When a college football team prepares for a game, there are certain players on the other squad that demand a plan. Where is so-and-so is crucial in an offense's and a defense's prep work. For more on that, and other items from Thursday's practice, read on.
• Arizona's Brooks Reed is hard to miss. No. 42 is a 6-foot-3, 262-pound senior defensive who sports long blond hair under his helmet. This week, he and a couple others on the Wildcat defense are the focus of the WSU offense. His imitator this week: Matthew Bock. Now, Bock is wearing No. 42, which happens a lot during the season, wearing the opponent's number. But he also went the extra mile Thursday, wearing a long blond wig under his helmet. So here is this defense end wearing No. 42 and sporting long, blond hair. As one of his teammates said after practice, he's been playing so well while wearing the wig, he should keep it. There has to be some NCAA rule against it, right? ... The injury list has finally started to fill up for the Cougars. Starters Micah Hannam, who holds the mark for most consecutive starts for a WSU offensive lineman since 1979, Chima Nwachukwu, Mike Ledgerwood, Jeffrey Solomon and Alex Hoffman-Ellis all missed practice due to injury Thursday. Of those, only Hoffman-Ellis has a shot at playing. ... Two other defensive starters were not at practice, Brandon Rankin and Bernard Wolfgramm. Both had class responsibilities, Wolfgramm with a lab and Rankin with a paper. They'll be back tomorrow. ... C.J. Mizell was back at practice Thursday. ... Coach Paul Wulff held his usual Thursday press conference and covered a variety of issues, from walk-ons possibly earning scholarships – there are about five to eight who have a shot – to Aire Justin moving into the rotation in kickoff returns. Nothing big, though he expressed his admiration for Arizona's offensive attack and the Wildcat receivers. ... John Fullington will make what will probably be the first of many starts, this one at right tackle. ... Nothing new on the Jamal Atafou and Andre Barrington front. Wulff said they ware waiting to see if the two will be charged before a decision is made. I still have money on them not being back. ... And that's the best of it. ... We also have our story for tomorrow's paper. It's a look at the Cougars' half-season. Offense is improved, defense is still struggling and special teams are up-and-down. The result is the same as the past two years, 1-5 after six games. If you want to read the whole thing, you can right here.
• That's all for now. We'll be back in the morning with our usual post. We'll also head over for the first basketball practice of the year and the Midnight Mayhem event in Bohler at 8 p.m. There will be a slam-dunk contest, a 3-point shooting contest and more, featuring both the men and women. We'll have something from that as well. Until later ...