6-foot-1 forward who was named the Fresno Bee’s Player of Year in 2012, spent one day in Spokane with her family in late August before returning home, Graves said.

“I think she just decided it was too far from home,” Graves said from the recruiting trail in Oregon.

Graves said he didn’t know McClard’s plans or if she’ll face any penalties if she wants to play college ball elsewhere. McClard had originally given Fresno State an oral commitment before changing her mind and selecting Gonzaga.

Her departure leaves Emma Wolfram, a 6-5 center from South Kamloops (British Columbia) High, as GU’s lone recruit for the 2013-14 season. The Zags graduated just two players from the 2012-13 team that won its ninth consecutive West Coast Conference title.

Spokane stocks 2014 roster

The Spokane Shock have been busy assembling their 2014 roster, re-signing nine rookies from last year’s team, including seven who saw game action. That doesn't include the veterans already under contract for 2014.

More below.

Nothing better than a great rivalry


If there is one thing Kim loves, it is a good rivalry. Dodgers/Giants. Nicklaus/Palmer. Chevy/Ford. Yep, anytime two entities were pitted together as she was growing up, she got a lot more interested. It hasn't changed. There is a rivalry this weekend she's really interested in. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

So far, the ups and downs of the Eastern Washington football schedule haven't transferred to the players, who have kept an even keel. We can discuss that and other topics during our Live Chat at noon Thursday. Just go to …The Eagles are getting a lot of respect from the Toledo players, judging from this story in the Toledo Blade …Here's a link to the official Toledo school site, and to the unofficial fan site. … Sam Houston State opens a four-game home stand this weekend. Southern is up first…. Montana should be heavily favorited to beat North Dakota this week in Grand Forks in a non-conference game. …Montana State has lost another player to injury.

Live chat, Wednesday links from WSU


FROM PULLMAN — Hey, it's Wednesday again. And hey, we have links again. So keep reading, if you're into that.

Notes from Tuesday’s practice


FROM PULLMAN — Practice this time of year gets to feeling pretty darn routine. And Tuesday's workout for Washington State was no exception. But there are always nuggets buried out there amid the mundane, and we found a few today. So read on.

17 GU games on ESPN networks

The WCC on Tuesday released its ESPN television schedule and Gonzaga will appear at least 17 times, eight in non-conference and nine in WCC play.

The ESPN schedule includes GU's non-conference matchups with Colorado State (Nov. 11, ESPNU), all three Maui Invitational games (Nov. 25-27), New Mexico State (Dec. 7, ESPNU), West Virginia (Dec. 10, ESPN), Kansas State (Dec. 21, ESPN2) and Memphis (Feb. 8, ESPN, Game Day).

Gonzaga's home-and-away showdowns with Saint Mary's (Jan. 2, March 1) and BYU (Jan. 25, Feb. 20) will be aired on ESPN's family of networks. Other GU games on ESPN outlets: Pacific, Santa Clara, Portland and San Diego (both games).

ESPN will also televise five WCC Tournament games (two quarterfinals, two semifinals, championship).

And now a word from our sponsor …


Memory can be a funny thing. There are times when you can't remember where you put the car keys when you walked through the door five minutes previously. And then there are faces from 40 years ago that you can't forget. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

I'll be at practice later today, but in the meantime, here are a few links from Eastern opponents: The biggest news came out of Bozeman, where Montana State announced that quarterback DeNarius McGhee is out indefinitely with a separated shoulder. … At Toledo, head coach Matt Campbell is defending quarterback Terrance Owens, stats from the Rockets' 38-23 loss at Missouri and a link to the school's web site. … Sam Houston State gets four straight home games (including Eastern Washington on Sept. 28) after getting pasted last week by Texas A&M. … Jim Burton of the Ogden Standard-Examiner, examines the reasons for Weber State's 70-7 blowout loss at Utah.

Tuesday means links (and other stuff)


FROM PULLMAN — Another Tuesday means Washington State's practice week begins later this afternoon. It also means the Pac-12 coaches' teleconference (yippee) and your typical look around the conference. That can be found below.

Video: Ioane Gauta on Monday

Videos courtesy of WSU Athletics.

WSU promotes Jensen to hoops assistant


FROM PULLMAN — As expected, Rod Jensen has been promoted to assistant coach by WSU coach Ken Bone.

Jensen was hired to fill the role of director of player development, but will now fill the role of assistant after the departure of Ben Johnson, who left the program last week and is headed back to Australia.

Jensen is known as a defensive specialist, so his presence as an actual assistant will allow him to work more closely with the players and teach his defensive philosophies. In his previous role — which was held for one season by former assistant Jeff Hironaka — Jensen wouldn't have been allowed to coach players on the court during practice.

Here's what we wrote when Jensen was first hired.

Leach speaks on USC, Southern Utah


FROM PULLMAN — WSU coach Mike Leach met with the media earlier today, and we have a transcription below of most of his comments.

Horton named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week


FROM PULLMAN — To nobody's surprise, Washington State cornerback Damante Horton was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after his two interceptions in WSU's 10-7 upset of Southern California.

Horton scored WSU's only touchdown on a 70-yard interception return late in the first half, then made the pick that ultimately helped seal the game in the final minutes.

Athlon Sports also named Horton its National Defensive Player of the Week.

Horton spoke with reporters earlier this afternoon, and we'll have more on that later.

More on GU’s schedule

A bit more on Gonzaga's schedule.

It's not filled with quite as many marquee non-conference dates as usual, particularly at home, but there will be numerous challenges for the Bulldogs. With the WCC's addition of Pacific, which qualified for the NCAA Tournament last year, GU's non-conference schedule shrinks by two games.

The toughest non-conference stretch — other than the Maui Invitational and meetings with Dayton, likely Baylor and possibly Syracuse — will likely come in December when Gonzaga visits West Virginia and Kansas State. There's also a Feb. 8 matchup at Memphis (ESPN's College Game Day will be there). Memphis is 5-1 against Gonzaga since 2006.

More below.

Petrino: Chalich is starter, but McCain will play

With Idaho's offense sputtering through the first two weeks of the season, coach Paul Petrino said he'll continue to platoon redshirt freshman Chad Chalich and junior Josh McCain at quarterback. But he also made clear who's atop the depth chart. “Chad’s the starter. Josh is just going to come in and play,” Petrino said.

Petrino said McCain, a junior-college transfer, gave the Vandals a nice spark with his legs in a 42-10 loss at Wyoming. Chalich, meanwhile, “played really well” in the fourth quarter, the first-year coach said. The Coeur d'Alene native has completed 41 of 59 passes (69.5 percent) this season, but Petrino reinforced that he and McCain have taken too many sacks and “both made silly mistakes.”

We have more notes from Petrino's Monday teleconference with reporters after the link.

Zags release basketball schedule

Gonzaga will play 15 home games this season (not counting the Battle in Seattle vs. South Alabama), including six non-conference games at the McCarthey Athletic Center.

There were no surprises on the official schedule released Monday by Gonzaga. Most of the opponents have been known for a while.

The top non-conference home games are against Colorado State and New Mexico State, both NCAA Tournament qualifiers last year, and rival Washington State. Colorado State knocked off Missouri before falling to eventual national champion Louisville. NMSU lost to Saint Louis in the opening round.

The road schedule is highlighted by the Maui Invitational, dates with Memphis and West Virginia, and a contest with Kansas State in Wichita.

Here's a link to the full schedule. There's also a list below.

It was a defensive-themed weekend


If you like violent, aggressive defensive football, than the past couple days has been nearly perfect for you, especially around here. It started with the Cougars and USC going toe-to-toe in the Coliseum, with WSU winning in the end. It finished yesterday with the Seahawks butting heads with Carolina and emerging with a 12-7, NFL-season-opening victory. Read on.

New week, and new hope for WSU


FROM PULLMAN — Instead of discussing the merits of a close loss, the four WSU players (along with coach Mike Leach) who meet with media this afternoon will be asked all sorts of questions about how it feels to beat USC in Memorial Coliseum. Now who saw that coming? We have links after the jump.

Looking back at USC with Leach, Breske


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State went through its usual Sunday night paces, mostly working on special teams and scout work during a short practice at Martin Stadium. We have a couple notes, plus interviews with coach Mike Leach and defensive coordinator Mike Breske.

Eastern and Big Sky links

There was no letdown Saturday for Eastern Washington, which soared past Western Oregon.  Here's my story. We also have the story in pictures from our own Tyler Tjomsland. … The Eagles' next opponent, Toledo, put a scare into Missouri of the SEC. … Sam Houston State got off to a strong start at Texas A&M before getting routed in the second half. … Elsewhere in the Big Sky, it was a tale of near misses against FBS schools, including Portland State's loss at Cal and Montana State's heartbreaker at SMU. … Northern Colorado lost 41-36 to something called Colorado State-Pueblo, which I've never heard of - that can't be good. … Utah steamrolled Weber State, while North Dakota got mashed in the Potato Bowl rivalry with Souith Dakota State. …Idaho State is 1-0 after an easy win over Dixie State.

The schedule doesn’t look all that bad anymore


When the 2013 Washington State football schedule was released, Cougar fans across the nation – OK, across the Northwest – looked at the first two games and their heads fell. Auburn at Auburn? Well, that's on us. That was our choice. But followed by USC at USC? Really? Thanks Pac-12 for such a nice, soft opener to conference play. Well, it turned out OK. Read on.

Happy morning links for WSU


FROM LOS ANGELES — As I write this, Washington State is about 30 minutes away from its estimated arrival time of 3:20 a.m. in Pullman. Feel free to pass along any photos or updates if you met the team at Bohler. Until then, here are some of the more upbeat day-after links you've read in a while. Read on.

Video: Andrew Furney and Gunnar Eklund

A disclaimer: these will all be a bit shaky because I was writing furiously as everyone was talking. But, here you go.

Tale of the tape: WSU 10, USC 7


FROM LOS ANGELES — It will be a happy flight home for WSU, which pulled off a 10-7 upset of No. 25 Southern California at Memorial Coliseum on Saturday night. We have our usual tale of the tape below.

Offense stalls, but Cougs find way to beat USC

Each team seemingly did what it could to muck this game up until one of them got out of its own way. And what do you know it, the Cougars were the first to accomplish that feat, crafting a 10-7 victory of one of the ugliest football games you’ll ever want to see, but in the end, it was beautiful for those colored crimson, and it was a win over USC in Memorial Coliseum, something the Cougars haven’t done since 2000. And it’s the Cougars’ first win over a ranked opponent since they beat Oregon at Martin Stadium in 2006. Here is the game story. We will have more later.

EWU vs. Western Oregon (Sept. 7)

S-R photojournalist Tyler Tjomsland covered EWU's home game against Western Oregon.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.  Eastern won the game 43-14. 

Mistakes haunt Idaho in loss at Wyoming

Idaho forced punts on Wyoming's first four possessions, but a fumble from Chad Chalich near midfield sparked the Cowboys, who routed the Vandals 42-10 at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie. The Vandals gave up seven sacks, struggled on third down and were shut out until Austin Rehkow's field goal with 6:15 left in the fourth quarter. Idaho running back James Baker punched in a touchdown with 18 seconds remaining to give the Vandals their only touchdown — and just their second TD of the season.

More after the jump.

Saturday starts with looking back


If you want, this would be a good time to do a little dance. It's Saturday. A college football Saturday. Cue the music. Read on.

UI gets another shot at Smith, Wyoming

The Idaho football team arrived in Laramie, Wyo., yesterday afternoon, so it will have had about 24 hours to acclimate itself to the altitude by today’s 2 p.m. local time kickoff (1 p.m. PDT) at Wyoming. But playing at 7,220 feet at War Memorial Stadium — the highest-elevated Division I football venue — isn’t what concerns Vandals coach Paul Petrino.

Brett Smith and the Cowboys’ offense are much big worries. Just like they were to Robb Akey and his staff at Idaho last September. We’ve got a primer on today’s rematch after the link.

Eastern and Big Sky links

Seven days after the big win in Corvallis, the Eagles are home for Western Oregon. Here is my preview story, plus another from SWX. … Western Oregon's team is covered in the school web site. … Eastern's next opponent, Toledo, faces Missouri and former Rockets' coach Gary Pinkel. … Sam Houston State will get the full attention of Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel, whose half-game suspension is behind him. … Likewise, Utah is vowing not to look past Weber State today. … North Dakota faces South Dakota State today in the Potato Bowl. … This week's game against Fort Lewis should be a breather for Southern Utah, which knocked off FBS South Alabama last week and visits Washington State next Saturday. … Montana State looks to knock off Southern Methodist today.

Live chat, gameday links from L.A.


FROM LOS ANGELES — The last time Washington State won a football game in this city against Southern California, George W. Bush and Al Gore were arguing over who had won the presidential election. The Cougars have about 13 and a half hours before they take the field to try to end that streak. We have links before they do.

East Valley vs. Sandpoint (Sept. 6)

S-R photojournalist Kathy Plonka covered the East Valley High game against Sandpoint High. East Valley defeated Sandpoint 37-21. Check out this big picture gallery of her photos.

Shadle Park vs. Rogers (Sept. 6)

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered Shadle Park's opener against Rogers.  Shadle Park won 62-14. Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

Ferris vs. Central Valley (Sept. 6)

S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the Ferris vs. Central Valley game.  Ferris defeated Central Valley 42-14.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

Mt. Spokane defeats North Central 28-19

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered Mt. Spokane's win against North Central.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.

Gow attends prospects camp

Spokane Chiefs defenseman Reid Gow received a free-agent invitation to play with the St. Louis Blues this weekend at the Traverse City (Mich.) Prospects Tournament. Gow, 19, is a former Western Hockey League scholastic player of the year who has described himself as the team's numbers “nerd.” Read story

Hallelujah, the NFL is back


You would have thought the second coming was imminent. Or at least a cure for cancer. Nope. Just the opening of the NFL season. Oh that. You mean something really important. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

A big part of Eastern's win over Oregon State was the Eagles' offensive line, including left guard Steven Forgette. Here's my feature on the senior from Vancouver. …We also had a live chat yesterday, and here's the transcript. … Elsewhere, here's a link to the fooball web site for Western Oregon, the Eagles' opponent on Saturday. … From the Toledo Blade, a story on the Rockets' unung hero. …. USA Today poses the  question: does Sam Houston State have a chance to knock off Texas A&M?  Here's a link to the Sam Houston school web site. … Weber State had 315 yrds rushing last week in a win over Stephen F. Austin. Can the Wildcats do the same against Utah? … Shifting gears, a columnist urges North Dakota and ND State to renew their rivalry. … Like Eastern, the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah knocked off an FBS school last week, and now step down a notch. … Montana is off this week, but the Missoulian is still gushing over the Grizzlies' 30-6 win last week over Appalachian State. …Idaho State opens its season on Saturday against Dixie State, and here's a preview from the Idaho State Journal.

WSU unveils new basketball unis


FROM PULLMAN — We start today's links with an item we didn't get to last night: the unveiling of new uniforms for the men's basketball team. They have words on them. Read on.

Mead vs. University (Sept. 5)

S-R photojournalist Colin Mulvany covered Mead's game against University High in the GSL opener at Joe Albi, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013.  Check out this big picture gallery of his photos.  The game was suspended at half-time because of lightning and will be replayed on Saturday night.

Next stop L.A. for Cougars


FROM PULLMAN — After the Friday walk-through, that is. But Washington State's week of real, official practices is over, and the team will board a plane for  Los Angeles tomorrow as it prepares to face USC on Saturday. We have a few notes from today's practice.

This is the year


We have a bit of a sports-related inferiority complex here in the Northwest. Year after year of losing will do that to you. But, in the professional ranks at least, we may be able to kick that this season. Read on.

Eastern and Big Sky links

Eastern Washington is now the hunted, with Division II Western Oregon coming to Cheney on Saturday. Here's our preview story. An don't forget our live chat today at noon at … Here's a link to the Western Oregon web site. … From Toledo, a commentary on the Rockets' opener at Florida. …Sam Houston State takes on Texas A&M this weekend. I wonder if any of the Bearkat players will ask Johnny Manziel for an autograph. … Weber State also is stepping up in class, facing Utah; here's an early look. …. It's the same for Montana State, which is preparing for a warm game at SMU. …  Not so for North Dakota, which faces San Diego State.

Linking into Thursday with WSU


FROM PULLMAN — It's the final day of practice for Washington State before it heads out on another tough road trip. We have links to get you through another tough morning.

Russell talks Marqise Lee


FROM PULLMAN — The Cougars went through their usual Wednesday paces at practice, peppering in a ton of scout preparation with some special teams work. The latter is the focus of this post. Keep reading, por favor.

A sad departure from Pullman


Change is inevitable, really. Nothing stays the same. Heck, even the Mariners will probably avoid the cellar this season. But sometimes change can evoke feelings of sadness. Today, the change we are going to address does just that. Read on.

Eagle football links

The Eagles were back at practice Tuesday afternoon, determined to one day look back fondly and enjoy the win over Oregon State. Tuesday was not that day, however, as the Eagles focused on Western Oregon. … We'll discuss both games tomorrow at noon during our weekly live chat at spokesman/com/blogs/sportslink. See you then. … Looking back one more time, OSU head coach Mike Riley conceded that there's good talent at the FCS level. … What goes around … :It turns out that Oregon State passed on Vernon Adams during recruiting. That's not stunning news, but the assistant in charge of the Southern California region where Adams lived? None other than Beaver defensive coordinator Mark Banker.  … Western Oregon doesn't get much media coverage, but here's a link to the schoo web site. … The Missoulian has an interesting set of Big Sky notes.

Live chat, plus WSU links


FROM PULLMAN — Make sure to swing by at 1 p.m. for our live chat this afternoon. It sure will be a blast. Also, there are links below.

Idaho practices with band in the stands

On Tuesday, Idaho had its first full practice since losing 40-6 at North Texas on Saturday. Much of the Vandals' focus was cleaning up self-inflicted mistakes — small and large — that marred Paul Petrino's head-coaching debut. And to help the team get ready for a second straight road game, Petrino brought in around a dozen members of the band to play music and be rowdy during practice in the Kibbie Dome. They were successful on both fronts.

We've got a few practice notes to pass along as the Vandals prep to play at Wyoming on Saturday (1 p.m., ROOT Sports).

A pair of CBs sit for Cougs


FROM PULLMAN — Phew. OK. With deadline responsibilities out of the way, we can tell you about today's football practice. There isn't much to tell. But there is some, so keep reading.

Pac-12 releases full TV schedule


FROM PULLMAN — Catching up on today's news after football practice and such. Here's our story about WSU's men's basketball schedule.

Nearly all of Washington State’s basketball games will be televised this season, and most of them by the Pac-12 Networks.

Fourteen of the Cougars’ 18 league games will air on the Pac-12 Networks, with three of the other four airing on ESPNU, and the regular-season finale against UCLA in Pullman airing on FOX Sports 1. At least 28 WSU games will be televised overall.

WSU opens the Pac-12 season on the road at Arizona and Arizona State, and its first conference home game will be played in Spokane against Colorado on Jan. 8.

Nearly gone from the schedule are the traditional Thursday-Saturday matchups during Pac-12 play. WSU plays just one such weekend – its games against USC and UCLA to close the season. The Cougars play two Thursday-Sunday weekends (both on the road, at the Arizona and Oregon schools), as well as two Wednesday-Sunday weekends (both at home, against the Oregon schools and Colorado and Utah).

WSU’s schedule also includes a Friday game on Feb. 28 at Washington. Seven of the Cougars’ Pac-12 games will begin at 7 p.m. or later.

The full season schedule, with TV and game times, is posted below.

Ben Johnson moving back to Australia


FROM PULLMAN — WSU announced Tuesday that assistant coach Ben Johnson has “decided to leave” the men’s basketball program. Coach Ken Bone told the Spokesman-Review that Johnson plans to move back to Cairns, Australia, where he played and coached for several years. Johnson’s wife is also from Cairns, and Johnson was the primary recruiter of a handful of Australian players who came through the program in the last decade — Aron Baynes, Brock Motum and Dexter Kernich-Drew among them.

Johnson began as an assistant in 2004 under former coach Dick Bennett, eventually coaching under Dick’s son, Tony, and was the lone holdover from Bennett’s staff when coach Ken Bone was hired in 2009.

Bone said that when he kept Johnson on staff upon his arrival at WSU, Johnson told him he planned to move back to Australia at some point in the future.

“We were very fortunate to have him in the program the last four years,” Bone said. “He’s just a great person. High character, great basketball knowledge. He’s been a huge asset to our program.”

Bone said he wasn’t sure if Johnson has accepted another coaching job. He also said newly hired director of player development Rod Jensen, renowned as a defensive specialist, is “definitely” a candidate to replace Johnson as assistant. Bone hopes to fill that position “real soon,” and said he’s spoken with candidates in the past 48 hours.

This is the second departure from WSU’s coaching staff in the past few months. Jeff Hironaka left to take an assistant job at Portland State over the summer after spending a season in a lesser role as director of player development.

Ray Lopes was hired from Idaho last summer. Curtis Allen is now the last remaining assistant from Bone's initial staff.

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple

There once was a time …


As the calendar turns to September, the power of football, be it the Seahawks or the local colleges and high schools, begins to assert itself. There is little room for anything else. It wasn't always that way around here. Baseball used to be relevant after Labor Day. Not anymore. And we are beginning to wonder if it every will bounce back. Read on.

Following up on Eastern’s big win

After a day off I'm back on the links, and I don't mean golf. Who has the time, what with Eastern Washington football still making news after the big win over Oregon State? In case you missed it, here's Monday's follow-up story, and this morning's piece on the awards pouring in for quarterback Vernon Adams. And this just in: Eastern has moved up two spots, to second, in the weekly FCS poll. How are the Eastern players reacting to all of this? I'll try to find out this afternoon at practice; then we can talk about it Thursday during our weekly live chat. Now, on with the links.

Another Tuesday rolls through


FROM PULLMAN — It's Tuesday again — funny how it seems to keep coming around — which means a day full of teleconferences and football practice and writing. In other words: the season is in full swing. So gather 'round and get your links.

Talking WSU on SWX


FROM PULLMAN — On Mondays throughout the football season, I'll make a brief appearance on SWX's nightly sports show with producer/all-around good dude Neil Stover. We filmed the first of our interviews today at Martin Stadium, and you can watch it below.

SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

WSU depth chart, Week 2


FROM PULLMAN — A quick post to pass along WSU's depth chart, which remains pretty much the same as last week. 


X 88 Isiah MYERS 6-0 185 JR
80 Dom WILLIAMS 6-2 192 SO*
or 1 Vince MAYLE 6-3 240 SR
Y 84 River CRACRAFT 6-0 198 FR
82 Bobby RATLIFF 6-2 198 JR*
LT 63 Gunnar EKLUND 6-7 300 SO*
79 Pierson VILLARRUBIA 6-4 293 FR*
LG 56 Joe DAHL 6-4 290 SO*
66 Matt GOETZ 6-4 270 SR*
C 60 Elliot BOSCH 6-4 280 SR* 
70 Zach BREVICK 6-5 278 SR*
RG 77 John FULLINGTON 6-5 301 SR
58 Riley SORENSON 6-4 304 FR
RT 76 Rico FORBES 6-6 300 SR*
73 Eduardo MIDDLETON 6-5 318 FR*
H 19 Brett BARTOLONE 5-10 187 SO
5 Rickey GALVIN 5-8 178 JR*
Z 84 Gabe MARKS 6-0 176 SO 
18 Kristoff WILLIAMS 6-2 216 JR*
QB 12 Connor HALLIDAY 6-4 190 JR*
17 Austin APODACA 6-3 193 FR*
RB 34 Teondray CALDWELL 5-8 198 SO
or 35 Marcus MASON 5-9 188 JR
T 98 Kalafitoni POLE 6-1 302 JR*
52 Darryl PAULO 6-2 262 SO*
NT 95 Ioane GAUTA 6-3 285 SR
92 Robert BARBER 6-3 297 FR*
E 96 Xavier COOPER 6-4 303 SO*
71 Matthew BOCK 6-2 270 SR*
BUCK 97 Destiny VAEAO 6-4 290 SO
40 Kache PALACIO 6-2 225 SO
SAM 42 Cyrus COEN 6-0 215 JR
21 Eric OERTEL 6-1 208 SR
MIKE 13 Darryl MONROE 6-1 235 SO*
37 Jared BYERS 6-0 218 SR*
WILL 10 Justin SAGOTE 6-0 218 SR
33 Tana PRITCHARD 6-3 220 SO*
FCB 6 Damante HORTON 5-10 175 SR 
25 Daquawn BROWN 5-11 170 FR
SS 20 Deone BUCANNON 6-1 215 SR
4 Anthony CARPENTER 6-0 195 SR*
FS 30 Taylor TALIULU 5-11 196 SO
22 Casey LOCKER 5-11 195 SR*
BCB 2 Nolan WASHINGTON 5-11 182 SR*
27 Tracy CLARK 5-11 187 JR*
P 46 Mike BOWLIN 6-4 215 SR*
44 Wes CONCEPCION 6-0 185 JR
PK 49 Andrew FURNEY 5-10 210 SR
46 Mike BOWLIN 6-4 215 SR*
KO 46 Mike BOWLIN 6-4 215 SR*
49 Andrew FURNEY 5-10 210 SR
LS 65 Alex DEN BLEYKER 5-10 235 JR
70 Zach BREVICK 6-5 278 SR*
H 17 Austin APODACA 6-3 193 FR*
46 Mike BOWLIN 6-4 215 SR*
PR 23 Leon BROOKS 5-7 166 SR*
19 Brett BARTOLONE 5-10 179 SO
KOR 34 Teondray CALDWELL 5-8 189 SO
35 Marcus MASON 5-9 190 JR

Video: Mike Leach on Monday



FROM PULLMAN — Above is a video of Mike Leach's Monday press conference. We have some additional quotes below.

Video: Justin Sagote on Monday

Courtesy, as usual, of WSU Athletics.

Halliday evaluates Auburn loss, offensive progress


FROM PULLMAN — Here's much of what Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday told the media earlier this afternoon.

Adams is FCS Player of the Week

Not surprisingly, the national accolades are pouring in for Eastern Washington University quarterback Vernon Adams.

Today, the sensational sophomore was selected by The Sports Network as its NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Offensive Player of the Week after leading fourth-ranked EWU to a 49-46 victory over 25th-ranked Oregon State from the Pac-12 Conference foe on Saturday.

Adams finished with a school-record 518 yards of total offense in the win over Oregon State. He had four touchdown passes and rushed for two TDs, and scored the winning points with a 2-yard run with 18 seconds to play.

In addition to the honor from TSN, Adams is also one of four FBS/FCS nominees for Capital One Impact Performer of the Week (voting now taking place at

He was also selected as College Sports Madness National FCS Offensive Player of the Week and that organization’s Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

Happy Labor Day to all


It's Labor Day. So it's appropriate we were laboring to get through this morning's links. But we've done it. Read on.

A new week begins at WSU


FROM PULLMAN — It's never easy for a college football team to shake off a loss as frustrating as WSU's 31-24 defeat at Auburn on Saturday. But the Cougars don't have time to dwell on it. USC awaits on Saturday. We'll meet with coach Mike Leach and players later this afternoon at this week's press conference, but first, we have links.

Leach, Breske look back on Auburn


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State practiced for about an hour and 15 minutes tonight, going without pads and doing some initial scout work on USC. There was also dodgeball involved. We have a few notes, as well as some additional assessment of the Auburn game from coach Mike Leach and defensive coordinator Mike Breske.

A fun-filled Sunday morning post


You know that wonderful pro football saying “next man up?” Well, it applies to other professions as well. Including this one. Read on.

Eastern’s big win, the morning after

 PORTLAND - Everybody has a story, as they say, and they all begged to be told in the wake of Eastern Washington’s 49-46 win last night over Oregon State.

But I couldn’t, even in the longest game story I’ve every written in my short time covering the Eagle football team, and even after interviewing roughly two dozen players and coaches.

 Besides Vernon Adams, whose record-breaking game will long be remembered here and in Cheney, there were more than enough stories to go around:

There was Brandon Murphy, the offensive lineman from nearby Albany, a high school star who the OSU coaching staff decided “wasn't quite what the coaches wanted,” he recalled after the game, where he helped the Eagles amass 625 yards of total offense.

Eastern upset links, and more

Eastern Washington pulled off one of the biggest upsets in school history Saturday, knocking off Oregon State 49-46. Here's my story from Corvallis, plus a video from the postgame celebration.  The Oregonian had several reports, including this feature on the Eagles, a commentary on the game and a photo essay with some nice photos of the Eagles. The hometown Corvallis Gazette-Times also head several stories. …Elsewhere, Montana won handily against Appalachian State, Weber State outscored Stephen F. Austin, South Dakota edged Cal Davis, Northern Colorado thrashed a school named Langston and Cal Poly handled San Diego.

EWU celebration video

Moments after the game ended, I shot this short video of Eastern Washington fans and players celebrating their 49-46 win over Oregon State on Saturday night.

Quick WSU postgame links


FROM ATLANTA — A hotel booking mishap (don't ask) has us putting together a few links from the lobby of a Courtyard near the airport. This will have to be brief.

– Here's our game story that will run in Sunday's newspaper, along with our notebook, keys to the game and scoring summary.

– We had our tale of tape on the blog, along with a bunch of video.

– Here's John Blanchette's column.

– Here's Bud Withers' column and game notebook.

– Here's a bunch of stuff from the Auburn side at

– Here's the AP story.

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SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpe) Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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John Blanchette (@SRjblanchette) John Blanchette is a freelance writer who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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