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Weekly Washington State football chat transcript - Previewing the 111th Apple Cup

Nov 21, 10:01 AM srchat (Admin): Welcome everyone to the weekly chat. I see five questions in the queue already, so let’s get right to it. Nov 21, 10:01 AM ChuckCaz: What impact will the weather have on the Air Raid offense? Nov 21, 10:03 AM srchat (Admin): The wind seems to affect the offense more than anything, so that combined with some rain could present a challenge. But rain by itself, or snow by itself, doesn’t seem to hamper the Cougars too much. Nov 21, 10:03 AM Guest6878 (Guest): Got my rain gear ready! Cougs Offensive line success is remarkable. How do they match up against the dawgs? How many sacks do they give up this week? Nov 21, 10:04 AM srchat (Admin): I suspect it’ll be a pretty low number. Huskies, surprisingly, are 10th in the conference in sacks and Cougars are giving up the fewest. It’s telling that UW’s sacks leader is a safety, Taylor Rapp. Nov 21, 10:04 AM Guest6928 (Guest): What can WSU and Gardner learn from playing the Cal defense earlier this year that will benefit them going into the AC? Nov 21, 10:05 AM srchat (Admin): Those defenses won’t give you much as it is, so you have to keep the unforced errors to a minimum. No misthrows, dropped balls, turnovers. Nov 21, 10:05 AM Guest1447 (Guest): Lets say we lose this one by a nail-biter, does Minshew still get invited to NY as a Heisman finalist, and do the Cougs still get invited to a New Years Six Bowl game? Nov 21, 10:07 AM srchat (Admin): I think it depends how the other candidates fare (Tua, Kyler, Grier) and how well Gardner plays in the nailbiter. 14-10 with two picks and no TDs looks different than 34-31 with three TDs and no picks. I still like the chances of an NY6 game. WSU will have 10 wins and shouldn’t slip that far in the rankings. Nov 21, 10:07 AM Guest7729 (Guest): % Chance we see Harper this week? Nov 21, 10:08 AM srchat (Admin): Marcus Strong told us after the Aizona game Harper is out for the year. Nov 21, 10:08 AM Uncle Larry (Guest): You were right about Tate being held under 100 yards rushing. Nov 21, 10:08 AM srchat (Admin): I had a suspicion, though he did get loose a couple times. The sacks really brought down his total. Nov 21, 10:08 AM Guest3761 (Guest): Since the last several Apple Cup games have been abject disasters for WSU, have you seen the coaching staff change anything up or approach the game differently in practice this year? Nov 21, 10:10 AM srchat (Admin): Nothing that’s apparent on the surface. Peyton Pelluer did mention the Cougars maybe spent too much time building up last year’s game. I imagine they’ll take a different approach as far as that goes. Nov 21, 10:11 AM NLS Coug07 (Guest): sean harper status? liam ryan status? if liam ryan can’t go do you expect we will have haangana at left guard or do you think we shuffle positions? Nov 21, 10:12 AM srchat (Admin): Harper is out. I couldn’t tell you anything about Ryan. Josh Watson can play both guard positions, so hard to tell what they’d do. Nov 21, 10:12 AM IcebergDX (Guest): Rain gear-check. hand and foot warmers-check. Do you see our defense keeping the puppies running game in check? Nov 21, 10:15 AM srchat (Admin): Think it’d be a successful game if the Cougars keep Myles Gaskin to 100 yards or less. I could see it happening… Nov 21, 10:15 AM WazzusJobu: Does the AD like it’s chances of a NY6 game regardless of Friday? Nov 21, 10:18 AM srchat (Admin): Personally, I think WSU would have a decent shot at a NY6 game. Cougars will have 10 wins and loser of the P-12 title game will have only nine. Nov 21, 10:18 AM Guest1438 (Guest): Are the Huskies as healthy as they have been in awhile? Nov 21, 10:19 AM srchat (Admin): It seems so, yes. Getting Trey Adams back was a huge boost for their offensive line, I think. Same with Hunter Bryant. Nov 21, 10:20 AM Guest7729 (Guest): Is Crowder playing about just taking advantage of the new rs rule and getting him some experience? Or was it a strategic move to bring him along in practice all year and now bring him in as difference maker? Nov 21, 10:21 AM srchat (Admin): I tend to think it’s more of the former. A number of the redshirting freshmen have played sparingly late in games. Nov 21, 10:21 AM Uncle Larry (Guest): Is Hunter Bryant a concern and who matches up with him? Nov 21, 10:23 AM srchat (Admin): He hasn’t done enough - or played enough - this season to make me think he’s the one who’ll hurt them on Friday. But you do always wonder how the Cougars will fare against good tight ends seeing as how they don’t face them in practice. Nov 21, 10:23 AM Guest1447 (Guest): Since I was born (1995) the Cougs have won 6 Apple Cups (26% winning percentage). Why should I feel optimistic this year? Nov 21, 10:28 AM srchat (Admin): Well, maybe because you were 17 the last time the Cougs were favored to win the Apple Cup. Also, Gardner Minshew. Nov 21, 10:29 AM Guest9465 (Guest): Are refs completely blind to calling PI against our receivers? Seems like because we throw the ball so much, they don’t feel they need to call it. We’re getting mauled every week. Nov 21, 10:30 AM srchat (Admin): Did seem to be a few more last week, but it doesn’t feel like an overarching issue to me. Not as much as the PI calls against WSU’s defensive backs, at least. Nov 21, 10:31 AM IcebergDX (Guest): A lot has been said about Pedersen having Leach’s number for the AC. Do you think it was Pedersen having Leach’s number, or the UW defense having Falk’s number, and do you think they will not be able to key off Minshew and his ability to read the defense better, and his better mobility? Nov 21, 10:35 AM srchat (Admin): Minshew gives WSU’s offense a dynamic it hasn’t had in some time. Not saying the Cougars would’ve won any of those past games with him behind center, but take away the three interceptions Falk threw last year and all those sacks (believe there were four), you’re looking at a completely different game. Minshew makes good decisions, he makes quick decisions and he can scramble. That certainly won’t hurt the Cougars Friday. Nov 21, 10:35 AM Guest4566 (Guest): The question is, what defensive strategy Washington will employ against WSU under Peterson/Kwiatkowski/Lake? Kwitatkowski quote; You blitz these guys, you’re playing with fire.” The best way to defend Minshew and the Air-Raid is to play man coverage and run varied and complex blitzes to pressure the QB. Does Washington have the personnel to run this kind of scheme? Arizona most often rushed 3 and dropped 8 into a zone. This is not the best way to play teams that spread the field, the way the Air-Raid does. Nov 21, 10:40 AM srchat (Admin): I can’t see them blitzing much. Minshew seems to handle defensive pressure well and always locates a check-down or quick passing option. I’d also guess the Huskies won’t switch too many things up. Nov 21, 10:40 AM Guest1438 (Guest): We knew that Bill Moos had a list of coaches to go after if there were any of our head coaches were to leave or get fired. Does Pat Chun have a similar list or do coaching searches under Chun start from scratch? Nov 21, 10:43 AM srchat (Admin): I think most ADs have something like this. Might not be as formal as an actual list, but I’d guess they always have an idea of who’d they look at — especially when rumors about the current coach start to circulate. Nov 21, 10:45 AM Guest7729 (Guest): A lot is made about the air raid struggles against UW, but the defense has had it’s fair share of struggles. Some of that is due to lack of offenseive production / turnovers, but still seemed like the defense really face planted last year. What reasons do we have the believe that Claeys will have them better prepared? Nov 21, 10:47 AM srchat (Admin): I think the extra year of experience helps the Cougars more than anything else. They’ve been much better at forcing turnovers these last three games - there’s been 11, I believe - and the Huskies don’t have the receiving weapons they’ve had in the past, which makes them more dimensional. Think Cougars will be able to focus more on stopping the run this time. Nov 21, 10:47 AM Uncle Larry (Guest): Other than Gaskin who else on the UW offense is a concern? Nov 21, 10:48 AM srchat (Admin): You always have to account for Salvon Ahmed. I Nov 21, 10:48 AM Guest1447 (Guest): If WSU chose to get a big time sponsor that would change the Stadium name, what would be your vote? (i.e. Darigold Field) Nov 21, 10:51 AM srchat (Admin): This is a great question and I’m going to need time to think on it. But I’ll open it up to the rest of you: if WSU chose to get a big time sponsor that would change the Stadium name, what would be your vote? (i.e. Darigold Field) Nov 21, 10:51 AM Guest1438 (Guest): Best case scenario for the Cougs, who should we root for this weekend? Nov 21, 10:53 AM srchat (Admin): West Virginia to beat Oklahoma, Georgia Tech to beat Georgia, Auburn to beat Alabama, South Carolina to beat Clemson, Texas A&M to beat LSU and USC (especially) to beat Notre Dame. A Utah win over BYU would be nice, too. Nov 21, 10:53 AM Guest4566 (Guest): How does the rain factor in and which team would you say it favors? Nov 21, 10:54 AM srchat (Admin): I don’t think it’s a big issue for the Cougars, or either team, unless it’s an absolute downpour. Nov 21, 10:54 AM IcebergDX (Guest): Do you see any matchups as either a particularly key matchup, or a particularly advantagious matchup on Friday? Nov 21, 10:54 AM srchat (Admin): I think WSU’s offensive line has the edge on UW’s D-line. Can see them buying Minshew a lot of time in the pocket. Huskies aren’t getting to the QB much this year. Nov 21, 10:55 AM seppe (Guest): honestly I see no way the huskies defense stops wsu Nov 21, 10:55 AM srchat (Admin): I don’t either, but I’ve been wrong in this area before. Nov 21, 10:55 AM Guest328 (Guest): To go off guest 1438’s question - is there really a school with an opening leach would go for? I know I’ve heard anecdotal speculation that leach would be a hot commodity, but I don’t know that I see any blue blood openings that would make him leave Nov 21, 10:57 AM srchat (Admin): Sure doesn’t seem like there’s any at the moment. Think it would take a big-time SEC program to lure him away. Not Maryland or Kansas… Nov 21, 10:57 AM Uncle Larry (Guest): Does anyone else watch the Tuesday night MAC games over the past few weeks? How can those schools even have a football program when it looks like there is only 300 people in the stands? Nov 21, 10:58 AM srchat (Admin): No, but covering Idaho football before this I watched a lot of Wednesday/Thursday night Sun Belt games, which possibly drew less than the MAC games you’re referring to. Nov 21, 10:59 AM ShorelineCoug (Guest): When Dillon Sherman is in, what LB position does he man, and is it to keep the starter fresh, or situational D ? Nov 21, 11:00 AM srchat (Admin): Sherman is technically the backup to Jahad Woods at Will linebacker. The Cougars have five middle linebackers they feel comfortable playing (Pelluer, Woods, Rogers, Fa’vae and Sherman) so it makes sense to rotate them for the reason you mentioned. Nov 21, 11:00 AM Uncle Larry (Guest): What’s the relationship like between Chun and Leach? Has it grown? Nov 21, 11:01 AM srchat (Admin): It feels like your typical coach-AD relationship. Leach and Moos were best buddies, so not sure it’s reached that point yet, but I’d characterize it as a good relationship. Nov 21, 11:02 AM Uncle Larry (Guest): Leach just seems happier….is it all his easy to coach team or more at ease with admin also? Nov 21, 11:02 AM srchat (Admin): The team more than anything, I’d say. Nov 21, 11:03 AM srchat (Admin): Thanks as always to those who joined today. Great stream of questions and hope you all continue to follow our coverage this week at We have a lot in the works that I’m excited to share.