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Posts tagged: Mike Leach

Kevin Griffin leaves Washington State football program

I can confirm that freshman cornerback Kevin Griffin has left the Washington State football program, as indicated on his Twitter account.

Griffin played in three games this past season and made his first and only start in WSU's win at Oregon State. He finishes his career at WSU with two tackles.

Follow the jump for more.

WSU denies Houston report that Leach interested in UH job

Houston reporter David Nuño set the Washington State Twittersphere ablaze with the above tweet, saying that Cougars coach Mike Leach could be interested in the vacant position at the University of Houston.

WSU officials doused the flames with a tweet of their own.

For what it's worth, the report didn't make much sense on first glance. Nuño did say “if buyout and contract issues could be worked out” but it's hard to see how they could be. Leach currently makes $2.7 million, which is more than twice as much as UH has been willing to pay its football coaches. Furthermore, he has an expensive buyout that is currently $2.25 million and will continue to be that high, as athletic director Bill Moos plans to roll over Leach's contract.

Key numbers from the WSU season

WSU finished the regular season with the nation's No. 1 passing offense margin, throwing for 477.7 yards per game.

How good was Washington State at moving the ball through the air? Well, Western Kentucky was No. 2 in that category with 365 passing yards, or 112.7 yards per game than the Cougars.

All those yards didn't always produce points, however, and the Cougars were merely 45th in scoring offense. In sports the numbers never tell the whole story, but they can serve as a pretty compelling guide.

We take a look at some of the numbers that define WSU's 2014 season after the jump.

WSU defensive coordinator Mike Breske dismissed

The day after Washington State's season ended with a 31-13 Apple Cup loss, Mike Leach dismissed defensive coordinator Mike Breske and outside linebackers coach Paul Volero.

“We decided to make a change and wish them the best,” Leach said.

More on WSU's coaching change after the jump.

(Update 7:12 p.m. — I have been told that defensive line coach Joe Salave'a has been promoted to assistant head coach.)

WSU practice: one last underclassmen scrimmage

WSU held its final Thursday Night Football scrimmage of the season before heading off for Thanksgiving celebrations.

We have our report on the young guys who stood out after the jump.

WSU practice: last full one of the season

If the Cougars stick to their normal weekly routine then today's practice was the last full one of the season.

Washington State will have a morning practice tomorrow and then head to the bowling alley for Thanksgiving food and activities.

Our report from today's practice is after the jump.

WSU practice: no sign of Vince Mayle

Washington State's most dominant receiver wasn't at practice on Tuesday but still got some bad news afterward.

Vince Mayle already holds WSU single season records with 101 receptions for 1,404 yards. He's had two games with more than 250 receiving yards this season. But he wasn't one of the three Biletnikoff Award semifinalists announced by the Quarterback Club of Tallahassee today.

Who was? Alabama's Amari Cooper for one. OK, good decision, he's widely considered college football's best receiver and the only pass-catcher who's a serious Heisman candidate. Also Colorado State's Rashard Higgins was named a finalist. Makes sense, his team is 10-1 and the sophomore receiver leads the nation with 1,447 receiving yards and with 15 touchdown receptions, despite missing one game with a shoulder injury.

But the third finalist? West Virginia's Kevin White? He's had some pretty ridiculous catches on Sportscenter this season but the Mountaineers aren't having an exceptional year and Mayle has him beat in most meaningful receiving categories.

He'll have a chance to pad those statistics in the Apple Cup according to his coaches, despite his Tuesday absence.

When asked if the team would have Mayle available on Saturday coach Mike Leach replied, “Yes, we should. We're all healthy. Why wouldn't we?”

We've got a practice report after the jump.

Mike Leach Monday press conference

Here is a video of Mike Leach addressing the media during Washington State's Monday press conference, courtesy of WSU Athletics. A transcription of the highlights is available after the jump.

Morning links: Luke Falk has already overcome many obstacles

Today we have a feature story on Luke Falk and his winding path to becoming Washington State's starting quarterback.

We supplement that story with a sidebar about Falk's sisters, a pair of country music singers living in Nashville.

There are more WSU and Pac-12 links after the jump.

WSU underclassmen scrimmage indoors

Keith Harrington starred on Thursday Night Football again. That's not unusual. But he did it in an unusual setting today.

Because of a suggestion to coach Mike Leach made by injured quarterback Connor Halliday during a recent phone call, the Cougars have practiced indoors all week to prepare for the unseasonably warm temperature they'll play in this weekend.

We've got a report from WSU's weekly underclassmen scrimmage after the jump.

No practice report tonight

Conflicting duties mean we won't be able to bring you a practice report tonight. The Cougars  practiced for about two hours in their indoor practice bubble, as they have all week, to prepare for Saturday's game at Arizona State.

WSU embraces the heat

Washington State took to its indoor practice bubble, a clime much closer to what it will see this weekend in sunny Tempe.

We reporters are allowed to watch the first 15 minutes or so of practice (we typically stay a little longer) but the practice bubble is rather opaque so we didn't see as much as usual after that. What we did see I've summarized after the jump.

Monday WSU press conference

Kache Palacio's weekly improvement culminated in a dominant performance in WSU's 39-32 win over OSU.

All three of his tackles were for a loss, including a pair of sacks, pushing the Beavers back a total of 21 yards in WSU's 39-32 win.

Mike Leach said on Monday that it was probably Palacio's best game since he enrolled at WSU. But he also had some funny words to say about Palacio's position – a hybrid linebacker/defensive end. Leach doesn't seem to care how they define Palacio's position, as long as he keeps getting sacks.

“I don't even pay attention to what a Buck is. There's either edge guys or there's not, you know? All this fancy defensive terminology, I get tired of it,” Leach said. “There's a guy on the edge that's going to rush the hell out of the passer or … that's it. I think we've done a good job and I think as we've gotten more speed on the field at the edge positions it's helped us.”

We're not going to be able to post so many videos for a little while as we transition to a newer, cooler SportsLink. But here are links to today's videos of Leach, Cyrus Coen, Kache Palacio and Joe Dahl.

All of Leach's comments are transcribed after the jump.

Cougars spend Sunday night prepping for ASU

The Cougars practiced early yesterday watched the team they just beat (OSU) knock off the team they play next (ASU).

They took the field on Sunday night for a short, late practice to begin preparing to replicate OSU's success and send the Sun Devils on a losing streak.

Our practice report is after the jump.

WSU practices early and indoors

The Washington State went into the indoor practice bubble for a Saturday morning practice in order to turn up the heat and replicate the conditions they'll face next weekend in Tempe, Arizona. The practices are closed but the team let the media in for the Thursday Night Football so we have some notes on that after the jump. We've also got this highlight, courtesy of Gabe Marks' Instagram account.


Still got it.

A video posted by therealjosemarks (@thenewyorkmeths9) on

Cougars coaches return for a quick scrimmage

WSU's coaches have fanned out across the country to recruit during the bye week.

But all were back in Pullman on Thursday to lead a quick practice that consisted primarily of a Thursday Night Football scrimmage.

Our practice report is after the jump.

Young defenders impress during Thursday Night Football

There were impressive performances on both sides of the ball during WSU's weekly underclassmen scrimmage.

Peyton Bender showed some initial promise before the offense bogged down, and Gabe Marks and Keith Harrington were steady as always. But it was individual standouts on the defensive side of the ball that stole the show on Saturday, particularly a pair of emerging linebackers and a defensive lineman that has dominated all year long.

More on Thursday's practice and scrimmage after the jump.

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. 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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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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