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Washington State football chat transcript - 9/20

Washington State Cougars wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. (8) reacts after he ran the ball for a touchdown against OSU during the second half of a Pac-12 football game on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. WSU won the game 52-23. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. (8) reacts after he ran the ball for a touchdown against OSU during the second half of a Pac-12 football game on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash. WSU won the game 52-23. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

srchat (Admin): OK, I think we’ll get started a few minutes early. I already see a few questions in the queue, so thanks for joining and I’ll be around for the next hour.

Sep 20, 9:56 AM

Guest159 (Guest): Other than Pippins, Molton and Strong, what other corners played vs Oregon State?

Sep 20, 9:57 AM

srchat (Admin): George Hicks III is seeing a lot of time behind Darrien Molton. I thought he had some impressive plays in that OSU game - at least one PBU I can remember. Deion Singleton and Josh Talbott were also listed on the participation report.

Sep 20, 9:58 AM

Bo Dallas (Guest): How was Neville and Bledsoe looked? Is one ahead of the other and do you expect either to compete for #2 spot next year ahead of Tinsley, Gordon, and Cooper?

Sep 20, 10:00 AM

srchat (Admin): I thought both were fine through fall camp. Falk and Hilinski are getting 99% of the reps these days. The ball comes off Bledsoe’s hand real nice (I wonder where he got that from) and Neville’s a little bit more of a runner. I’m not sure either can challenge Cooper. Also, let’s not completely rule out the possibility that Cooper challenges for the starting job next year…

Sep 20, 10:00 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): Looked like Hercules was doubled most all the game. Do you think teams will do that from here on out?

Sep 20, 10:01 AM

srchat (Admin): If they’re smart, I think they will. At least until it stops working. You didn’t see him in the backfield nearly as much last game as the first two.

Sep 20, 10:02 AM

Guest482 (Guest): Speaking of our defensive backs, it appears to me that they struggle with turning their heads on deep passes. I’d swear if they just turned to look for the ball they might be able to make a play, heck even pick the thing. What are your thoughts? Thank you.

Sep 20, 10:04 AM

srchat (Admin): I got this question last week, too. It is a trend I’ve noticed. Maybe they’re being coached to do it that way. I know some prefer that method as opposed to turning.

Sep 20, 10:05 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): What is Nevada’s strongest position group? Does Nevada have any position group that is equal to or stronger than Wazzu’s?

Sep 20, 10:07 AM

srchat (Admin): Answering the second question first, no, I don’t think there is one that’s equal. They have two receivers you might want to keep your eye on though. McLane Mannix has 297 receiving yds. through three games and Wyatt Demps has 192. Those two also have six touchdowns.

Sep 20, 10:07 AM

Guest1591 (Guest): Do you think they move Luvu back to inside backer and stick with Hanser/Chima at the Rush?

Sep 20, 10:08 AM

srchat (Admin): I can’t see it happening, only because Luvu’s been so productive at the Rush spot and finally becoming the player they thought he could be. I’m still thinking it’ll be a mix of Dotson/DeRider/Woods at the inside backer position.

Sep 20, 10:09 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): What did you think of Jalen Thompson game against OSU?

Sep 20, 10:10 AM

srchat (Admin): Can’t argue with 9 tackles (led the team) and one TFL from your safety. I think he’s been a stud through three games. Leach and the assistants have repeatedly praised him, too.

Sep 20, 10:10 AM

srchat (Admin): I think he’s more physical than a lot of safeties out there, too…

Sep 20, 10:11 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): I noticed Sean Harper playing corner back against Oregon St, was that due to Strong not playing or lack of corner back depth, I also thought he was a safety?

Sep 20, 10:12 AM

srchat (Admin): He spent time at both positions throughout camp, so I’d guess it was the result of Strong not playing. It’ll be good if he can fill both roles this year, though.

Sep 20, 10:12 AM

Guest5734 (Guest): based on results through the first three games, has your win/loss prediction changed for the season?

Sep 20, 10:14 AM

srchat (Admin): I’m sticking with my picks. I believe I predicted 9-3 and a 4-0 start, so things are looking for the Cougars and my predictions. My three losses were USC, Utah, UW.

Sep 20, 10:15 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): What are your thoughts on the reasoning for lack of Wicks? I assume it is because the coaches think Williams and Morrow have pulled away from Wicks…but from the little I’ve seen of Wicks in games he has looked good. Especially with leach being vocal about the backs not hitting the hole hard enough, you’d think Wicks doesn’t have a problem with that. I think coaches need to give Wicks some more PT, think it would help the team. Your thoughts?

Sep 20, 10:16 AM

srchat (Admin): I’d say your first assumption is right. Williams and Morrow are the ‘lead backs’ and Wicks is more situational. We’ll see how long that lasts, though. Leach hasn’t been too enthused with Williams’ play and I’m sure he wouldn’t be afraid to shake up the pecking order if he felt it was necessary.

Sep 20, 10:16 AM

srchat (Admin): Regardless, they need to get the run game going somehow.

Sep 20, 10:16 AM

TruCoug (Guest): What are the requirements for Pelluer to get a medical redshirt, and is it something he is pursuing?

Sep 20, 10:17 AM

srchat (Admin): I’m not sure he’d be eligible. From what I understand, you have to have missed two seasons for reasons beyond your control to get a sixth year. Because Pelluer redshirted his first year, I don’t think he’d qualify.

Sep 20, 10:18 AM

Guest159 (Guest): Did they address what went wrong on the blocked FG?

Sep 20, 10:18 AM

srchat (Admin): Haven’t addressed it, no. May be something to ask Eric Mele today or tomorrow after practice.

Sep 20, 10:18 AM

Guest1591 (Guest): Was Dimry out for last week’s game or did Tay Martin pass him on the depth chart?

Sep 20, 10:20 AM

srchat (Admin): My guess is he was out. A lot of people got into that game that usually don’t, so even if he did drop below Tay - which, I doubt he did - I’m sure he would’ve gotten on the field in some capacity.

Sep 20, 10:20 AM

Wazzup (Guest): So since you endorsed Ken Goe’s editorial, do you really believe Leach has no heart? Isn’t it likely he will give Pueller his due at the end of the year with the rest of the seniors?

Sep 20, 10:22 AM

srchat (Admin): I agree with a lot of the points Ken made in the article. I’ve never said Leach doesn’t have heart. But I’m open to having a healthy and constructive dialogue about it. I’m not sure if he’ll do that or not. He said some nice things during the presser yesterday.

Sep 20, 10:22 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): Our special teams has not been bad this year, but we have had quite a few special teams plays where penalties have gone against us or special teams plays that are just lacking basic fundamentals(field goal block last week). This is starting to make me angry, a loss of 10 yards here and a loss of 15 yards there due to penalties. Leach has got to be getting on Mele for this, right?

Sep 20, 10:24 AM

srchat (Admin): I think the special teams has generally been a strong area from them this year. I wouldn’t look too deep into what happened against OSU. Yes, the blocked FG is probably something they’ll take a look at this week, but it’s hard to play with the same effort when you’re up 30 points and more or less in cruise control.

Sep 20, 10:24 AM

TruCoug (Guest): In what ways can DeRider step in and replace Pelluer at a high level? Where will he lack? Same goes for Woods. I never viewed Pelluer as a supreme athlete, per say.

Sep 20, 10:29 AM

srchat (Admin): At a high level? Well, short answer is he can’t. DeRider does all the right things and he’s the model football player, but that’s a big hole to fill. Remember, DeRider was still a walk-on coming into the season. He’ll grow as time passes, I’m sure, but I’m not sure that right now there’s anything he does noticeably better than Pelluer. Woods is a fantastic athlete. I think he’ll give the unit a little more speed.

Sep 20, 10:29 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): What do you make of all the defensive rotations in the OSU game? Guys I have never heard of made plays.

Sep 20, 10:30 AM

srchat (Admin): It was a good game to experiment and get a lot of guys on the field so you know what you have.

Sep 20, 10:30 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): How big is the drop off from Pueller to Woods?

Sep 20, 10:32 AM

srchat (Admin): Substantial. Pelluer was not only a high-caliber player, but he was the vocal leader of that defense…

Sep 20, 10:32 AM

Guest9211 (Guest): Any thoughts on how George hicks played? Anything from the coaches?

Sep 20, 10:33 AM

srchat (Admin): I mentioned early I thought he had a good game. He looked pretty green during fall camp. It feels like he’s come a long way in a short amount of time.

Sep 20, 10:33 AM

Guest5734 (Guest): Was the OSU game really Falk “getting right” or was it simply taking care of business against a weak opponent. Will we see more of Checkdown Luke against teams like USC, or have he and Leach exorcised that demon?

Sep 20, 10:39 AM

srchat (Admin): Is “both” an appropriate answer? I do think he needed a game like that and it didn’t hurt that OSU was on the other sideline. Luke takes what the defense is giving him. I personally thought Checkdown Luke was masterful against Montana State. If a defense is playing you that way, I have no problem dumping off to the team’s best athlete 14 times for 130 yards. Luke clearly wasn’t himself vs. BSU, but I’d expect we see Oregon State Luke more often than Checkdown Luke this season.

Sep 20, 10:40 AM

Guest1591 (Guest): Do you expect Robert Lewis to play at all this season?

Sep 20, 10:42 AM

srchat (Admin): Kyle Sweet has been wearing Lewis’ number on his arm this season. I’m not sure he’d do that for someone who has the possibility of returning.

Sep 20, 10:42 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): What can your tell us/do you know about Vinyard? Looked intriguing.

Sep 20, 10:43 AM

srchat (Admin): Vinyard’s had a few nice games, yeah. He was in the middle of a few harmless scuffles while the team was holding camp at Sacajawea, so he clearly has the fire you’d want from a defensive player. 6-5, 237 isn’t a bad frame to have either.

Sep 20, 10:45 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): When we start playing Pac-12 competition, do you expect us to continue with the 3 man rotation at IR. Sweet, Bell and Calvin? The other IR’s must not be anywhere close to those 3 guys if Leach is only rotating 3 guys.

Sep 20, 10:46 AM

srchat (Admin): Yep. Those three seem head and shoulders better than the rest. The next man on the depth chart is Brandon Arconado and he doesn’t have a catch this season, if that tells you anything…

Sep 20, 10:47 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): Are there young defensive ends on the team that you can see moving to NT or DT as they put on more weight, if so who?

Sep 20, 10:48 AM

srchat (Admin): They’ve been impressed with Dallas Hobbs. He’s 6-6, 243, so don’t imagine he’d have to put on too much more weight to make the switch. They haven’t discussed shifting any of those guys inside though.

Sep 20, 10:50 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): Did you see anything different from Mack and Martin as far as release or separation? Or was it just Luke throwing the ball to them?

Sep 20, 10:52 AM

srchat (Admin): A little bit of both. As often as Luke threw it to those two when they were covered - which he hadn’t been doing much of before - they did free themselves more than they had all season. Martin, especially. He knew he had a mismatch and did his best to exploit it.

Sep 20, 10:54 AM

srchat (Admin): Leach gave us a good answer regarding that, too: “I think the quarterback unjustifiably didn’t throw it to them because he didn’t trust them. But it’s a lot like the Field of Dreams thing. If you build a field, they’ll come. If you throw the ball, they’ll probably catch it. If you throw the ball, they don’t catch it, they’ll probably adjust so that they can.”

Sep 20, 10:57 AM

srchat (Admin): I’ve got about five more minutes on here if there are any final questions. Coug-related or non Coug-related, I’ll answer!

Sep 20, 10:58 AM

Guest9211 (Guest): Any chance they move dimry or Martin to inside wr for depth?

Sep 20, 11:00 AM

srchat (Admin): Immediately, no. Down the road, maybe. I couldn’t exactly see the 6-6 Dimry manning the slot, but Martin might be a better fit. And they have enough depth on the outside to make it work. But I don’t see that happening unless one of the three inside guys goes down.

Sep 20, 11:00 AM

Guest5734 (Guest): If your last meal was eaten in Pullman, it would be…

Sep 20, 11:02 AM

srchat (Admin): There’s a carbonara dish at Black Cypress that I love. Literally has blocks of bacon in it. When I say blocks, I’m not kidding either. Who says no to a block of bacon?

Sep 20, 11:03 AM

TruCoug (Guest): Gun to your head. You can only drink one beer for the rest of time. What’s your choice.

Sep 20, 11:03 AM

srchat (Admin): I’ll stay on a few more minutes if the questions continue to be this good…

Sep 20, 11:04 AM

srchat (Admin): That’s an easy one for me. Tricerahops double IPA by Ninkasi. Really looking forward to the Eugene trip for that reason…

Sep 20, 11:04 AM

tbrazas (Guest): Has USC’s inconsistent play so-far led you to thinking the Cougs might have a better chance to pull the upset than we originally thought coming into the season?

Sep 20, 11:06 AM

srchat (Admin): Maybe a little bit. You expect that team to rout everybody it plays and the Trojans haven’t really done that yet. Pullman is a tough place to play and it’s getting much colder on the Palouse…

Sep 20, 11:06 AM

TruCoug (Guest): Counterpoint. You have the ability to wipe one beer off the face of the earth. Who are you voting off the island or brews?

Sep 20, 11:07 AM

srchat (Admin): I have a special disdain for Bud Light Lime. Am I also allowed to wipe off ciders? Like, all ciders?

Sep 20, 11:08 AM

TruCoug (Guest): Last question from me. Choose one true freshman that NOBODY is talking about that by the end of the year, you expect to be writing his name a lot.

Sep 20, 11:11 AM

srchat (Admin): Fa’avae Fa’avae. Linebacker that really impressed the coaches in camp and I imagine he’ll see the field some now that Pelluer’s not in the mix. Roy Manning told me last week he’s been one of their better players in Thursday Night Football. I think he could make an impact. The other would be Tay Martin, though I suppose we’ve mentioned his name a few times.

Sep 20, 11:13 AM

srchat (Admin): OK, thanks to all who joined. Set your calendars for 10 a.m. next week and be sure to check out our content this week on the S-R’s Cougar site. http://www.spokesman.com/wsu-football/


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