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WSU Football chat (transcript)

Sep 7 2016, 9:58 AM

srchat: Ask questions now to have them answered in our 10 a.m. WSU football chat.

Sep 7 2016, 11:01 AM

srchat: Hey everybody, thanks for dropping by. Got any questions?

Sep 7 2016, 11:01 AM

Guest7924 (guest): Why does this staff continue to start true freshman and then say "We were hesitant out there; We didn't play as fast as we were in practice...) Just go with the vets who proved they could play last year. 0-5 in season openers. GOOD GRAVY!!!

Sep 7 2016, 11:02 AM

srchat: Well, Jalen Thompson was the only true freshman who started and the Cougars didn't have many other options at safety. I do think there is a point to be made about sticking with experience, especially early. For example, Treshon Broughton played well in camp, but seemed pretty hesitant on Saturday.

Sep 7 2016, 11:03 AM

srchat: Maybe Marcellus Pippins did not have quite as good a camp as Broughton, but he's a proven playmaker who has done it in games, and when he got on the field against EWU made a critical interception. Maybe it would be better to rely on experience in the opener, and I would not be surprised at all to see more Pippins this week at Boise State.

Sep 7 2016, 11:03 AM

Guest4832 (guest): Which players on defense played well on Saturday?

Sep 7 2016, 11:05 AM

srchat: Darrien Molton came up on the wrong end of a lot of highlights, but I actually thought he played pretty well. Alex Grinch tells players that a perfect throw and perfect catch will be perfect coverage, and Gage Gubrud threw some perfect passes to Cooper Kupp, negating pretty good coverage by Molton. Other than that, well, Pippins played well and Mata'afa did at times.

Sep 7 2016, 11:05 AM

TheHorror (guest): Why does my football team hate me?

Sep 7 2016, 11:05 AM

srchat: Because you're such a horror.

Sep 7 2016, 11:05 AM

Guest2626 (guest): Good piece on Rypien this morning...what are the differences between Falk and him ?

Sep 7 2016, 11:06 AM

srchat: Guest2626 is referring to John Blanchette's column this morning, which I encourage all of you to read https://t.co/ur4oZHy74n

Blanchette: Brett Rypien can’t escape the ties to Washington State | The Spokesman-Review

Sep 7 2016, 11:07 AM

srchat: To answer your question, Guest2626, the biggest difference is that Rypien is more of a downfield thrower. He'll take deep shots that have not really been a big part of the WSU offense since Connor Halliday was slinging to Vince Mayle.

Sep 7 2016, 11:07 AM

Guest2626 (guest): Pippins looked awful on the 3rd and long

Sep 7 2016, 11:07 AM

srchat: Have you ever seen a cornerback play a perfect game? I haven't.

Sep 7 2016, 11:08 AM

Sid (guest): What happened to the defense? One starter out make that big of a difference?

Sep 7 2016, 11:10 AM

srchat: I do think Shalom Luani was the starter they could least afford to lose, especially since the Eagles were able to take the WSU pass rush out of the game with quick passes. WSU's tackling was also pretty pedestrian, and Beau Baldwin came up with a good game plan to take advantage of WSU's soft coverage. Basically, WSU tries to keep plays in front, but if you tackle poorly a short gain becomes a 40-yard one in a hurry and that's what happened all night on Saturday.

Sep 7 2016, 11:10 AM

Guest9131 (guest): My observation was that the running game looked really good but did not seem as part of the game plan. Little play action and didn't keep running until they stopped it. Your thoughts?

Sep 7 2016, 11:12 AM

srchat: I think the Cougars would have done well to try more run plays during the 30 minute scoring drought, especially given their size advantage on the offensive line. Derek Deis made a comment on the postgame show about not wanting to stray from their normal game plan to win one game, when they need to set themselves up to win more down the road that I thought was a good point. But perhaps the playcalling should be more flexible when it's a tight game.

Sep 7 2016, 11:13 AM

Guest6582 (guest): Treshon started at corner, but was soon replaced by Pippins and I didn't see him return. Pippins taking 1st team reps now or just an in game adjustment?

Sep 7 2016, 11:14 AM

srchat: Based on their play against Eastern, I'm expecting to see more Pippins this week. Broughton's strengths in camp were his aggressiveness and physicality and we didn't see that on Saturday. I'm sure he'll get some snaps against BSU, but I'd expect them to go with Pippins.

Sep 7 2016, 11:15 AM

Guest1707 (guest): Lack of pass rush a massive concern. Will Grinch need to use his LBs more on designed blitzes?

Sep 7 2016, 11:16 AM

srchat: He might, but that can also be pretty dangerous against a quick-passing team, taking your linebackers out of the middle of the defense to defend against slants, meshes, etc. The rush ends have to do better, and Hercules Mata'afa needs to have an All-Conference season.

Sep 7 2016, 11:17 AM

srchat: We've gone into some of the defense's troubles today, but the most glaring thing to me was a lack of defensive line depth. The starters appeared to play a lot more snaps than I'm used to seeing -- and a lot more than the starting linebackers, for example, did -- and seemed pretty gassed by the end of the game. That lack of depth could make the difference against teams like BSU, Cal, Oregon or even Colorado. Thoughts?

Sep 7 2016, 11:18 AM

Guest5275 (guest): Do you see Luke Falk making it through this season healthy again? He has an odd tendency to freeze up when defenders get in the backfield, turning his body into a human whip. I thought this is something he'd learn to manage with experience, but he took a couple solid bumps to the head on Saturday and I'm losing any confidence in his ability to protect himself.

Sep 7 2016, 11:19 AM

srchat: Not to nitpick, but he didn't make it through last season healthy. As far as whether or not he tenses up when he's sacked, he's made enough starts and played enough football now where I don't think those protection instincts are going to change. Whether it makes him more susceptible to injury, I don't know.

Sep 7 2016, 11:20 AM

Guest9518 (guest): EWU fan here - we played about as perfect of game as I've seen on offense. Looking forward to the Cougs making some noise this year. I think they'll be in for another solid year.

Sep 7 2016, 11:20 AM

srchat: Thanks for joining our chat! Hope you continue to follow along.

Sep 7 2016, 11:20 AM

cubsfan7331: Takeaways=victories, missed tackles=losses. Seems like EWU's first drive of third qtr. there was way to much trying to strip and less trying to tackles. Yes/No?

Sep 7 2016, 11:21 AM

srchat: That's another interesting point, because Grinch definitely does teach to get the ball out and emphasizes the strip. Of course, the initial tackler needs to focus on stopping the ballcarrier and trying to bring him down, but the mindset of going for the turnover maybe has defenders thinking strip and whiffing.

Sep 7 2016, 11:21 AM

Guest4832 (guest): How is the Boise State defense?

Sep 7 2016, 11:23 AM

srchat: Hard to tell based on one game against Louisiana Lafayette, but it is very young. I think the cougars should be able to score a lot in this game. The question is whether or not they'll get stops. I think Alex Grinch is a really good coordinator and I expect the defense to look a lot better. But we'll see about the structural issues, such as a lack of pass rush and depth in the front seven.

Sep 7 2016, 11:24 AM

Guest8690 (guest): With a season of Alex grinch defenses tape it is easier now for the teams to game plan against and that is reason for defense playing so bad against EWU?

Sep 7 2016, 11:25 AM

srchat: That does not make a lot of sense to me. The defense got better last year as the season went on, despite putting more on tape. And defensive coordinators rarely have their best seasons in Year 1.

Sep 7 2016, 11:25 AM

Guest9131 (guest): other than Dotson, Secondary looked like they could not tackle. Lack of live tackling in practice or what?

Sep 7 2016, 11:26 AM

srchat: The Cougars live tackle about as much as any team I've seen. I think going for the strip was a salient point. Also, teams usually just don't tackle as well in the first few games. The Cougars scored 42 points thanks to some missed EWU tackles too, you know.

Sep 7 2016, 11:26 AM

Guest7320 (guest): If Rypien/BSU are more of a downfield passing offense, do you expect to see a more productive day from the D-line this weekend?

Sep 7 2016, 11:27 AM

srchat: Put it this way: If WSU wins, it will be because the pass rush showed up.

Sep 7 2016, 11:27 AM

Guest6582 (guest): Front 7 seemed non existent for long stretches. Is the sky falling?

Sep 7 2016, 11:27 AM

srchat: Yes. It rained heavily yesterday for the first time since May.

Sep 7 2016, 11:28 AM

GoCougs206 (guest): I was surprised by how bad the defense played on Saturday. It's pretty hard to win any game when you give up 9.6 yards a snap. Did the poor play surprise you? Do you see the struggles in the secondary being a problem all season?

Sep 7 2016, 11:29 AM

srchat: The poor play did surprise me. I think getting Shalom Luani back will clear up a lot of issues in the secondary, particularly if it allows Robert Taylor to slide back to cornerback, his more natural position.

Sep 7 2016, 11:29 AM

TheHorror (guest): To your point about DL depth: It looks like McBroom and Tapa played, but didn't log any stats. Do you recall how much action they saw?

Sep 7 2016, 11:30 AM

srchat: I don't have access to snap counts, but I don't remember seeing them out there much. It seemed to me that on series when the backup linebackers came in, the starting defensive line was still on the field.

Sep 7 2016, 11:33 AM

Guest2626 (guest): Wicks and Morrow keeping getting better and better, good to see Williams..miss eeing Harrington out there..are we going to see him on the field

Sep 7 2016, 11:33 AM

srchat: Harrington is still adjusting to a new position, so I don't expect to see much of him for another month or so, and after that we'll see. I do think all three running backs played well on Saturday.

Sep 7 2016, 11:36 AM

Guest9131 (guest): Offense did not look sharp either. My recollection is that stupid penalties killed about half the drives. Penalties on 1st down are horrible.

Sep 7 2016, 11:36 AM

srchat: There were a lot of bad, drive-killing penalties. The offense had about a 30-minute scoring drought, which is obviously pretty brutal. But it did score touchdowns on four consecutive drives.

Sep 7 2016, 11:37 AM

cubsfan7331: Any idea what conference the refs will come from for game on Saturday? Is this your first trip to Boise or have you covered other sports that sent you there?

Sep 7 2016, 11:37 AM

srchat: Not sure on the officials because I don't have a copy of the contract the schools signed when they agreed to play the game. I have never been to Boise, but I'm excite to check it out.

Sep 7 2016, 11:39 AM

Guest6582 (guest): Kupp deserves a ton of credit, he's the real deal. BSU have a clutch go to guy like that? Also, noticed some new wrinkles to the offense and really like some of those looks.

Sep 7 2016, 11:40 AM

srchat: Thomas Sperbeck at wide receiver and Jeremy McNichols at running back are the two to watch. They combined for 3,200 offensive yards and 34 touchdowns in 2015.

Sep 7 2016, 11:42 AM

Guest8245 (guest): I think it all came down to missed tackles. If the Cougs get 3 more stops in that game it's a big win for WSU.

Sep 7 2016, 11:42 AM

Guest2626 (guest): UW and Stanford tackled just fine in Game 1 ! and UW does little live tackling in practice !

Sep 7 2016, 11:44 AM

srchat: UW has the best defense in the conference and Stanford is not far behind. Alabama tackled really well in game 1, too, but USC didn't tackle so well. Football kind of comes down to tackling vs. not getting tackled and the team that does a better job of not getting tackled and tackling usually wins.

Sep 7 2016, 11:45 AM

Guest8690 (guest): Do you think our d line being more lean and athletic will give us more advantage against teams like Oregon over stanford?will lack of depth and more snaps for the starters negate the advantage?

Sep 7 2016, 11:46 AM

srchat: I think the hope is that the "Speed D" will match up well against the conference's speedy offenses, which are the majority these days. That does leave them more vulnerable to power teams like Stanford, however. And I do think lack of depth is going to make it tougher against those same speedy offenses.

Sep 7 2016, 11:48 AM

Sid (guest): So you posted that Luani will be charged? Impacts to his playing time for the rest of the season?

Sep 7 2016, 11:49 AM

srchat: Well, our story said the police will recommend charges. Then the prosecutor must decide what to charge him with. Then, he'll either plead guilty to a lesser charge or it will go to court, which can take a while. I suspect Luani won't miss any more games.

Sep 7 2016, 11:50 AM

Guest9198 (guest): Could you get any resemblance of urgency fTom the players or coaches even while they kept declaring that "the past is the past" and that they were moving forward? Other than Gabe, were you able to read anything about how the players feel deep down about the loss?

Sep 7 2016, 11:51 AM

srchat: I don't think motivation is ever the issue. Jamal Morrow did seem fairly dejected during his Monday press conference, and acknowledged the team's backs are against the wall a little bit.

Sep 7 2016, 11:51 AM

Ray Lancaster: What are the Coaches saying about linebacker play?Even Pulleaur was missing tackles

Sep 7 2016, 11:52 AM

srchat: Ken Wilson mostly seemed concerned with how the linebackers played in coverage and their inability to track the receivers on some of those late plays.

Sep 7 2016, 11:52 AM

Guest9131 (guest): All phase of the game contributed to loss. that missed field goal would have helped.

Sep 7 2016, 11:52 AM

cubsfan7331: Do any of the coaches/staff ask you about any of your answers offered up in the chat? Any evidence that they check it out?

Sep 7 2016, 11:53 AM

srchat: It's happened a couple times, usually on the football-related stuff. I don't think any of them are lurking right now, but I know a couple have perused the transcript.

Sep 7 2016, 11:53 AM

Guest2626 (guest): Did Harrington use his Red Shirt Year ?..Dimitry see the field last week ?.I know the injury deal and Lech..marks ankle did not look good..expect to see him on Saturday, lets hope its not high ankle

Sep 7 2016, 11:53 AM

srchat: Harrington did redshirt. C.J. Dimry did not play.

Sep 7 2016, 11:54 AM

Guest6582 (guest): "and the team that does a better job of not getting tackled and tackling usually wins." - I could totally hear Leach saying this. He's impacting your career!

Sep 7 2016, 11:54 AM

srchat: Gasp

Sep 7 2016, 11:54 AM

Guest1362 (guest): Who do I talk to about picking the uniform combo this week?

Sep 7 2016, 11:54 AM

srchat: Milt or JP in equipment.

Sep 7 2016, 11:54 AM

Guest1362 (guest): Contact info?

Sep 7 2016, 11:55 AM

srchat: They're usually around the athletic fields in the early afternoon.

Sep 7 2016, 11:57 AM

Sid (guest): So much for College Game Day in Pullman in October.

Sep 7 2016, 11:57 AM

Guest8966 (guest): Do you expect cj dimry to play against BSU?

Sep 7 2016, 11:57 AM

srchat: Not more than a couple snaps.

Sep 7 2016, 11:59 AM

Guest3855 (guest): What's your general sense of this team, Jacob. Do you think that last week was a bit of an aberration or do you think that many of us simply whiffed on this team's ability to contend? Also: We're gonna wear all whites this weekend, put it in the bank.

Sep 7 2016, 12:01 PM

srchat: This game is interesting because, unlike last year's to Portland State, I did not feel like the Cougars came out flat or took EWU for granted. Eastern's playmakers simply outplayed WSU's, and the Cougars have some glaring weakness that may prove to be Achilles' Heels. I think there are a lot of really good parts on this team -- I picked them to win 9 games again -- but if they cannot diagnose and fix their weaknesses quickly then it could be a long season.

Sep 7 2016, 12:01 PM

srchat: Thanks for joining our WSU football chat, 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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