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Gameday from Auburn, at last (and a live chat)


FROM AUBURN — It's the day everyone has been waiting for. In a mere 10 hours, Washington State will take the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium for its 2013 opener against Auburn. We will be there with a live chat (3 p.m. PT — be there) and our usual in-game Twitter fare, as well as the standard array of postgame coverage. First, we have quite a few links to throw your way.

Predicting WSU’s final record


FROM AUBURN — Everyone loves predictions, except for the people who don't. If you are part of the latter group, don't read this. But if you want to see a few season predictions from folks who cover WSU — myself included — continue reading.

WSU at Auburn: Questions and Answers


FROM AUBURN — Being that this is the season opener, we decided we'd give you a little bonus and ask not one, but two Auburn beat writers a series of five questions. This week's kind guests are Brandon Marcello, who covers Auburn for AL.com, and Ryan Black, who covers Auburn for the Ledger-Enquirer based in Columbus, Ga. Read on for my questions and their answers.

A drive to ‘Bama awaits


FROM ATLANTA — Our pit stop in this fine Georgia city is almost over, because it's time to drive into Auburn to take a look around before Saturday's game. First, we have our usual links to get to, including coverage of the first Pac-12 games of the season.

Links before heading to Auburn


FROM PULLMAN — Technically, we won't actually be in Alabama today. Just flying into Atlanta and staying the night there before heading into Auburn tomorrow. First, we have links to throw your way — including our contribution to this season's football tab. Check it out.

Leach mum on Mayes as Cougs ready for trip


FROM PULLMAN — WSU's final full practice before departing for Auburn is over, and we have a few notes to pass along, including the latest on the Logan Mayes situation. 

Live chat today, plus WSU links


FROM PULLMAN — If you have any lingering questions about WSU as it prepares to begin the season in Auburn, you can get them out of your system at 1 p.m. today during our weekly live chat. Until then, you'll have to settle for these links.

WSU practices, Leach, Breske speak


FROM PULLMAN — It was a standard Tuesday practice for Washington State, which continues to prepare for an up-tempo style of play in Auburn on Saturday. Afterward, coach Mike Leach and defensive coordinator Mike Breske addressed the media. Read on for notes and such.

Notes from Leach on Pac-12 call


FROM PULLMAN — There is no greater indication that a new season of college football is upon us than the 2013 debut of the Pac-12 coaches teleconference. The first one is in the books. Here are some notes from Mike Leach's segment.

Few surprises on WSU depth chart


FROM PULLMAN — Hey, there's an official depth chart out. It's listed below.

As expected, Connor Halliday is listed by himself as the starting quarterback. The defense looks exactly how I expected. The only relatively mild surprise is true freshman River Cracraft being listed as the starter at Y receiver, though it's not exactly shocking — it was obvious he was going to play a bunch, anyway.


X 88 Isiah MYERS 6-0 185 JR
80 Dom WILLIAMS 6-2 192 SO*
or 1 Vince MAYLE 6-3 240 SR
Y 84 River CRACRAFT 6-0 198 FR
82 Bobby RATLIFF 6-2 198 SO*
LT 63 Gunnar EKLUND 6-7 300 SO*
79 Pierson VILLARRUBIA 6-4 293 FR*
LG 56 Joe DAHL 6-4 290 SO*
66 Matt GOETZ 6-4 270 SR*
C 60 Elliot BOSCH 6-4 280 SR* 
70 Zach BREVICK 6-5 278 SR*
RG 77 John FULLINGTON 6-5 301 SR
58 Riley SORENSON 6-4 304 FR
RT 76 Rico FORBES 6-6 300 SR*
73 Eduardo MIDDLETON 6-5 318 FR*
H 19 Brett BARTOLONE 5-10 187 SO
5 Rickey GALVIN 5-8 178 JR*
Z 84 Gabe MARKS 6-0 176 SO 
18 Kristoff WILLIAMS 6-2 216 JR*
QB 12 Connor HALLIDAY 6-4 190 JR*
17 Austin APODACA 6-3 193 FR*
RB 34 Teondray CALDWELL 5-8 198 SO
35 Marcus MASON 5-9 188 JR
T 98 Kalafitoni POLE 6-1 302 JR*
52 Darryl PAULO 6-2 262 SO*
NT 95 Ioane GAUTA 6-3 285 SR
92 Robert BARBER 6-3 297 FR*
E 96 Xavier COOPER 6-4 303 SO*
71 Matthew BOCK 6-2 270 SR*
BUCK 97 Destiny VAEAO 6-4 290 SO
40 Kache PALACIO 6-2 225 SO
SAM 42 Cyrus COEN 6-0 215 JR
or 21 Eric OERTEL 6-1 208 SR
MIKE 13 Darryl MONROE 6-1 235 SO*
37 Jared BYERS 6-0 218 SR*
WILL 10 Justin SAGOTE 6-0 218 SR
33 Tana PRITCHARD 6-3 220 SO*
FCB 6 Damante HORTON 5-10 175 SR 
25 Daquawn BROWN 5-11 170 FR
SS 20 Deone BUCANNON 6-1 215 SR
4 Anthony CARPENTER 6-0 195 SR*
FS 30 Taylor TALIULU 5-11 196 SO
22 Casey LOCKER 5-11 195 SR*
BCB 2 Nolan WASHINGTON 5-11 182 SR*
27 Tracy CLARK 5-11 187 JR*
or 16 Charleston WHITE 5-10 175 FR
P 46 Mike BOWLIN 6-4 215 SR*
44 Wes CONCEPCION 6-0 185 JR
PK 49 Andrew FURNEY 5-10 210 SR
46 Mike BOWLIN 6-4 215 SR*
KO 46 Mike BOWLIN 6-4 215 SR*
49 Andrew FURNEY 5-10 210 SR
LS 65 Alex DEN BLEYKER 5-10 235 JR
70 Zach BREVICK 6-5 278 SR*
H 17 Austin APODACA 6-3 193 FR*
46 Mike BOWLIN 6-4 215 SR*
PR 23 Leon BROOKS 5-7 166 SR*
19 Brett BARTOLONE 5-10 179 SO
KOR 34 Teondray CALDWELL 5-8 189 SO
35 Marcus MASON 5-9 190 JR

Looking at Auburn (and Jeff Tuel)


FROM PULLMAN — Hard to believe Washington State will practice just twice more before departing for Auburn (though they will hold a closed practice on Friday). One of those sessions is later this afternoon, at 3:30, and we'll pass along anything noteworthy afterward. For now, here are some links as game week cranks along, as well as some reading material on Jeff Tuel, who could qualify now as the most unlikely starting quarterback in the NFL.

First look: WSU at Auburn

Washington State at Auburn

Time: 4 p.m. PDT Saturday, Jordan-Hare Stadium


Records: WSU (3-9, 1-8 in Pac-12 in 2012); Auburn (3-9, 0-8 in SEC in 2012)

Last time: Auburn defeated WSU in Auburn, 40-14, in 2006

The line: Auburn by 151/2

What it means for WSU: This tough road test is in stark contrast to the Cougars’ 2012 season opener at Brigham Young. Many WSU fans expected at least a competitive game, and possibly a victory in the first game of the Mike Leach era. But the Cougars fizzled, lost 30-6 and the season was a tailspin from there. This season, there is a more controlled sense of optimism, though far less hype than that which accompanied this team a year ago. Auburn had troubles of its own in 2012, so a competitive game is still the expectation, even if considerable improvement by the Cougars still ends up a loss. A victory would be a landmark in Leach’s rebuilding effort.

What it means for Auburn: The Tigers badly need a victory in Gus Malzahn’s first game as head coach, both to establish a sense of confidence in their new head man and also to help erase the bad memories of last season’s miserable finish. Malzahn has preached that it’s a “new day” for Auburn football, so anything other than a win in its season opener – especially against a team that struggled so mightily a year ago – might rile the fanbase. There have been some blows to Auburn’s defense this offseason – they dismissed their leading tackler, and Dee Ford, their returning sack leader, won’t play Saturday due to injury – so like WSU, Auburn’s fans might still be in wait-and-see mode.

Key matchup: Nick Marshall vs. WSU’s front seven

Marshall is a dual-threat, junior quarterback who threw for more than 3,000 yards at Garden City (Kansas) Community College last season, but also rushed for another 1,000-plus yards on top of that. And in Malzahn’s hurry-up, run-first offense, he’s likely to have the ball in his hands quite a bit. It will be up to the Cougars’ all-of-a-sudden-fairly- seasoned front seven – they return five starters in that group – to maintain their assignments, hit their landmarks and keep contain against one of the most mobile quarterbacks they’ll see this season. Marshall also threw 20 interceptions at the JC level last season, something WSU no doubt will have in mind.

The first new week begins (with a depth chart)


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State  won't practice today, because it's Monday of game week. Holy cow, it's Monday of game week. How about that? Read on for links, as well as a look at what WSU's depth chart might entail.

Sunday links from WSU


FROM PULLMAN — With our football preview section stories completed and filed, it's time to pass along your Sunday morning look around the Pac-12. Here we go.

WSU looking for long-snappers


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State practiced for a little more than an hour and a half earlier this afternoon, and we have a few notes to pass along from that session. We also have some interesting comments from coach Mike Leach about an ad placed in The Daily Evergreen for a long-snapper tryout.

Football is one week away


FROM PULLMAN — One week from today, you'll wake up, plant yourself on the couch and watch football until there isn't any to watch anymore. Or until WSU's game at Auburn is over. Yes, we're at the one-week mark, and yes, we have links after the jump, so read on.

WSU shifting to Auburn prep


FROM PULLMAN — Eight days remain until Washington State kicks off the 2013 season in the deep south. The Cougars will begin Auburn-specific preparations in earnest this weekend. We'll be there, but for now, we're here. With links.

WSU adding new scoreboard(s) to Martin Stadium


FROM PULLMAN — A new scoreboard more than twice the size of the old one will be added to the east side of Martin Stadium in time for Washington State's home opener against Southern Utah on Sept. 14.

An LED ribbon board is also being constructed along the facade of the premium seating structure.

I'm told the costs of these projects is estimated at $3.5 million.

Here's the release from the school.

Fans arriving at Martin Stadium for the Washington State’s home opener Sept. 14 against Southern Utah will see continued improvements to the venue, including the construction of the $61 million football operations building in the west end zone along with a state-of-the-art video board anchored in the east end adjacent to Stadium Way.

In addition to the video display there will be a ribbon board along the south end of the stadium as well as a premier audio system throughout the stadium.

“The video and audio systems we are installing, along with the premium seating and soon to be completed football operations building will make Martin Stadium one of the premier venues in college athletics,” said WSU Director of Athletics Bill Moos.

The improvements are a direct outgrowth of the university’s strategy of delivering to fans the ultimate game day experience, Moos said.

The new video display, engineered and installed by Daktronics, will be 73 feet wide and 36 feet high and features the latest Daktronics light emitting diode (LED) video technology. The video board will be 112 percent larger than the previous board while producing a wider, most consistent viewing angle. The video display will be more than double the size of the previous display with four times the resolution. It will be one of the few High Definition Video Displays in college football as its 840 x 1708 resolution exceeds high definition standard.

The LED Ribbon Board display will measure 4 feet tall by 347 feet wide and run along the premium seating side of Martin Stadium.

Both the video and ribbon boards will display game statistics and information, out of town scores, along with graphics, animations, crowd prompts and opportunities for partner-related elements.

The Daktronics custom audio system, which will be integrated with the video and scoring system, is engineered to provide full-range sound reproduction and deliver clear and intelligible speech at Martin Stadium. The result is a powerful audio experience for all those in attendance and is similar to the largest stadium audio systems that Daktronics installs.

A few other high profile stadiums that have combined high performance audio and video systems designed, engineered and installed by Daktronics are Illinois’ Memorial Stadium, Wisconsin’s Camp Randall, Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium,  Utah’s Rice Eccles Stadium, Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium and Oklahoma’s Gaylord Family Stadium.

Thursday Night Football at WSU


FROM PULLMAN — With this being Washington State's mock game week, the Cougars' scout-team players had a chance for the first time this season to participate in coach Mike Leach's "Thursday Night Football" scrimmage at the end of practice. We also have a few other notes to pass along, so keep reading.

The ‘9 days ‘til kickoff’ links edition


FROM PULLMAN — Yes, we're into the single-digits of the Football Season Countdown. That's an unofficial, working title you might never see again. Here are your links.

WSU preparing for up-tempo Auburn


FROM PULLMAN — Preparations rolled on for the Cougars on Wednesday, as the first-team defense continued to prepare for an up-tempo offense with a mobile quarterback. We have a few more notes after the jump, so keep reading.

Live chat today, plus links


FROM PULLMAN — We're shifting our weekly live chats to Wednesday afternoons at 1 p.m., beginning today. This way, we can continue them on the same day throughout the season (since next Thursday will be a travel day). Anyway, continue for links.

Notes from WSU’s first closed practice


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State's practice earlier this afternoon had a distinct game-week feel to it — though the Cougars' opener at Auburn is still 11 days away. And we watched practice from the elevator tower for the first time this season. So did a few other people. You can see the view in the photo above. We have notes, too, so keep reading.

Tuesday links as WSU returns to practice


FROM PULLMAN — It's that time of year again. The time when we head to the top of an elevator tower to watch a "closed" football practice. Before then, we have links to stories with words and whatnot.

Monday from WSU


FROM PULLMAN — It's an off-day for the Cougars (on the practice field, anyway), but our camp coverage still rolls along. Links follow the jump.

WSU does light work on Day 16


FROM PULLMAN — It was a standard, in-season Sunday night practice for Washington State tonight — that is to say, they didn't wear pads — not even shoulder pads — just jerseys, shorts and helmets, and did mostly scout and special-teams work. We do have a few notes, so read on.

WSU links: Auburn picks a QB, dumps a safety


FROM PULLMAN — In addition to our WSU links, we pass along yesterday's news out of Auburn on this fine Sunday morning. Details below.

WSU goes short on Day 15


FROM PULLMAN — It was a brief practice for Washington State tonight, with some truncated drill periods preceding team session. The whole thing didn't last much more than an hour. We do have a few notes, so read on.

Video: Rick Neuheisel talks facilities, WSU and more


FROM PULLMAN — Here's the first part of our discussion today with Rick Neuheisel, who along with Mike Yam is touring each Pac-12 football camp this season for a show that will air on the Pac-12 Networks. You can watch WSU's segment on Monday at 7 p.m.

UPDATE: Here's Part 2, which begins with Neuheisel discussing Mike Price's recruiting strategy.