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Friday morning Pac-12 picks

From Pullman — With no football or basketball games in the Pac-12 yesterday, it was what we in "the biz" like to call a "slow news day". Still, we managed to scrounge up a few links:

  • Three newcomers will need to continue to improve for the WSU men's basketball team to have a shot in conference play.
  • Could the Cougars have a top-50 football team next season?
  • A holiday break did nothing to blunt ASU's edge.
  • After a month of distractions, the Huskies will finally get to play a game.
  • Vote for your favorite bowl performance by a Pac-12 player.

Morning links, and a new recruit

From Pullman—Kind of a hectic day for Washington State football recruiting. While one committed player may no longer have the option of enrolling at WSU, the Cougars also received a commitment from a defensive lineman on Wednesday as reported by Scout.com. The player, Sacramento's Feaomoengalu Tapa,becomes the 15th known player to verbally indicate their intent to sign with WSU in February.

Elsewhere around the conference …

Monday Morning Links

From Pullman—Well, the Cougars have finally made it to the bye week and with just four games left they need to make the most of it … The Oregon assistant  who blasted WSU coach Mike Leach yesterday has apologized for his remarks … While the team was in Eugene, the tower crane above the developing football operations building was removed. This reporter, for one, will miss it … Interestingly, teams that break passing records — as WSU did on Saturday — often lose — as WSU did on Saturday.

Also of note was the passing of legendary Washington coach Don James. The College Football Hall of Fame coach was fondly remembered by Jim Walden, who was often his rival.

Links from around the conference after the jump.

Postgame links


From The Heavens — David's shot missed its mark last night and Goliath, Oregon, pummeled the Cougs in a 62-38 victory. It was a dishonorable defeat for WSU, according to an Oregon assistant, who was apparently miffed at the insubordination the Cougars showed by not spending the fourth quarter having quarterback Connor Halliday kneel down to run out the clock while the rest of the team applauded the Ducks in awestruck wonder. The nerve.

Granted, WSU kept its pedal to the metal throughout the game, even though not much went right when they did. It was a sloppy game for both teams, and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota coughed up his first two turnovers of the year.

Pac-12 gameday links

From Eugene—Lots of good college  football today and what better way to prepare yourself than by reading the advances from all the Pac-12 beat writers? What's that? You have three TVs, a keg of ginger ale and those amazing chips that are scientifically engineered for optimal scoop capacity? Ok, that does sound better.

Here are some links, anyways.

Wednesday Morning Links

From Pullman—By the time you read this, I'll be pulling into SeaTac airport, en route to San Francisco for Pac-12 Basketball Media Day. While that means no more practice reports this week, it will also mean a flurry of basketball news, so stay tuned for that.

As for yesterday's practice, coach Mike Leach announced after practice that freshman cornerback Alex Jackson has been suspended indefinitely. Jackson has played sparingly this year, although he did return a pair of kickoffs against Stanford.

Also absent from practice was wide receiver Kristoff Williams, although Leach said that he remains in good standing with the team. Linebacker Feddie Davey was limited in practice, and linebackers coach Ken Wilson confirmed that he is nursing some minor injuries. Wilson also said that he expects the injured Peyton Pelluer back at practice this week.

On scout team the Cougars had receiver Drew Loftus taking snaps at quarterback, presumably an attempt to replicate the speed of Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. 

Now let's get to those links:

Morning after links

Oregon State used a 35-0 run to put the Cougars to bed last night, here's our story from the game … And here's the notebook … Josh Wright joined us in the press box and has an excellent sidebar on OSU receiver Brandin Cooks … 

But there were other games played on Saturday, too. Read on for links from around the conference.

OSU pregame chat

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Wednesday Practice Notes

Dominique Williams returned to practice on Wednesday, and you'd never know he left. That's good news for the Cougars, who regain the services of one of their most explosive wide receivers. The offense carried the day for WSU with starting quarterback Connor Halliday and backup Austin Apodaca looking sharp. We got a chance to catch up with coach Mike Leach and defensive line coach Joe Salave'a after practice, read on for the interview.

Mondays with Mike

From Pullman —The Cougars had their weekly Monday press conference today, and there were a couple gems from head coahc Mike Leach. Follow the jump to head the WSU's head coach's thoughts on the Cal game, his offensive line, and dog breeds.

WSU football Sunday night practice

From Pullman — The big news out of practice tonight was the participation of freshman defensive lineman Emmitt Su'a-Kalio, who was arrested last week (scroll down after clicking the link for the story on Su'a-Kalio). The team is handling the matter internally, but apprently won't — or at least hasn't yet — suspended the freshman from team activities. 

Freshman cornerback Daquawn Brown was very active, deflecting two passes and intercepting another in the 50-minute practice. Nolan Washington ran with the second unit at cornerback, after practicing with the starters last week.

After practice we spoke with defensive coordinator Mike Breske, whose group gave up 585 yards but just 20 offensive points. Some highlights of that interview are after the jump.

Morning after links

The Cougars improved to 2-1 in conference play on Saturday afternoon, and 4-2 overall. Connor Halliday bounced back from the Stanford game by throwing over halfway to 1,000-yards in a single game, 521 to be exact.

Here's our story on the game… a couple of defensive linemen who have been contributors for awhile still managed to have breakout performances … over on Sportslink we've got postgame  video … and here's a column on Halliday's performance from the indefatigable Bud Withers.

But that's not all that happened on Saturday afternoon. Follow the jump for links from around the conference.

Oct. 5 Pregame Chat

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WSU Gameday Links

From Berkeley, Calif. —Today at 1p.m. the Cougars will take on California in what could easily be WSU's most important game of the season. We detail what they'll need to do to win here … If Cal wins, blame the socks … Not helping matters is the revelation that a WSU football player was arrested this week … The San Francisco Chronicle has a video preview of the game … A Cal safety decided to turn in his mouth guard. More links from around the Pac-12 after the jump.

Thursday Night Football

From Pullman — There was a shakeup along the offensive line for much of Thursday's practice, with Matt Goetz taking over the right guard position and John Fullington sliding over to right tackle. Rico Forbes — who has been the starter at right tackle but struggled against Stanford last Saturday — worked with the second unit. After practice offensive line coach Clay McGuire admitted that "it's a good possiblity" this is the unit we'll see this weekend.

The Cougars had a light practice session on Thursday followed by Thursday Night Football. This weekly scrimmage is for the younger, scout-team guys who may not make the trip to Berkeley with the team, as well as special team players and guys that could use a few more reps. Follow the link for some highlights from the session, as well as some thoughts from McGuire:

Replay of WSU Football Chat

Check out the entire replay of the live chat on Washington State football with beat writer Jacob Thorpe. 

Wednesday Morning Pac-12 Links

From Pullman — As you wrack your brain in search pertinent of questions for the live chat we'll be holding on SportsLink at 11 a.m., why not prep by reading our Pac-12 notes? … The basketball team got some bad news with the suspension of a post player … The San Francisco Chronicle has a First Glance at the Cougs.

Read on for links from around the conference.

Lopina signs with AFL San Jose

Former Washington State University quarterback Kevin Lopina has signed with the San Jose SaberCats of the AFL.

Lopina will likely back up AFL veteran Mark Grieb, a two-time ArenaBowl MVP. In 2008, Lopina completed 87 of 153 passes for 841 yards, with 11 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. In 2009, Lopina was 54 of 103 for 596 yards, with three interceptions and two touchdowns.

San Jose entertains Spokane to open the 2011 season on Friday, March 11.