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Scout.com's Daily Pac-12 Digest

A roundup of news and notes from around the Pac-12.

Aug. 18

USC
Scouts from the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings were in attendance for USC’s pads-only practice Thursday. With only Friday's 3 p.m. PT scrimmage standing between the all-important personnel decisions, this team -- and the coaches -- are ready for it to happen. Head coach Clay Helton said he "wants to get off the couch watching film at 3 a.m. and go home to momma and the kids." There’s no wasted moments in a Helton practice as USCFootball.com’s Dan Weber notes: “During calisthenics they have the kickoff return guys fielding squib kicks from the Jugs Gun aimed at the ground. Some terrific bounces for them to field. Smart.” - Full story (premium)

CAL
In Thursday’s drills, Cal’s defense allowed just three runs of more than five yards -- two nine-yard scampers on the first drive to Tre Watson and one nine-yarder by Khalfani Muhammad -- while tallying two sacks and a hurry.  Over the last four practices, in fact, the run defense looks like they're not giving up as many chunk yardage plays, a trend Bear Territory discusses in depth with Cal defensive coordinator Art Kaufman. - Full story (premium)

ARIZONA STATE
ASU sophomore Manny Wilkins and redshirt freshman Brady White continued to trade reps in Thursday’s practice as they compete for the starting quarterback job. Head coach Todd Graham said the players' performance in the upcoming scrimmage will play a pivotal role. "It's been very competitive but Saturday will be a huge evaluation for the quarterback position,” Graham said, adding that the Devils have other significant position battles to settle on the offensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary. - Full story

WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State’s Air Raid offense has been looking explosive in recent days -- but it might just be ready to hit an even higher level. And that’s because of a certain Cougar outside wide receiver. Gabe Marks has been somewhat active at practice over the past couple of weeks, but today he was full-go and back with the 1’s.  How did he look? “Gabe Marks is Gabe Marks, writes Cougfan’s Skyler Cracraft. “He does his thing out on the field and makes it look easy.  Indeed, it looked as if he had never missed a rep. And the offense, of course, is measurably better and more dangerous with Marks back in the mix at the Z spot.” - Full story

UCLA

Josh Rosen

Recapping Thursday’s practice, Bruin Report Online’s Tracy Pierson observes, “[Quarterback] Josh Rosen was inconsistent, at times looking like he was getting a rhythm and moving the offense down the field, but then throwing a bad ball behind a wide open receiver.  He still held the ball a long time on many snaps ... It feels like the offense is going through a bit of a transition, between so much installation and getting in a groove.” Full story (premium)

COLORADO
Is Colorado ready for the Colorado State opener? “No,” says Buffs head coach Mike MacIntyre. “But I know we'll be ready when we get there. We've got 15 more days. So we'll be ready on the 15th day.” Colorado will determine their starters before the start of classes on Monday. But because they rotate running backs, receivers and defensive linemen so much, seemingly the only critical decision that still needs to be made on offense or defense is who the starting right tackle will be, either redshirt freshman Aaron Haigler or experienced junior Sam Kronshage. Full story

Other headlines

Glamor an afterthought for Husky halfbacks

Authority report: UA's season getting closer

Aug. 17


UCLA: In an obvious attempt to try to ignite the offense during game-like situations and the two-minute drill, UCLA head coach Jim Mora was animated at Wednesday's practice and a couple times threatened to start practice over. After USC transfer Caleb Wilson failed to get back to the huddle in a timely manner, Mora yelled, "You can't (expletive) do that here! ... You're not at 'SC anymore!" Full story (premium)


WASHINGTON STATE: News doesn’t get much bigger than this: Wazzu is going to offer beer at the general concessions level at football home games, Cougfan.com reported exclusively. Sales are expected to generate a net revenue of $1 million this football season. However, as Cougfan’s Barry Bolton wryly notes, that figure might be conservative. “We are talking about Cougar fans, after all.” Cougfan also reported that, like Arizona, Cal, UCLA, USC and Utah, WSU won’t allow re-entry during games. Full story

ASU: Sun Devil Source notes that ASU is the only Pac-12 team with a kicker and a punter on preseason watch lists. Senior punter Matt Haack was named to the preseason watch list for the 2016 Ray Guy Award, and senior placekicker Zane Gonzalez made the Lou Groza Award watch list for the third-straight year. Full story

COLORADO: Has Colorado improved or not? With most practices closed, many fans have been left to assume the worst. But in the latest BuffStampede Radio podcast, writer Tyler Ziskin says the few open practices CU has conducted reveal a clear talent upgrade compared to recent years. "If more people had gotten more access to watch practice and go to the scrimmages, there'd be more people excited about what this team is doing,” Ziskin says. “There's no doubt there's a lot more talent on the field than what we've seen from this team in awhile.” Listen to the podcast

WASHINGTON: Washington followed the Oregon Ducks’ lead Wednesday by scrapping the innovative Vicis helmets, which proved to be too uncomfortable. Made by a Seattle company, Vicis helmets are designed to transfer, and thus minimize, the power of impact, but clearly they're not ready. “Yeah, so we’re back to our other helmets,” said UW head coach Chris Petersen after Wednesday’s practice. “Obviously a little bit disappointing. But I have a lot of respect for Vicis, getting it right, wanting them back, and we’ll fix it. I think when you’re trying to be on the cutting edge of innovating, it’s never going to be a seamless process. They’re the ones that came to us (Wednesday morning) and said we want them back to look at them and make them right.” Full story

Other headlines: 

http://www.scout.com/college/usc/story/1697215-wednesday-instant-analysis

http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1697232-how-many-will-trav...


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