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WSU football chat (transcript)

Aug 31 2016, 1:42 AM

srchat: Hey, Jacob Thorpe here. I'll be in at 10 a.m. to ask all your WSU football questions. In the meantime, fire away.

Aug 31 2016, 11:01 AM

srchat: Alright, settle down everybody. Bill Anderson, put that paper airplane away. SpectreCoug, quit trying to finish last night's homework. Class. Is. Starting.

Aug 31 2016, 11:02 AM

Guest1262 (guest): Where do you get the PDF of the game notes? I can't find them on the website like previous years. Thanks!

Aug 31 2016, 11:02 AM

srchat: Ask and you shall receive http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/sportslink/2016/aug/31/wsu-game-notes-eastern-washington/

WSU game notes for Eastern Washington | The Spokesman-Review

Aug 31 2016, 11:03 AM

Guest2204 (guest): Jacob. Thanks for the great coverage. On obvious passing downs for the opposition might we employ a front of Barber flanked by Hercules on one side and Nnamdi Oguayo on the other side to really get speed on the field?

Aug 31 2016, 11:04 AM

srchat: You'll see the Cougars do all sorts of packages to manufacture pressure on passing downs. Without revealing specific schemes, don't be surprised to see the Cougars mix up personnel in many ways similar to the one you've suggest, with fewer defensive linemen and more linebacker types.

Aug 31 2016, 11:04 AM

cubsfan7331: From a mental or attitude aspect what differences do you see in the team heading into the opener compared to last year? Weather at game time?

Aug 31 2016, 11:05 AM

srchat: The team seems less happy about having had a good preseason camp, in a good way. Last year there was a lot of optimism after camp. Now the team seems to be adopting a mindset that a good camp should be the expectation, but doesn't mean anything is guaranteed on game day. I expect it to be kind of cold and kind of rainy.

Aug 31 2016, 11:05 AM

BenBarhan: Do you know anything about what is going on with Thomas Toki? Still on the radar or he is probably never going to be a Coug?

Aug 31 2016, 11:06 AM

srchat: I would be pretty shocked to see Toki wind up at WSU at this point.

Aug 31 2016, 11:06 AM

Guest5573 (guest): Non-WSU question: I haven't heard much about the UW O-Line being shaky until I read your power rankings. What do you not like about it?

Aug 31 2016, 11:07 AM

srchat: Well, I don't recall the UW offensive line being very good last year and it's still pretty young. I think that left tackle that started as a freshman, Adams, could be pretty good some day but that still seems to be UW's most glaring weakness.

Aug 31 2016, 11:07 AM

Guest4444 (guest): How have TJ Fehoko and Kingston Fernandez looked this fall? Any chance they could see the field this year?

Aug 31 2016, 11:08 AM

srchat: They're both still pretty raw. I could see Fernandez getting some snaps against Eastern Washington and being a member of the rotation, though.

Aug 31 2016, 11:08 AM

jonthecoug: Has the second team dline shown progress the past couple weeks? Is it still a big concern?

Aug 31 2016, 11:09 AM

srchat: We're sort of past the point where it's going to be very apparent when players or units show much improvement, since the two-deep players work almost exclusively against the scouts in practice.

Aug 31 2016, 11:09 AM

ItsFergal (guest): Cougfan reported from yesterday's practice that Robert Taylor was working at Safety. Can you confirm what safety spot he was practicing at and do you expect him to start?

Aug 31 2016, 11:10 AM

srchat: Yes, Taylor has been at the strong safety spot and I would not be surprised to see him start.

Aug 31 2016, 11:11 AM

Kasey Kahne (guest): Do you think there will be beer sales this weekend?

Aug 31 2016, 11:12 AM

srchat: I don't think there will be, since the school still has not made any announcement. Maybe the athletic department wants it to be a surprise, but considering how long it's been since word of the negotiations first leaked out I would guess that initial reports were premature.

Aug 31 2016, 11:14 AM

cubsfan7331: Have you seen much of Cooper Kupp and his play. If so, who would you compare him to on WSU or in PAC-12?

Aug 31 2016, 11:15 AM

srchat: I've seen him a couple times and watched some highlights. I don't think WSU has an especially comparable player. In style and body type he kind of reminds me of Keenan Allen when he was at Cal.

Aug 31 2016, 11:15 AM

Guest5037 (guest): Do the Cougs have a mobile QB to simulate Gubruds running ability for the scout team offense?

Aug 31 2016, 11:16 AM

srchat: Anthony Gordon has some athleticism but none of the scout quarterbacks are what I would call a running QB.

Aug 31 2016, 11:17 AM

Guest1025 (guest): Is nose tackle going to be a serious concern next season, being that we lose Robert Barber? Seems like the coaches have dropped the ball recruiting at that position.

Aug 31 2016, 11:18 AM

srchat: It is a really tough position to recruit, particularly on the west coast. The Cougars will still have Tapa, but I do think the WSU defense is already starting to change to not incorporate a traditional nose tackle so much.

Aug 31 2016, 11:20 AM

Guest5573 (guest): How has Falk looked in practice?

Aug 31 2016, 11:20 AM

srchat: He looked really good yesterday.

Aug 31 2016, 11:20 AM

Guest5021 (guest): With Luani not having practiced do you see any chance he plays on Saturday?

Aug 31 2016, 11:20 AM

Guest2587 (guest): If Luani doesn't play. Who do you expect to start next to Thompson?

Aug 31 2016, 11:20 AM

srchat: I do not expect Luani to play. I think Robert Taylor is most likely to start next to him.

Aug 31 2016, 11:20 AM

Rob Ellsworth: Luani playing? If there needs to be punishment, I'd suspend him for Eastern and suspend him for Idaho. Pass that along if you like.

Aug 31 2016, 11:21 AM

srchat: Sure, I'll recommend they sit him during the bye week as well, to really set an example.

Aug 31 2016, 11:21 AM

Kasey Kahne (guest): Would you say Johnson is further ahead than Martin JR and Priester were last year at this time?

Aug 31 2016, 11:22 AM

srchat: Yes to Martin. Priester looked pretty dominant at this time last season. But of course, Martin had the better year and is shaping up to have a much better career.

Aug 31 2016, 11:22 AM

Guest2587 (guest): Did anything on the official depth chart surprise you?

Aug 31 2016, 11:24 AM

srchat: The coaches finally declaring Luke Falk the starter at QB a bit of a shocker. I'm not sure I buy that Cedric Bigge-Duren would be the first left tackle off the bench right now. Wicks listed ahead of Morrow is a little surprising, albeit with an OR designation.

Aug 31 2016, 11:24 AM

Rob Ellsworth: The bye week, now you're being ridiculous. Really liked the reverse wishbone look last year in short yardage, they using that at all?

Aug 31 2016, 11:25 AM

srchat: They're continuing to get more creative in the run game, I'll say that.

Aug 31 2016, 11:25 AM

Jeremy Brown: How many yards will Falk throw for on Saturday? I've heard Eastern's defense is.... questionable.

Aug 31 2016, 11:26 AM

srchat: I'm going to keep him around 400. If that's because he's tearing it up, then WSU will be ahead and the coaches will want to get Tyler Hilinski snaps. If he plays the whole game, then the WSU offense probably struggled.

Aug 31 2016, 11:26 AM

wsucougarbill: Do we finally "house" a kick return this year?

Aug 31 2016, 11:26 AM

srchat: I think so. It might come against Idaho, though.

Aug 31 2016, 11:27 AM

Guest1045 (guest): It has been documented that our dline might be a weakness due to size and experience. Do see stopping the rush (like last year) as our achilles heal?

Aug 31 2016, 11:27 AM

srchat: Yes, I think that will be the defense's weakness for sure. That's why I have a hard time seeing the Cougars beating Stanford, and expect Royce Freeman to have another big day in a loss.

Aug 31 2016, 11:27 AM

Falk4Heisman (guest): surprised Eastern returned tickets? Guess on student crowd with holiday weekend?

Aug 31 2016, 11:28 AM

srchat: No, Eastern fans are notorious for hating gimmicky green football fields. I bet there's a robust student crowd, but with a few vacant sections on the sides and at the top.

Aug 31 2016, 11:29 AM

Guest4611 (guest): During Luani's fight, was he able to use his feet to avoid incoming defenders and keep the match alive thereby winning a fight he wouldn't normally have won?

Aug 31 2016, 11:29 AM

srchat: I think it's a fight he normally would won, considering he's an hard-hitting safety and the other person, presumably, is not.

Aug 31 2016, 11:30 AM

BachelorFanatic (guest): Thoughts on most recent bachelor signing?

Aug 31 2016, 11:32 AM

srchat: I think (Googles) Nick Viall is not going to be the thing that gets me to watch The Bachelor.

Aug 31 2016, 11:32 AM

Guest2204 (guest): Do you think Nnamdi Oguayo will get into the game and will his speed be an impact?

Aug 31 2016, 11:32 AM

srchat: Yes and yes.

Aug 31 2016, 11:32 AM

wsucougarbill: Dear God please tell me that BachelorFanatic is some players mom, or a trolling husky

Aug 31 2016, 11:33 AM

Rob Ellsworth: Harrington not shown on 2 deeps. You expect he'll play? Also, does the team see being at the Hilltop now rather than Lewiston a benefit to get rid of the bus ride down and back or not related to that?

Aug 31 2016, 11:34 AM

srchat: I think he'll get 8-12 snaps and maybe a couple catches. They still want to get the ball in his hands a few times and see what he can do, but he may be a guy who emerges midseason once he's more used to H. I'm not sure if the team is actually staying there in the season or if that just made more sense for mock week.

Aug 31 2016, 11:34 AM

Guest1195 (guest): Word on the street about Luani and the incident? Anything to his story? Pullman the only place where people aren't pulling out their phones?

Aug 31 2016, 11:34 AM

srchat: When I have something I can report, I will report it.

Aug 31 2016, 11:35 AM

Guest1045 (guest): I'm having some flashbacks Jacob. This time last year I was on cloud 9 before the PSU game and I felt the lowest of all time as Coug fan after the game. What are the chances I feel like that come Saturday eve based off what you have seen compared to last year?

Aug 31 2016, 11:36 AM

srchat: See, I think it's misguided to compare years like that. The team probably only had a 1-in-10 chance of losing to PSU last year, they just happened to hit that 1. There's probably a 3-in-10 chance they lose to EWU. It's far more likely they win both games, but weird things happen. It's not as if there is some determining factor that caused them to lose that was apparent last year but is not there this year.

Aug 31 2016, 11:37 AM

Guest5021 (guest): What's the deal with James Williams, seems like lots of hype and now it has waned....

Aug 31 2016, 11:38 AM

srchat: He had a really good spring but now everybody is playing for keeps. I expect him to be a big part of WSU's offense this year, but Morrow and Wicks are also very good backs, know the system and their assignments and aren't in any hurry to give up carries.

Aug 31 2016, 11:38 AM

BachelorFanatic (guest): I'm also having flashbacks

Aug 31 2016, 11:38 AM

srchat: Must be a clip-show episode.

Aug 31 2016, 11:38 AM

Rob Ellsworth: You see any similarities or differences with this group coming off a bowl season compared to the season after the NM Bowl?

Aug 31 2016, 11:38 AM

srchat: I think in general it's a more positive, closer group. The personalities seem to mesh really well.

Aug 31 2016, 11:39 AM

Guest1195 (guest): which way is the needle pointing on the Luani meter. bad, middle, good?

Aug 31 2016, 11:39 AM

srchat: Right now I'd say middle with a slight lean toward bad.

Aug 31 2016, 11:40 AM

Guest1025 (guest): It seems like Falk always falls awkwardly with his head being whiplashed, have the coaches worked on that with him?

Aug 31 2016, 11:40 AM

srchat: No, I don't think the neck's reaction to getting sacked by a big defensive lineman is something you can really teach.

Aug 31 2016, 11:41 AM

Guest1195 (guest): Any fallout from the fight involving players earlier?

Aug 31 2016, 11:41 AM

srchat: Last week an officer told me they expected to make arrests this week. A couple days ago an officer told Stef Loh of the Seattle Times that it will not be this week. So, to be continued!

Aug 31 2016, 11:41 AM

ItsFergal (guest): How do the battle in the trenches on both sides look for WSU vs EWU?

Aug 31 2016, 11:41 AM

srchat: Good for WSU.

Aug 31 2016, 11:42 AM

Guest69 (guest): Who takes over at Y next year when the two seniors leave?

Aug 31 2016, 11:42 AM

srchat: Good question. I would not be shocked at all to see Kyle Sweet move over to Y, with a few of the redshirting freshmen heading to H.

Aug 31 2016, 11:43 AM

jonthecoug: If the pizza wasn't on time, there can be no crime. - Ghost of Johnny Cochrane

Aug 31 2016, 11:44 AM

Guest2587 (guest): For entertainment purposes do the Cougs cover on Saturday?

Aug 31 2016, 11:44 AM

srchat: I have not seen odds for the game since the Luani news came out. But my prediction is WSU wins 48-34.

Aug 31 2016, 11:45 AM

Guest5021 (guest): Are there any of those RBs you have concerns about their hands? Seems like the fumble bug-a-boo has been an issue...

Aug 31 2016, 11:45 AM

srchat: Harrington was the most fumble-prone of those backs. You never know how Williams will react to his first big hit, but I don't think fumbles are a major concern for any of the three backs.

Aug 31 2016, 11:45 AM

cubsfan7331: Which "rookie" makes the biggest impact on offense and defense on Saturday?

Aug 31 2016, 11:45 AM

srchat: Offense: Isaiah Johnson

Aug 31 2016, 11:45 AM

srchat: Defense: Jalen Thompson

Aug 31 2016, 11:46 AM

Rob Ellsworth: O'Connell seemed to have really caught fire and got a lot of accolades during fall camp. He maintained that level since coming back to Pullman?

Aug 31 2016, 11:46 AM

srchat: He's done nothing to make me thing he's regressed. Since camp ended, though, the Cougars have done a lot less "good-on-good" work, and it's harder to evaluate individual play versus the scout team.

Aug 31 2016, 11:47 AM

Guest1195 (guest): Would a quarterback want to get recruited to Oregon based on what they have done the last 2 or 3 years?

Aug 31 2016, 11:48 AM

srchat: I would think so. In the last 2-3 years a UO QB has won a Heisman, the Ducks have never won fewer than 9 games and the program desperately needs stability at the position.

Aug 31 2016, 11:48 AM

BBs Beefhoss (guest): WHO ARE THE GUNNERS?

Aug 31 2016, 11:48 AM

srchat: River Cracraft is one. Colton Teglovic is probably the other.

Aug 31 2016, 11:49 AM

Guest9109 (guest): What uniform combo do you like most?

Aug 31 2016, 11:50 AM

srchat: I like the all-whites and the all-crimson. But mostly, I'm on team Anything But Anthracite.

Aug 31 2016, 11:50 AM

Guest1195 (guest): Any feeling on Leach's view of bringing in Graduate players?

Aug 31 2016, 11:50 AM

srchat: He hasn't done it yet, so it doesn't seem to be a priority.

Aug 31 2016, 11:50 AM

ItsFergal (guest): Is there anything WSU fans will be surprised to see the Cougs do on Saturday?

Aug 31 2016, 11:50 AM

srchat: Not if I tell you here. But yeah, there are a couple wrinkles I've seen in practice that I did not see in previous years.

Aug 31 2016, 11:51 AM

Guest5021 (guest): If Tyler gets a quarter of play will it be with the same group of receivers/line that Luke was playing with?

Aug 31 2016, 11:51 AM

srchat: I would imagine it's mostly the same offensive line, with maybe B.J. Salmonson and another player or two rotating in. Mostly backup wide receivers.

Aug 31 2016, 11:51 AM

Guest1195 (guest): Any starters involved in the earlier fight incident?

Aug 31 2016, 11:52 AM

srchat: It's possible/likely a few were at the party and/or involved in the fight. But my expectation is that only a small percentage of people involved will end up being charged.

Aug 31 2016, 11:53 AM

BBs Beefhoss (guest): Who is the most likely member of the local media to be involved in a fist fight outside Pullman's Domino's on a Tuesday night?

Aug 31 2016, 11:53 AM

srchat: Vince Grippi.

Aug 31 2016, 11:54 AM

jonthecoug: What position group are you most interested in seeing?

Aug 31 2016, 11:54 AM

srchat: I'll be interested to see how the linebackers look. They took a while to get going last year, and there are a lot of new faces.

Aug 31 2016, 11:54 AM

Guest3814 (guest): I heard a rumor Priester will be rejoining the team. Any truth to that?

Aug 31 2016, 11:55 AM

srchat: There's a rumor going around based, from what I hear, on his jersey appearing in the locker room? I don't know how much stock I'd put in that, if that's what you've heard, but I do know he's still in Pullman. So maybe some fire where there's all this smoke.

Aug 31 2016, 11:55 AM

Guest5573 (guest): Have you ever played a round at Palouse Ridge? What did you shoot?

Aug 31 2016, 11:56 AM

srchat: I have played once. I'm sure I got into triple-digits, but I did par the critical 9th hole with my peers watching from the restaurant. So, overall, a win.

Aug 31 2016, 11:56 AM

Guest1195 (guest): Preseason, post season always seem to be when players get in trouble in all programs. Any thoughts?

Aug 31 2016, 11:57 AM

srchat: Idle hands are the devil's playthings.

Aug 31 2016, 11:57 AM

Sid (guest): Any idea what time the Oregon game might be if Game Day comes to Pullman?

Aug 31 2016, 11:58 AM

srchat: I would guess early evening but GameDay really only affects the morning show, not game time.

Aug 31 2016, 11:58 AM

cubsfan7331: What position, in your observation, is depth the most concern?

Aug 31 2016, 11:58 AM

srchat: Defensive line and linebacker.

Aug 31 2016, 11:58 AM

wsucougarbill: What ever happened to Logan Tuley-Tillman? Did he decide to guest star on the bachelor instead?

Aug 31 2016, 11:59 AM

srchat: Last I heard he was headed to Akron, which would be a pretty mundane Bachelor location.

Aug 31 2016, 11:59 AM

Guest1633 (guest): How come Williams is not listed at RB on the depth chart

Aug 31 2016, 11:59 AM

srchat: Because he's not in the two-deeps.

Aug 31 2016, 11:59 AM

Guest1195 (guest): Ratings forecast? Wsu v ewu vs sc - bama?

Aug 31 2016, 12:00 PM

srchat: I predict the game between the west coast power and the east coast power outdraws the game between the two schools from eastern Washington.

Aug 31 2016, 12:00 PM

Guest2204 (guest): speaking of d-line depth how has Garrett McBroom looked?

Aug 31 2016, 12:00 PM

srchat: He's good, I think the coaches have been impressed with how quickly he's been ready to contribute.

Aug 31 2016, 12:00 PM

Guest5021 (guest): Do you expect to see us try some FG's from the 50 yd range this season?

Aug 31 2016, 12:00 PM

srchat: Definitely.

Aug 31 2016, 12:00 PM

srchat: Alright, that's the hour on the dot. Thanks for joining our chat, everybody. The transcript will be available shortly.

 

 




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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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