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Washington State football chat transcript - 10/4

Washington State Cougars running back Jamal Morrow (25) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown to take the lead against USC during the second half of a college football game on Friday, September 29, 2017, at Martin Stadium. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars running back Jamal Morrow (25) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown to take the lead against USC during the second half of a college football game on Friday, September 29, 2017, at Martin Stadium. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

The live chat runs from 10-11 a.m. every Wednesday. Submit your questions below.

Oct 4, 10:02 AM

srchat (Admin): OK, let’s get started. One quick programming note. Next week’s live chat will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, not Wednesday. I’ll be traveling to the Bay Area on Wednesday, so we’re just bumping things up a day.

Oct 4, 10:03 AM

srchat (Admin): First question was from Uncle Larry, but I accidentally pressed the red “dismiss” button (Sorry, Larry!) He was asking about B.J. Salmonson’s play…

Oct 4, 10:05 AM

srchat (Admin): So, to answer. No, I don’t think it was concerning. He was one of the guys they rolled out to talk to the media and usually you don’t get that privilege if you play poorly. I still do think the O-line is a work in progress. Falk is taking far too many sacks and he took a few other hits that weren’t charted.

Oct 4, 10:05 AM

GoCougs (Guest): Do you expect the Speed D to stack the box to force the back-up/true freshman to throw the ball? Can our secondary shut down the Oregon receivers by playing man coverage?

Oct 4, 10:08 AM

srchat (Admin): I think Royce Freeman/Kani Benoit will be the primary focus of film study this week. Hard to prepare for two quarterbacks, but you know the Ducks want to run. A few of the Oregon players said they’d expect the Cougs to stack the box. Seems like it wouldn’t be a bad move. This group of UO receivers doesn’t look nearly as talented as a few of the ones in the past, so I’d say yes. Then you add in the inexperience at QB….

Oct 4, 10:08 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): Are you surprised that Oregon is picked to win despite losing its starting QB and slew of other important players? Oregon is improved but considering what they’ve done this season and with their injuries one would think that it would at the very list be a pick’em??

Oct 4, 10:10 AM

srchat (Admin): It’s a little surprising. Herbert’s a big loss, for sure, but seems like the rest of those guys will play on Saturday. Autzen’s loud and the Cougs haven’t hit the road yet.

Oct 4, 10:10 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): Who do you think impressed the NFL scouts more Luke Falk or Alex Grinch!!!?

Oct 4, 10:10 AM

srchat (Admin): Tough to say, but I’m sure the New York Jets wouldn’t mind having both around next year.

Oct 4, 10:10 AM

bellevuecoug: I think Freeman is hurt. I think the Ducks play their third-string QB. I think the Cougs roll by 80 points. Thoughts?

Oct 4, 10:11 AM

srchat (Admin): Freeman practiced today. I think he plays Saturday. That’s one tough dude. If the Cougs roll by 80, I’ll let you administer next week’s live chat. How about that?

Oct 4, 10:13 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): What was with all the drops? And how will Leach address it other than “Do your job”?

Oct 4, 10:16 AM

srchat (Admin): Falk told us they were a little antsy at the start of the game. The players in general, not necessarily the receivers. Don’t know if any sweeping changes are needed, they just have to make plays. If they don’t, 80 shovels per game Morrow/Boobie. Ha.

Oct 4, 10:17 AM

srchat (Admin): for Morrow/Boobie*

Oct 4, 10:17 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): I heard they lost a starting line backer for the year and Charles Nelson and another wide receiver got hurt. Do they expect Charles Nelson to play, that guy is really fast and good?

Oct 4, 10:18 AM

srchat (Admin): It looks like Nelson’s been at practice, but hasn’t been a full participant. Yes, he’s one of the most versatile players in the conference, maybe country.

Oct 4, 10:18 AM

Cold Tired Alone (Guest): Oregon has rebounded well from their disastrous year last year. I know it’s early, but what is the biggest reason for their quick turnaround?

Oct 4, 10:20 AM

srchat (Admin): Don’t know how qualified I am to speak to that. Seems like they’ve all bought into the Willie Taggart way of doing things. It felt a little stale toward the end of the Mark Helfrich era. The new energy has helped them, I’d guess.

Oct 4, 10:20 AM

Guest666 (Guest): Were you surprised that the Cougs weren’t getting much media recognition after the USC game? It felt like all they were talking about was Sam Darnold being in a funk and how USC was becoming an injury depleted team.

Oct 4, 10:22 AM

srchat (Admin): Eh. I think they’ve gotten plenty more than they have in a long time. I’m seeing Falk near the top of Heisman polls now, Leach was on Rome and Gottlieb shows.

Oct 4, 10:23 AM

srchat (Admin): Darnold will get attention everywhere he goes this year. That just comes with the territory - being a quarterback at SC.

Oct 4, 10:23 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): Was the rushing TD by Morrow, on the jump cut, designed/called? Or just a heads up play by Morrow?

Oct 4, 10:26 AM

srchat (Admin): I believe it was designed, yes. Either way, a real athletic move from Jamal there.

Oct 4, 10:26 AM

Guest666 (Guest): Do you expect Dotson to play this weekend? If not any concerns going forward to LB position?

Oct 4, 10:26 AM

srchat (Admin): Alex Grinch told Stef Loh that Dotson is playing.

Oct 4, 10:28 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): I have noticed that Grinch has really started rotating defensive backs through out the game, even against USC. I’ve seen guys that aren’t even on the depth chart playing, what is the reason for this?

Oct 4, 10:29 AM

srchat (Admin): Injury in some cases, but Grinch wants to rotate as many guys in as possible. If they’re ready, they’ll play.

Oct 4, 10:29 AM

DaCoug (Guest): What do you expect the cougs offensive game plan to be?

Oct 4, 10:32 AM

srchat (Admin): Oregon has a top-15 rushing defense. The Cougs want to pass it anyway. I’d say there’s your answer.

Oct 4, 10:32 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): Did anyone see Oguayo Friday night? Is so what was he wearing?

Oct 4, 10:32 AM

srchat (Admin): I missed him. Stef was told he’s day-to-day….

Oct 4, 10:32 AM

Guest5843 (Guest): What do you make of Grinch talking to Loh about a presumed injury?

Oct 4, 10:34 AM

srchat (Admin): It’s surprising when anyone in the program talks about injuries, given the policies….

Oct 4, 10:34 AM

Guest666 (Guest): Will the Apple Cup be more competitive than previous years?

Oct 4, 10:35 AM

srchat (Admin): I don’t think it will be less competitive.

Oct 4, 10:35 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): So Grinch wants to rotate guys in that are “ready” rather then keeping the best players on the field, that’s his philosophy? Wow, I cant complain because it’s obviously working.

Oct 4, 10:36 AM

srchat (Admin): We haven’t been able to chat with him this week. It’ll be something to bring up on Thursday. He’s said before he wants to be able to play 22 guys on the defensive side of the ball, or more if possible.

Oct 4, 10:36 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): What are Oregon’s strength and weaknesses? Where can Oregon take advantage of Wazzu? Where can Wazzu take advantage of Oregon? What are your thoughts on the crazy line in Vegas thus far? cougs opened as favorites, quickly swung to oregon as favorites, now some casinos have wazzu favored, some have oregon favored, some don’t even have a line out on the game.

Oct 4, 10:40 AM

srchat (Admin): Royce Freeman and the run defense are strengths. The sudden lack of experience at QB is a weakness. Pressuring the inexperienced QB would certainly be advantageous for the Cougars. Ducks can kill you with explosives and the Cougs have given up a few of those this year. Think the line is a bit off, but not completely silly.

Oct 4, 10:40 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): The Cougs really dominated the USC game and should of won by more. Is WSU that good or USC just played bad?

Oct 4, 10:41 AM

srchat (Admin): I think WSU is very good, I don’t think USC is a top-five team, but I think the final score was a pretty fair indication of where these two teams are at.

Oct 4, 10:41 AM

Guest3666 (Guest): It seems that saying he’ll play is exactly in line with the policy that everyone is happy and health and 100% ready to play.

Oct 4, 10:42 AM

srchat (Admin): Oguayo was also listed as “day to day.”

Oct 4, 10:42 AM

Guest666 (Guest): How do you evaluate the play of the DB’s so far in the season? WR’s?

Oct 4, 10:43 AM

srchat (Admin): I’ve generally been impressed with the DBs. They hadn’t seen any great passing offenses until USC and I’m still not sure I’d consider USC a great passing offense. They’ve been opportunistic with their interceptions, too.

Oct 4, 10:44 AM

Guest8420 (Guest): What do you think the chances are of a let down and over looking Oregon?

Oct 4, 10:44 AM

srchat (Admin): I think this team is too veteran to let that happen.

Oct 4, 10:44 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): Do you think Grinch is transitioning Harper to play corner? Seems like a good fit for him, it’s been a long time since WSU has had a corner with that size.

Oct 4, 10:46 AM

srchat (Admin): I think they’d rather have him take Rob Taylor’s spot at safety. They won’t really have any holes to fill at corner after this season.

Oct 4, 10:46 AM

Guest1000 (Guest): Bell seems to be emerging as a long distance threat for the Cougs. He seems a bit short. Who else do you think might break out as a deep passing threat.

Oct 4, 10:47 AM

srchat (Admin): I always think Tavares Martin Jr. is capable. Johnson-Mack has the potential, as well.

Oct 4, 10:48 AM

Guest666 (Guest): Its good to see Erik Powell become consistent. Has he worked really hard at it in the off season?

Oct 4, 10:49 AM

srchat (Admin): During camp he told me he’d focused more on quality instead of quantity. Rather than go out and kick 50 balls, kick 20-25, but treat each of those 20-25 like game kicks. Think it’s helped him for sure.

Oct 4, 10:49 AM

Guest8775 (Guest): Great job in covering the Cougs. You have put all the coaches and players interviews on you tube, but I haven’t seen where Leach’s Monday press conference is at. Thanks.

Oct 4, 10:52 AM

srchat (Admin): Thanks. I live stream all of the postgame press conferences and Monday news conferences on Periscope. You can find replays of those here: https://www.pscp.tv/TheoLawson_SR/1vAGRNvgEVRGl

Theo Lawson: “Mike Leach press conference 10-3”

Theo Lawson: “Mike Leach press conference 10-3”

Oct 4, 10:52 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): How did Luke not break in half on that hit he took in the 3rd? Like Pete Carrol said, “He just keeps picking himself up off the turf.”

Oct 4, 10:54 AM

srchat (Admin): No kidding. He’s taken quite a few blows the last four years. How he’s still standing is beyond me.

Oct 4, 10:54 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): Woods surprisingly looks to be somewhat of an upgrade over Pueller, he was everywhere on the field Friday night and also plays lights out special teams, are you surprised at his level of play so far?

Oct 4, 10:55 AM

srchat (Admin): I wouldn’t go that far yet, but yeah, I’d like to see the number of players who earned Pac-12 DPOW after their second start. He’s been a nice surprise so far.

Oct 4, 10:57 AM

Guest666 (Guest): Do you think this defense is built to stop Oregon’s run attack? Cal wasn’t able to stop the run after their QB got injured while knowing they will continue to run at them.

Oct 4, 10:59 AM

srchat (Admin): I wouldn’t put anything past this defense right now. As long as they can limit the explosives, I’d imagine they can.

Oct 4, 10:59 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): Do you think the football team wins more games then the basketball team does this year?

Oct 4, 11:00 AM

srchat (Admin): I think the baseball team wins more than both!

Oct 4, 11:01 AM

srchat (Admin): Winding down here … any final questions?

Oct 4, 11:01 AM

Guest666 (Guest): Will Grinch remain at WSU when other schools come calling?

Oct 4, 11:02 AM

srchat (Admin): Tough one to answer. If it’s the right situation, I’m sure he’d entertain an offer.

Oct 4, 11:03 AM

srchat (Admin): But not sure what his aspirations are. He doesn’t have a bad setup in Pullman at the moment.

Oct 4, 11:04 AM

srchat (Admin): Thanks for the questions. A reminder that next week’s chat will take place on TUESDAY. We’ll still plan to get it started at 10 a.m.


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