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WSU chat

Dec 9 2015, 11:01 AM

srchat: Thanks for joining our weekly WSU chat. Got any questions?

Dec 9 2015, 11:03 AM

TimLeonard (guest): Has Joe Dahl been seen at practice this week?

Dec 9 2015, 11:05 AM

srchat: I expect we'll talk to Joe Dahl sometime this week. And I can't think of a time we've been able to talk to a player who wasn't available to play.

Dec 9 2015, 11:05 AM

WSUFBFacts: I saw some stats that led me to believe that Miami doesn't have a very good run D. Is there any validity to that? And what kind of day do you think Wicks will have if that's the case?

Dec 9 2015, 11:07 AM

srchat: Miami finished No. 13 in the ACC with 210.5 rushing yards allowed per game and gave up 5.4 yards per carry, so I think it's valid to say they don't have a great run defense. I think Wicks -- or whichever back is featured that day -- will probably have one of those 7 carry, 65 yard days we've been seeing from the group this year. Only way they pound the rock is if Miami takes everybody out of the box.

Dec 9 2015, 11:07 AM

TimLeonard (guest): Can you give us way-too-early prediction of what next year's o-line might look like?

Dec 9 2015, 11:08 AM

srchat: Sure, and this has been a popular question in recent chats. I expect the center, right guard and right tackle positions to stay the same. I imagine we'll see Andre Dillard at left tackle and then left guard is the position battle heading into next year.

Dec 9 2015, 11:08 AM

Guest2022 (guest): Other than blocking, what do other teams that run the air raid do to keep their qb healthy? I see this as a fatal flaw of the concept at WSU.

Dec 9 2015, 11:10 AM

srchat: What could a team do other than keep the quarterback from getting hit? But the Cougars do a lot to prevent that, such as the wide splits from the offensive line and emphasizing running back blocking. Don't forget, during Leach's best years at Texas Tech the Red Raiders had some of the best sack numbers in the country, despite throwing it so often, so I think calling it a "fatal flaw" is a bit much. It just makes the o-line particularly important, which Leach readily admits.

Dec 9 2015, 11:12 AM

Guest2022 (guest): We had a good oline this year and we still end up with a backup in the last 2 games of the season. Same as years past.

Dec 9 2015, 11:13 AM

srchat: WSU gave up 39 sacks this year. Some of those Texas Tech offensive lines gave up sacks in the teens. Do you think it's impossible to build an offensive line at WSU as good as one at TTU?

Dec 9 2015, 11:15 AM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Is this thing on?

Dec 9 2015, 11:15 AM

srchat: What's up?

Dec 9 2015, 11:16 AM

Guest2022 (guest): I thought this was one of the stronger lines this year. I don't know where the weakness was. Also seems our qbs are reluctant to run and end up taking an awkward sack.
Dec 9 2015, 11:16 AM

srchat: But those would be flaws with the players, not the offense.

Dec 9 2015, 11:17 AM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Why do the Cougs always come out slow to start the game? I am worried Miami will get on top and then the Cougs will be "all wide eyed".

Dec 9 2015, 11:18 AM

srchat: Not sure I really agree with the premise, to be honest. The Cougars had hot starts this year against teams like Arizona, Cal and Stanford, and then obviously Oregon State and Colorado. Sometimes the other team is going to score first, but it doesn't seem like it's a trend or anything.

Dec 9 2015, 11:18 AM

Guest2022 (guest): agreed, maybe the defenses have gotten better vs the air raid in bringing pressure?

Dec 9 2015, 11:20 AM

srchat: I just think those TTU teams were better than WSU is at this point. Also, Falk's injury (and Halliday's last year) weren't the results of cumulative hits, they were injuries that could have occurred early in the season as well. If one play against Colorado goes slightly differently, Falk plays in the Apple Cup.

Dec 9 2015, 11:20 AM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Cougars win if.....?

Dec 9 2015, 11:20 AM

srchat: They're the most motivated team. The 'Canes have been playing really well under interim coach Larry Scott, and they'll be excited to send him out on a high note.

Dec 9 2015, 11:21 AM

Guest3651 (guest): Josh Hawkinson seemed to really struggle defensively last week against gonzaga. Do you think he will be a liability on that end in conference play?

Dec 9 2015, 11:22 AM

srchat: I think the really, really athletic power forwards in the conference -- Ivan Rabb, Marquess Chriss, the guys at Arizona and Oregon, etc. -- might give him some trouble. But I think the most important thing in stopping those guys will be the developments of Valentine Izundu and Conor Clifford, who can form a line of defense behind Hawkinson or the guards when they get beat.

Dec 9 2015, 11:22 AM

TimLeonard (guest): How much longer can Mike Leach keep Joe Salavea in Pullman?

Dec 9 2015, 11:24 AM

srchat: That's a good question. I don't think he'll leave for another defensive line job and I do think he feels a sense of obligation to see the kids he's recruited through their four years of college. Of course, he keeps recruiting new players so if that's the case he'll never leave, and I do think he wants to be a defensive coordinator and head coach some day. I thought he might be interested in the Hawaii job when that opened up, but now I don't see him leaving for a while.

Dec 9 2015, 11:25 AM

Guest2022 (guest): Last thought on this subject. 39 sacks does not seem like a lot to me given the amount we pass. Does WSU keep a stat on how many times the qb is hit? More times hit, the better the chance the qb goes down with one of them.

Dec 9 2015, 11:28 AM

srchat: I'm sure the coaches keep that stat, but I don't have it available to me and it's not something that's regularly tracked by the stats websites.

Dec 9 2015, 11:28 AM

TimLeonard (guest): What's more likely: Peyton Bender spends all 5 years in Pullman? Or he transfers?

Dec 9 2015, 11:28 AM

srchat: Spends all five years in Pullman.

Dec 9 2015, 11:31 AM

Guest7524 (guest): Bender will transfer before 2017.

Dec 9 2015, 11:31 AM

srchat: Not what his family thinks, but OK.

Dec 9 2015, 11:31 AM

Guest7821 (guest): From a tourist standpoint, which bowl game were you secretly hoping for?

Dec 9 2015, 11:31 AM

srchat: The Bahamas Bowl.

Dec 9 2015, 11:31 AM

Guest2022 (guest): Seems like Bender could have taken off and gone into the slide a few times. Coached to wait and not take off?

Dec 9 2015, 11:32 AM

srchat: I definitely don't think they wanted him running in that game. But I also think he clearly had a lot going through his head and maybe missed some opportunities.

Dec 9 2015, 11:32 AM

Guest4663 (guest): It appears that this year's recruiting class may be weaker than past years. What are your thoughts and key players WSU is pursuing that could turn this class around ?

Dec 9 2015, 11:34 AM

srchat: Typically a recruiting class is most influenced by the previous season's results, not the current one, so I think it's fair to say it's been harder for WSU to recruit coming off last year's 3-9 record. That said, WSU seems to have some momentum right now, and if they can land a few impact players it will be a good class. There's also a grad transfer from Michigan considering the Cougars.

Dec 9 2015, 11:34 AM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Cougars win....."if they are the most motivated". That worries me a lot. Leach is not a raw raw guy and team seems to reflect that at times.

Dec 9 2015, 11:34 AM

Guest2022 (guest): Will WSU have any problem selling alotment for this game?

Dec 9 2015, 11:34 AM

srchat: They might. El Paso is expensive and hard to get to, and the Dec. 26 date isn't doing anybody any favors. The Cougars sold 800 tickets before the destination was announced, but the other 5,200 might be tricky. And some fans will buy from the bowl, not the school.

Dec 9 2015, 11:37 AM

Guest2022 (guest): What are tix going for?

Dec 9 2015, 11:37 AM

srchat: Mostly between $50 and $70.

Dec 9 2015, 11:39 AM

Guest2022 (guest): Where do cougs finish in basketball this year? No chance at NCAA tourney?

Dec 9 2015, 11:39 AM

srchat: I see them finishing between 7th and 9th in the Pac-12, with a good shot at an NIT bid.

Dec 9 2015, 11:40 AM

cubsfan7331: How do you see the current JUCO guys that did not play much this year fitting into slots next yr. Specifically Mitchell at DL and Dimry at receiver.

Dec 9 2015, 11:40 AM

srchat: I think both will play next year. WSU has to replace Darryl Paulo and Destiny Vaeao on the defensive line. Dimry looked pretty good in preseason camp.

Dec 9 2015, 11:43 AM

Guest2022 (guest): I heard the U does not travel well? What is the stadium capacity and your early prediction on attendance?

Dec 9 2015, 11:43 AM

srchat: Stadium holds a little over 50,000. I think around 35-40,000 attendance is a good bet.

Dec 9 2015, 11:43 AM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Will this weekly chat continue after the bowl game?

Dec 9 2015, 11:44 AM

srchat: I'd like to hold it during basketball season, but that will depend on the interest of readers like you.

Dec 9 2015, 11:44 AM

cubsfan7331: A lets get to know Jacob question. What sports do you enjoy watching as a fan? Whats your take on UFC?

Dec 9 2015, 11:48 AM

srchat: Basketball has always been my personal favorite, since it's what I focused on in high school and growing up with AAU and all that. I think really good MMA fighters are doubtlessly among the best athletes in the world, but the sport also makes me a little uncomfortable. Seeing Ronda Rousey pummel a person with repeated blows to the face after she appeared to have passed out made me think the sport needs a change.

Dec 9 2015, 11:48 AM

Guest2022 (guest): Any athletic qb on the recruiting radar we have a chance to get?

Dec 9 2015, 11:49 AM

srchat: Well, Justus Rogers is an athletic QB for Bellevue who is going to play at WSU. They also have a QB commit from Texas. I'm not sure I see them taking a third, even if Rogers switches positions.

Dec 9 2015, 11:49 AM

Guest2022 (guest): Can you speak to the severity of Marks injury?

Dec 9 2015, 11:49 AM

srchat: I cannot. Sorry.

Dec 9 2015, 11:49 AM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Why schedule both Washington schools in bowls on the same day and basically the same time?

Dec 9 2015, 11:50 AM

srchat: The bowls schedule independently of one another, and the times were set before the selections were made.

Dec 9 2015, 11:51 AM

Guest2022 (guest): Can you speak to the severity onc bowl game is over?

Dec 9 2015, 11:52 AM

srchat: Maybe, depends on if he leaves or goes pro. If I start telling you about injuries here, though, we won't be able to give you much info in the spring.

Dec 9 2015, 11:54 AM

Guest4663 (guest): Why do you think WSU wasn't selected for the Holiday Bowl which appeared to be eager to select them ?

Dec 9 2015, 11:55 AM

srchat: The Holiday Bowl decided that with a late time slot -- the game doesn't kick off until 10:30 p.m. ET -- that the only way to attract national viewers was with a brand name matchup, and that USC was going to attract more casual viewers than WSU. Also, it's kind of rare that the Holiday Bowl gets a shot at a Pac-12 championship game participant, and they wanted to take advantage.

Dec 9 2015, 11:55 AM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Not being selected made Gabe Marks mad.

Dec 9 2015, 11:56 AM

srchat: Not getting Biletnikoff finalist made Marks mad heading into the Apple Cup and he had the worst game I've seen. Maybe playing mad isn't the best thing.

Dec 9 2015, 11:59 AM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Well lets just hope he is playing in the bowl and with the Cougars next year mad or happy!

Dec 9 2015, 12:02 PM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Any advantage to being the "home" team for a bowl game like the Cougs are?

Dec 9 2015, 12:02 PM

srchat: Not really, no.

Dec 9 2015, 12:02 PM

srchat: Well thanks for joining our live chat everybody. Let's do it again next week. The transcript will be up shortly.

Dec 9 2015, 12:03 PM

CannedOcotpus (guest): Then why designate it?

Dec 9 2015, 12:03 PM

srchat: Jersey color, who calls the coin flip, which team is on top of the score on TV, etc.

 

 



Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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