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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Cougars hold final practice before Stanford


FROM PULLMAN -- Washington State departs for Seattle tomorrow, then faces Stanford on Saturday at CenturyLink Field. It practiced for the final time this week at Martin Stadium earlier today. Here are some notes and quotes from that session.


--- Justin Sagote returned to practice today, and it sounds as if he'll be ready to go come game time. Wilson said they wanted to rest Sagote yesterday. Tana Pritchard has taken a lot of reps in practice this week, too, so he should be plenty ready, too.

Wilson "He hada heck of a game last week. He’s a physical guy and we need him at top shape for this game. We got Jeremiah (Allison) in the game last week, played about eight, nine snaps of defense last week. I think we’re sound at that position."

--- Brett Bartolone is still limited, which seems to suggest it's unlikely he'll play.

--- Darius Lemora, Jacob Seydel and Peyton Pelluer remain limited.

--- River Cracraft is still working some at punt returner. But I think that job is still in Leon Brooks' hands.

Here's more of what Wilson had to say after practice:

(On Stanford's o-line) "They’re a good offensive line. We’ve seen USC, we’ve seen Auburn, we’ve seen big lines. I think it’s just another in that group of big guys. They do nice work, they’re a good run team, the quarterback can throw. It’s just another challenge. They put more offensive linemen on the field than most teams, but the same formations."

(On Desinty Vaeao) "One thing is he’s healthy finally, he’s back healthy 100 percent so we’re using him. Now we’re back to our rotation with those two guys (Vaeao and Kache Palacio). We’re lucky, we have some good depth on the d-line so we can match up good against big offensive fronts."

(Does facing USC and Auburn help prepare for this game?) "I think those are good run teams, good offensive lines. We played well at times and we haven’t fit our gaps correctly, so hopefully we got those things fixed the last couple weeks. Every game prepares you for the next, but obviously playing two quality offensive lines already should help us in this game."

(How do you combat a six or seven-OL look?) "We play our regular defense. We’re pretty big in the front. We have veloticy and athleticism on our side I think in some of those situations. They have the size advantage, we maybe have the speed advantage there. I haven’t seen them out running yet, so I don’t know. You obviously have to control your gaps, you have to die in your gap and you have to play good sound gap defense."


(Where does Stanford's line rank in terms of what you've seen?) "They’re up there. These guys don’t win ball games by accident. It starts up front. That’s the nature of the game. And these guys are truly one of the physical teams not just in our conference but in the country."

(Is this the kind of team the defense likes playing?) "I think the challenge for us every time is making sure we’re more prepared and more physical  than the other team, no exception to this game here. Our guys understand it has to be that way or  it’s going to be a hard day for the Washington State defense."

(Do you rotate more in a game like this?) "Right now we’ve got to throw every body toward those guys’ way. Those guys have got a good thing going and we’re going to try to compete and at least get that game slowed down a little bit, but that’s the thing, you’re trying to slow a big, well-oiled rig machine going at full steam, so we’ve got our work cut out for us."

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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