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Washington State football chat transcript - 9/27

Washington State Cougars wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. (8) runs past Nevada for a first down during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State Cougars wide receiver Tavares Martin Jr. (8) runs past Nevada for a first down during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, at Martin Stadium in Pullman. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Uncle Larry (Guest): Why isn’t this offensive line been as good as everyone thought they would be?

Sep 27, 10:00

srchat (Admin): Thanks all for joining. We’re going to be chatting for the next hour, so feel free to start submitting questions. I’ll get to the ones already in the queue first.

Sep 27, 10:01 AM

srchat (Admin): Regarding the offensive line, it’s still a new unit with two new starters (Mauigoa and Salmonson), so it can take awhile to get everything choreographed the way they want.

Sep 27, 10:01 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): The coaches were said to be very high on Derek Moore, I haven’t heard his name much this year, did he even play in the Nevada game?

Sep 27, 10:01 AM

srchat (Admin): He did play in the Nevada game, yes.

Sep 27, 10:01 AM

Guest1535 (Guest): Fastest Coug WR

Sep 27, 10:01 AM

srchat (Admin): Jamire Calvin.

Sep 27, 10:01 AM

208Coug (Guest): Why doesn’t Luke through the ball away more? Seems like he tries to make too much out of nothing and ends up getting sacked.

Sep 27, 10:04 AM

srchat (Admin): Yeah, I think that’s been his biggest criticism this season. No great answer, but he’s bound to get sacked more than most QBs based on the volume of the passing game.

Sep 27, 10:05 AM

BennyB425 (Guest): Hate to talk about next year already, but with McBroom and Ekuale being seniors at an important position, who steps up next year to replace them?

Sep 27, 10:06 AM

srchat (Admin): It’s tough to say right now, but I can see Dallas Hobbs sliding into that position. He’s a listed defensive end, but they’ve been pretty high on him this season. Drew some positive comments from coaches/players after the Nevada game.

Sep 27, 10:06 AM

Guest9314 (Guest): Why do you think Helinsky looked so bad against Nevada?

Sep 27, 10:08 AM

srchat (Admin): Think he tries a little too hard to extend plays sometimes. You saw that during the first drive against Boise State and again during the Nevada game.

Sep 27, 10:08 AM

WSU 04 (Guest): What do you see as USC’s weaknesses that WSU will try to exploit?

Sep 27, 10:11 AM

srchat (Admin): Sam Darnold’s interceptions have been a storyline the past few weeks. He may not have his top two receivers now, so that could be something the Cougs take advantage of.

Sep 27, 10:11 AM

Guest4192 (Guest): Give us three projected headlines to come out of the game (for example, “In the battle of two elite QBs, defense rules the day”)

Sep 27, 10:14 AM

srchat (Admin): “Sam I Am,” “Green eggs and Sam,” and “Lukewarm day for Cougar offense”

Sep 27, 10:14 AM

Guest1574 (Guest): What was up with IJM against Nevada? Did the ball just not go his way in that matchup, or was he not on the field as much as previous games?

Sep 27, 10:16 AM

srchat (Admin): He was on the field. Falk was distributing the ball pretty evenly, which is how the offense is supposed to work.

Sep 27, 10:16 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): Where are USC’s weaknesses, or where does Wazzu have an advantage? Any particular position groups USC has that you can see WSU taking advantage of?

Sep 27, 10:17 AM

srchat (Admin): I’m not sure they have a “weakness,” but their receiving corps could be pretty depleted if Deontay Burnett and Steven Mitchell Jr. don’t play.

Sep 27, 10:17 AM

Guest1 (Guest): Did Gerard Wicks run over Mastro’s dog or something?

Sep 27, 10:19 AM

srchat (Admin): He’s just the third guy in that group.

Sep 27, 10:20 AM

Guest1535 (Guest): RS Junior LB, did not play last year, name escapes me, have not seem him yet

Sep 27, 10:20 AM

srchat (Admin): Greg Hoyd?

Sep 27, 10:20 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): I heard that they moved Hunter Mattox to the offensive line, if that’s true I can’t even imagine what the defensive line will look like next year, what are your thoughts on the move and future of the D line?

Sep 27, 10:22 AM

srchat (Admin): In theory, you have Hercules Mata’afa and Nnamdi Oguayo back. A lot of folks were unsure about that group coming into this season and you’ve seen what they’ve done the first four games…

Sep 27, 10:22 AM

208Coug (Guest): Re Luke throwing it away, I’d guess I’d expect a senior to be a little more savvy in that regard.

Sep 27, 10:23 AM

srchat (Admin): Fair. I’m sure if it’s something we’re seeing, it’s something Luke is working on.

Sep 27, 10:23 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): It seems like the O line has a lot of problem with stunts.

Sep 27, 10:25 AM

srchat (Admin): Again, it’s still a relatively inexperienced group. I imagine a lot of the problems they’re having now won’t be issues in another 2-3 games.

Sep 27, 10:25 AM

BennyB425 (Guest): It seems like Patmon has lost the job to Johnson-Mack. Would you say that is more Mack being the better player or Patmon just not being able to get separation with talented DB’s?

Sep 27, 10:27 AM

srchat (Admin): Isaiah Johnson-Mack is the better player in most regards, including getting separation from DBs. Patmon’s been below him on the depth chart all year.

Sep 27, 10:27 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): Brian Anderson of Cougcenter says USC will play a lot of man coverage. Is this more advantageous for Wazzu’s Inside Receivers or Outside Receivers?

Sep 27, 10:28 AM

srchat (Admin): I’ll say the outside guys just based on the mismatches they can create with their length.

Sep 27, 10:28 AM

Guest1 (Guest): What are your thoughts on CD’s smoke pit? BBQ guy?

Sep 27, 10:29 AM

srchat (Admin): Best BBQ on the Palouse. Bring a friend and get the Animal Farm. You’ll leave happy and with a ton of leftovers.

Sep 27, 10:29 AM

Guest1535 (Guest): no…African name

Sep 27, 10:30 AM

srchat (Admin): Oh, Chima Onyeukwu.

Sep 27, 10:31 AM

srchat (Admin): He’s third on the depth chart at Rush behind Luvu and Hanser. Had a good fall camp, but Luvu’s been stellar this season so it’s hard to imagine he gets much field time this season.

Sep 27, 10:31 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): How do you see Speed D matching up with USC’s big O?

Sep 27, 10:33 AM

srchat (Admin): That’s been the big question. I can’t exactly project what’ll happen, but if the Speed D plays well that’s an awfully good sign for Oregon/Stanford/UW games.

Sep 27, 10:33 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): Where is the most obvious place USC can exploit Wazzu? I know USC’s kicker has had a good year, how have their Special Teams been otherwise?

Sep 27, 10:36 AM

srchat (Admin): Up front when WSU is on offense. The line’s given up enough sacks this season to make you worry a bit against a big, strong, fast front like USC’s. Haven’t studied the special teams, but Adoree’ Jackson isn’t there anymore, which I’m sure WSU is thankful for.

Sep 27, 10:37 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): What do you think about Grinch’s theory of Speed D since he says you can’t find nose tackles? Make sense against spread teams but maybe a year after year problem with the likes of Stanford and USC.

Sep 27, 10:39 AM

srchat (Admin): I don’t know if it was much of a problem against Stanford last year. I think it’s Grinch making do with what he has. You can’t always recruit size, but you can generally find speed.

Sep 27, 10:40 AM

Guest1535 (Guest): tago in 2 deeps ?.. Who has looked better < Neville or Bledsoe ?..Cole Dubots , LB or RB ? fastest qb on roster ?

Sep 27, 10:42 AM

srchat (Admin): They have Tago OR Kingston Fernandez listed on the depth chart. Haven’t watched practice in awhile, but I think Neville looked slightly better during camp. Dubots has been WSU’s scout for USC RB Ronald Jones this week, which is a little amusing. But that should answer your question. Hilinski vs. Neville would be a good footrace I think.

Sep 27, 10:42 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): Is Peyton Pueller injured? (just kidding) I know USC has the superior athletes but do you think we match up well with them in general?

Sep 27, 10:43 AM

srchat (Admin): He’s 100 percent! I’d feel all right about this game if I was a WSU fan. Trojans haven’t looked dominant this season and they’re dinged up. Pullman’s never an easy trip either.

Sep 27, 10:43 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): How has WSU changed preparation with the short week? Did they skip a day, or skip a few things, or just end up fitting the normal 6 days or preparation between games into 5 days?

Sep 27, 10:44 AM

srchat (Admin): They’re not taking their day off this week like they usually would. That’s usually Monday. I imagine they’ll take Saturday off now.

Sep 27, 10:44 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): Why do you think Leach left Luke in for so long?

Sep 27, 10:46 AM

srchat (Admin): Leach was asked about that. Said he generally pulls the starters “When I feel like it.” The scoreboard isn’t really a barometer for him like it is for a lot of fans. If the starters are playing a sloppy game, I think he’ll tend to leave them in so they can make corrections.

Sep 27, 10:47 AM

Guest4829 (Guest): So, two weeks in a row you’ve commented on Hilinski vs. Neville being a real question next year. Is that a comment on Hilinski being a touch slow on the uptake, or Neville’s physical tools being a step above? I’m just surprised given Hiliski’s (generally) good showing backing up Falk and his obvious experience advantage. Plus Hilinski’s physical tools seem really solid to me.

Sep 27, 10:48 AM

srchat (Admin): I don’t think Neville is in the conversation to start next year. They’ll all “compete” for the job, but it’s Hilinski’s to lose at the moment. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cammon Cooper gave him a strong push.

Sep 27, 10:49 AM

srchat (Admin): Neville might be a better runner, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot in this offense. Hilinski’s far more polished as a passer at this point.

Sep 27, 10:49 AM

Guest1574 (Guest): Tavares seems to be establishing himself the last couple games, has it looked that way in practice as well?

Sep 27, 10:51 AM

srchat (Admin): He’s always been a strong practice player. I can’t speak to the last four weeks because I haven’t been allowed to watch. But based on what I’ve seen the last two Saturdays, I imagine he’s been above average on the weekdays.

Sep 27, 10:51 AM

CougSchroed (Guest): When ESPN, Fox, etc come into town, do the guys/gals calling the game ever ask you for advice on the team? Seems that when national broadcast crews come in to call the game they just bash on Leach because they are not familiar with his offense or do not prepare well at all and just don’t understand why Leach does what he does. Laziness on their part?

Sep 27, 10:53 AM

srchat (Admin): I don’t think they generally ask beat writers for advice and no, I’ve never been approached. Not sure if it’s laziness… I know those people usually have less than a week to learn about a team, so they have to cram a lot of studying into a tight window.

Sep 27, 10:54 AM

Guest1535 (Guest): Dimitry looks really good at times..think he will see the field much against SC…?….why in the world so many of the ” tunnel screens ” ?..Valencia see the field this year ?.Why pull the RS on Rogers ?, seems like cougs had depth …

Sep 27, 11:01 AM

srchat (Admin): I think he’ll see the field, but he’s still behind Tavares on the depth chart and you want Tavares playing as much as possible right now. Seems like those tunnel screens have been pretty effective with Tavares. Valencia was “limited” in practice when they started the year, so he may still be dealing with something. Maybe they felt like they needed to try some new guys out with Pelluer injured just to see what they have at LB.

Sep 27, 11:01 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): How long do you think before someone offers a head coaching job to Grinch?

Sep 27, 11:02 AM

srchat (Admin): If the defense can keep up this pace, I see it happening more sooner than later. It wouldn’t shock me if he had an offer by the end of the season…

Sep 27, 11:02 AM

JFM Cougs (Guest): Do you think the run game will get better? Seemed like we were able to rush the ball much better last year.

Sep 27, 11:04 AM

srchat (Admin): They’re picking their spots. They obviously ran it more last game than vs. Oregon State. Just a matter of what the defense allows them to do.

Sep 27, 11:04 AM

Uncle Larry (Guest): What are the chances that WSU gets the 5pm slot next week? 7:45pm is brutal!

Sep 27, 11:04 AM

srchat (Admin): You’re telling me…

Sep 27, 11:05 AM

srchat (Admin): That’s all the time we have this week. Thanks for the questions and hope you all enjoy the game Friday night!


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