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WSU football chat (transcription)

Sep 23 2015, 1:52 AM

srchat: Submit questions now for our live chat at 11 a.m.

Sep 23 2015, 10:58 AM

Guest4391 (guest): Heading down for the Cal game in a couple weeks. Any recommendations on pre or post game spots to eat and hang out?

Sep 23 2015, 10:59 AM

srchat: One of my favorite road trip spots is a place called Gregoire on Cedar St., a sort of French fast food place with really good sandwiches. It's within walking distance of the university so if I were you I would go there, grab some sandwiches and then walk to over to the school and check it out.

Sep 23 2015, 11:00 AM

Guest6269 (guest): I won't be able to make the live chat hut was wondering if you would be doing the position unit grades like last year. I really enjoyed those. Thanks for all your hard work!

Sep 23 2015, 11:00 AM

srchat: Rather than game-by-game grades I'm going to do the unit grades at various checkpoints throughout the season, since that seems more useful. Keep an eye out for the first quarter of the season grades in a day or two.

Sep 23 2015, 11:01 AM

Guest8024 (guest): Based on what you have seen through 3 games how many wins do you think the cougs finish with?

Sep 23 2015, 11:01 AM

srchat: Four or five.

Sep 23 2015, 11:01 AM

shurtyj (guest): Seems like Falk has been hanging on to the ball to long. Is he waiting for deep routes to develop? Are guys not getting open? What's the deal?

Sep 23 2015, 11:02 AM

srchat: I think he's still trying to wait for a better play than the one he sees developing in front of him. A perfect example was the sack he took on Saturday with a yard to go for a first down and a running back wide open crossing in front of him about five yards downfield.

Sep 23 2015, 11:02 AM

Guest1049 (guest): will Hercules Mata'afa be a starter before this season is over?

Sep 23 2015, 11:02 AM

srchat: It wouldn't surprise me at all.

Sep 23 2015, 11:02 AM

Guest95 (guest): Do you think Falks slow decision making comes from an inability to make make quick reads or from nerves

Sep 23 2015, 11:03 AM

srchat: Like I told Shurty, I think it's mostly being dissatisfied with the OK play happening in front of him and hoping a better one develops.

Sep 23 2015, 11:04 AM

Guest1049 (guest): I see Broughton was on the field Saturday, how did he look?

Sep 23 2015, 11:05 AM

srchat: I only remember him playing a few snaps, as a third cornerback. He didn't get badly burned or anything like that, so I'd say his first game was a success.

Sep 23 2015, 11:06 AM

Guest5054 (guest): Punter seemed better except for fumble. Is it just me or was he taking a lot of time to get the punt off?

Sep 23 2015, 11:06 AM

srchat: He does have a slower windup, but I thought he had an excellent game flipping the field.

Sep 23 2015, 11:06 AM

Guest95 (guest): So if Falk is waiting for the big play to develop why does it seem like he's is hesitant to take big shots downfield

Sep 23 2015, 11:07 AM

srchat: Does it? I thought that was definitely the case against Portland State, but he's taken some shots the last two games with pretty good results. We may just be used to Halliday, who really liked to let it rip.

Sep 23 2015, 11:07 AM

Guest4718 (guest): Have the Cougs been focusing on anything specifically during the bye week? and has there been any word on why they dont want touchbacks on kickoffs?

Sep 23 2015, 11:08 AM

srchat: Today is WSU's first practice of the bye week, so mostly they're focused on recruiting. Their idea is that if they can force a return to the 20-yard line, it's as good as a five-yard loss without a loss of down for the offense.

Sep 23 2015, 11:08 AM

Guest5054 (guest): Do you think after the first 3 and out where we ran 3 times straight that Leach told Falk to knock it off?

Sep 23 2015, 11:08 AM

srchat: Eh, maybe, but I'm sure Falk also saw that it didn't work.

Sep 23 2015, 11:11 AM

Guest5054 (guest): I believe in the 4th quarter we went for it on 4th down in our own territory rather than punt. Seemed very dangerous for the situation.

Sep 23 2015, 11:11 AM

srchat: Leach may admire Donald Trump, but don't ever call him conservative.

Sep 23 2015, 11:11 AM

Guest4718 (guest): Will Bender get more reps during the bye week? Falk seems to be the weak link so far offensively

Sep 23 2015, 11:11 AM

srchat: They do give the younger players extra reps during the bye week, but it won't be with an eye toward replacing Falk.

Sep 23 2015, 11:12 AM

Guest5054 (guest): I like Falk. He is going to hit his stride soon. Only1 pick in 3 games.

Sep 23 2015, 11:13 AM

srchat: That's a good point. An extra turnover or two in each of the last couple games could have swung the outcome.

Sep 23 2015, 11:13 AM

Guest1049 (guest): any idea on the status of Dotson?

Sep 23 2015, 11:13 AM

srchat: Nope.

Sep 23 2015, 11:13 AM

Guest95 (guest): I think falk needs to improve, but I also think he's taken care of the ball and without him I don't think we win at Rutgers. He's not getting replaced

Sep 23 2015, 11:14 AM

Guest3330 (guest): How will you spend your Saturday with no WSU game to cover?

Sep 23 2015, 11:14 AM

srchat: I'm actually going to be over in Seattle taking a look at WSU's next opponent, Cal, and writing a preview of the game based on what I see.

Sep 23 2015, 11:14 AM

Guest5054 (guest): Defense came up big the 2nd half. What did they do different?

Sep 23 2015, 11:15 AM

srchat: Grinch emphasized the need to maintain outside leverage and control the edges.

Sep 23 2015, 11:21 AM

Guest1049 (guest): Will Cal hang 50 on the mutts Saturday?

Sep 23 2015, 11:21 AM

srchat: Hard to say, the UW defense was surprisingly good against Cal last year and they have yet to give up a passing touchdown. I doubt the final score will be that high.

Sep 23 2015, 11:21 AM

Guest95 (guest): has Suli hameed been in street clothes still?

Sep 23 2015, 11:21 AM

srchat: Yep, I'm expecting Hameed to redshirt.

Sep 23 2015, 11:22 AM

Guest5054 (guest): do we blitz Goff? Has the defense been limited waiting for PAC 12 play to begin?

Sep 23 2015, 11:22 AM

srchat: Goff's a little too savvy to just blitz out of the game. You've got to create pressure but you also need to cover everybody.

Sep 23 2015, 11:22 AM

Guest6269 (guest): Any insight on how breske is doing at Idaho? Did we do a good job in replacing him?

Sep 23 2015, 11:23 AM

srchat: Let's wait until the end of the year before assessing either performance. Idaho's D is allowing a FBS-worst 11.9 yards per passing attempt, however.

Sep 23 2015, 11:23 AM

Guest3793 (guest): What is your opinion on why Cal has been able to turn their program around faster than WSU? Is Sonny running a better system? Players?

Sep 23 2015, 11:23 AM

srchat: Being located in California certainly helps with recruiting. And frankly, WSU hasn't had a QB anywhere near as good as Goff.

Sep 23 2015, 11:23 AM

Guest9377 (guest): Do you expect to see any changes in the lineup before the Cal game?

Sep 23 2015, 11:23 AM

srchat: Yeah it seems like they tinker with the defense a decent amount week-to-week.

Sep 23 2015, 11:23 AM

Guest3202 (guest): Ky Priester seemed to have the preseason hype, but haven't really seen much in the way of positives so far. Has he struggled during practice as well since the start of the season?

Sep 23 2015, 11:24 AM

srchat: He's been fine in practice. But I made a point of noting at the start of the year that he hadn't done all that much in scrimmages, making me think he still had to adjust to game speed.

Sep 23 2015, 11:28 AM

Guest473 (guest): Bubble screens don't seem to be having any success this year. Is that because no deep threat?

Sep 23 2015, 11:28 AM

srchat: I don't think the bubble screens that have failed have been blocked very well.

Sep 23 2015, 11:28 AM

Guest150 (guest): Leniu is looking good...more PT ?

Sep 23 2015, 11:28 AM

srchat: I think they're happy with the ways Allison and Pelluer are playing.

Sep 23 2015, 11:28 AM

Guest9516 (guest): Do you think the defense it talented enough to make strides in pac 12 play or will we have to wait and see if Grinch is the man for the job

Sep 23 2015, 11:29 AM

srchat: They're young enough to still make strides in Pac-12 play, but I don't think they're talented enough to fully judge Grinch yet.

Sep 23 2015, 11:29 AM

Guest1049 (guest): who has been the biggest surprise (positive or negative) to you so far

Sep 23 2015, 11:29 AM

srchat: Positive is probably how quickly Keith Harrington has made an impact. Negative is the play of WSU's defensive line.

Sep 23 2015, 11:30 AM

Guest150 (guest): So the answer is no on Leniu ?..did not realize he played Alliosns position

Sep 23 2015, 11:31 AM

srchat: He plays behind Pelluer, who had a great game against Wyoming. He'll get time spelling Pelluer, but I don't think they're going to take the starter off the field just to get Leniu reps.

Sep 23 2015, 11:31 AM

Guest473 (guest): SC at ASU. tossup?

Sep 23 2015, 11:31 AM

srchat: I see USC favored by a about 5 or 6. That seems right to me.

Sep 23 2015, 11:31 AM

Guest3330 (guest): Is Calvin Green close to playing in the secondary in a game? I haven't seen him out there, but could have missed him.

Sep 23 2015, 11:32 AM

srchat: I don't think he's been dressed for the last couple home games, so not especially close.

Sep 23 2015, 11:32 AM

Guest9516 (guest): Given in the struggles of the interior D-line do you see tapa getting a starting role any time soon?

Sep 23 2015, 11:32 AM

srchat: He played for the first time in his career on Saturday. I don't know about starting, but I bet his role gets bigger.

Sep 23 2015, 11:32 AM

Guest150 (guest): thanks for the clarity on Chandler...Allison and him do not play the same position...I think Leniu will see more playing time..

Sep 23 2015, 11:33 AM

srchat: Correct, they do not play the same position. Did someone tell you they did?

Sep 23 2015, 11:33 AM

Guest473 (guest): Should we be concerned with some of the deep balls with no body around completed by Wyoming?

Sep 23 2015, 11:34 AM

srchat: Yes, the long passes to Gentry and Maulhardt were very concerning.

Sep 23 2015, 11:34 AM

Guest3330 (guest): Did you or anyone else see that fan on the field during a play against Wyoming? He was far enough away that he didn't interfere, but still dangerous, I'd say.

Sep 23 2015, 11:34 AM

srchat: No, I must have missed that.

Sep 23 2015, 11:34 AM

Guest150 (guest): no, when asked the initial question about Chandler you were the one who brought Allison into your comment....

Sep 23 2015, 11:35 AM

srchat: I mentioned Allison and Pelluer, the two starting inside linebackers to say that both were doing well. I think it's obvious that Allison and Pelluer don't play the same position

Sep 23 2015, 11:35 AM

Guest3793 (guest): Do you think Hilinski is the guy that helps us turn the corner or have we yet to recruit a truly talented QB?

Sep 23 2015, 11:35 AM

srchat: Hilinski has looked very good in practice. But I think the Cougars can turn the corner before he's starting.

Sep 23 2015, 11:35 AM

Guest4718 (guest): Thanks for doing these chats. Any word on Dotson injury?

Sep 23 2015, 11:35 AM

srchat: My pleasure, no word on Dotson.

Sep 23 2015, 11:35 AM

Guest473 (guest): How were the fans at the game? Godd crowd? Stay till the end?

Sep 23 2015, 11:36 AM

srchat: Very good crowd, probably just under 30,000 and most of them stayed the whole time.

Sep 23 2015, 11:36 AM

Guest150 (guest): earlier in the year I stated that 2 ex NFL qbs said Falk will win at least one game with his feet by extending plays, not getting sacked and movement in the pocket..so lo and behold what happened at Rutgers....hmmmmmm

Sep 23 2015, 11:36 AM

srchat: Right, I remember you saying these two ex NFL QBs had told you that Falk would be a major upgrade over Halliday. So far, it looks like being an ex NFL QB doesn't outweigh actually seeing the players in question every day.

Sep 23 2015, 11:37 AM

Guest3793 (guest): What's your take on Bender. I took it that he was edging Falk during fall practice, but he looked out of his element when he had to come in during Portland State. His practices sounded shaky too afterward.

Sep 23 2015, 11:37 AM

srchat: Bender looked very good in fall camp at times but never beat out Falk and I wonder if that took something out of him. He really hasn't been the same guy since throwing that interception.

Sep 23 2015, 11:37 AM

Guest473 (guest): Cals weaknesses?

Sep 23 2015, 11:38 AM

srchat: Defense. Cal's strength: having other team's miss short kicks.

Sep 23 2015, 11:39 AM

Guest1049 (guest): Do we have anyone on defense that hits as hard as some of your replies?

Sep 23 2015, 11:39 AM

srchat: Probably not, although Shalom comes close.

Sep 23 2015, 11:39 AM

Guest3793 (guest): Is Cal's offense vastly improved from last year, or should we see something pretty similar to last year?

Sep 23 2015, 11:39 AM

srchat: I don't think they run the ball quite as much as last year, but I haven't really dug into the numbers on Cal yet. Goff is definitely better.

Sep 23 2015, 11:39 AM

Guest473 (guest): Can we keep up with Cal scoring if we are on our game?

Sep 23 2015, 11:40 AM

srchat: Yes, WSU should be able to keep up with anybody if it's on its game.

Sep 23 2015, 11:44 AM

Michael Heald: Haven't been paying close enough attention to Cal. Bigger weakness of defense for them: run or pass? Or both?

Sep 23 2015, 11:44 AM

srchat: Rush defense. The Golden Bears are actually No. 26 in pass efficiency defense, but allow about 4.5 yards per rush.

Sep 23 2015, 11:46 AM

Guest150 (guest): Never said he would be an upgrade, your putting words in my mouth...what they said and I repeated was about keeping plays alive, stay to the original statement and furthermore I would take their opinion over years...my sense is they know the positon better than your observations...so what happended at the Rutgers game....hmmmmmm

Sep 23 2015, 11:48 AM

srchat: This is exactly what you said: "Guest3234 (guest): falk has legs and that will add at least 1 more win to the total" I said that Falk's ability with his legs would not make up for the difference between he and Halliday as a passer. Given the way the season has borne out, I'm pretty confident with that assessment. If Halliday was playing this year I believe the Cougars would have beaten PSU by a few touchdowns and would still have won at Rutgers.

Sep 23 2015, 11:49 AM

srchat: That's not a knock on Falk to say that he isn't yet as good as a fifth-year senior who had the strongest arm in the conference. And as for Falk's supposed escapability, he was sacked three times by a Wyoming team that now has four total sacks. "Hmmmmmmm"

Sep 23 2015, 11:49 AM

Guest473 (guest): Other than CAL-UW, what other games this weekend to watch. Can't root for Cal since they are our next opponent.

Sep 23 2015, 11:50 AM

srchat: Nationally there aren't many super exciting matchups, although the Arkansas-A&M game could be interesting given all the recent Bielema/Texas coaches stuff. Locally, the Oregon-Utah and UCLA-Arizona games will be big.

Sep 23 2015, 11:51 AM

Guest150 (guest): Yards after catch, this year so far versus last years...at this point it appears Meyers, mayle and Galvin are a tough act to follow.

Sep 23 2015, 11:52 AM

srchat: I don't recall any of those players being YAC superstars, but all three were very good at catching the deep balls thrown by a certain redheaded QB. Dom Williams, Gabe Marks and River Cracraft have also been good at catching them, when they are thrown.

Sep 23 2015, 11:52 AM

ItsMe (guest): Guest150, why such an axe to grind. You have an opnion, great. Let. It. Go.

Sep 23 2015, 11:52 AM

Guest1049 (guest): Is this SR chat or did I accidentally log into Guest150 hosts his thoughts on Cougar Football?

Sep 23 2015, 11:52 AM

Guest3793 (guest): Do you think WSU comes out too conservative, or what do you pin on the slow starts?

Sep 23 2015, 11:53 AM

srchat: I do think WSU has been trying to establish the run early in games to force defenses to respect it.

Sep 23 2015, 11:53 AM

Guest150 (guest): Yarbrough had 2 of the sacks , was an all conference guy last year, we all remember connor flying out of the pocket with the hint of pressure and the Auburn game first and goal, USC game and of couse last years debacle against AZ...Falk tends to stay in the pocket step forward, not sure if we win Rutgers with Connor...he had his chance last year with better WR's..Falk may win yet another game with his legs..no knock on Halliday who had a big time arm, I just care about wins !

Sep 23 2015, 11:54 AM

srchat: I wonder where Yarbrough would rank among Pac-12 pass rushers. I do agree that Falk's ability to climb the pocket is impressive.

Sep 23 2015, 11:54 AM

Michael Heald: I think I remember hearing that Leach was going to have more influence over play calling after PSU. Any idea if that has been/will continue to be the case going forward?

Sep 23 2015, 11:55 AM

srchat: I think they will continue to keep the plays streamlined and not present Falk with so many options at the line, at least this year.

Sep 23 2015, 11:55 AM

Guest1734 (guest): Do you think all the people that say the Cougs need to run more are happy?

Sep 23 2015, 11:55 AM

srchat: I'm not sure. I bet most of them would be happy if the Cougars won more no matter how often they ran the ball.

Sep 23 2015, 11:56 AM

Guest3793 (guest): I do like Falk's composure. Halliday was always on the brink of throwing a tantrum.

Sep 23 2015, 11:56 AM

srchat: I think Connor's emotions got the best of him sometimes, but I also think there were times the Cougars needed a QB with some fire.

Sep 23 2015, 11:57 AM

Guest473 (guest): No line yet on cougs and bears. What is yours?

Sep 23 2015, 11:57 AM

srchat: I would imagine the Bears will be favored by 5-8 points, depending on how they do this weekend.

Sep 23 2015, 11:57 AM

Guest3793 (guest): Cal by 10.

Sep 23 2015, 11:58 AM

Guest150 (guest): Connor had some fire , Cougs should have beaten CSU, Auburn, Rutgers and last AC in Seattle..Connor did not deliver...I thought his best game ever was ASU in the snow

Sep 23 2015, 12:00 PM

srchat: The Cougars scored 45 points against CSU and Halliday was named the Player of the Game. They scored 38 against Rutgers. I'm not sure the QB is who I would blame for those losses.

Sep 23 2015, 12:00 PM

Guest473 (guest): I believe SC was favored by 10 over Stanford and a lot of people didn't think it would be that close. I am an SC hater by the way.

Sep 23 2015, 12:00 PM

srchat: I picked SC by more than that. But hey, Stanford has beaten USC as a 41-point underdog, so this was nothing.

Sep 23 2015, 12:00 PM

Michael Heald: We won't mention the coverage team but I've been a little disappointed with the return game as well. Is that me being sour or has it been sub par to your eye?

Sep 23 2015, 12:01 PM

srchat: I actually think kickoff coverage looks pretty good. Martin is consistently getting OK returns and he's been really close to getting great returns a couple of times.

Sep 23 2015, 12:01 PM

Guest150 (guest): Falk seems to be pressing to much...certainly not the cannon connor has yet I don't miss his wild scrambles, prefer to see the footwork in the pocket

Sep 23 2015, 12:03 PM

ItsMe (guest): We will lose (and probably pretty handily) to Cal and then Oregon. That makes the next home game against the Beavs the game of the year as far as I'm concerned. We would be 3-3 with a win over OSU and half the season left to play. If we're getting better every week, that's not a terrible place to be.

Sep 23 2015, 12:04 PM

srchat: That seems like a likely scenario, although a Pac-12 road win isn't out of the question.

Sep 23 2015, 12:04 PM

srchat: This seems like a good place to stop. Thanks for taking some time during your bye weeks to join me, everybody. The transcript will be up shortly.

 



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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