6 takeaways from Pullman on Saturday

PULLMAN -- Aside from the obvious (head for cover if you ever find yourself standing between Mike Leach and Paul Petrino in the frozen food aisle at Dissmore's), Saturday's Cougar-Vandal game left me with five primary impressions.

1. For the fans who left the game early, you missed out. Watching the Cougs fight and claw to preserve their shutout in the final minutes was truly exciting. The fans were in it, the players were in it, the coaches were in it. If you walked into the stadium and had no idea what the score was you'd have thought it was a goal-line stand to determine the game. That referee-aided Idaho drive went 16 plays before dying at the one.

2. A huge disappointment for the night was Austin Apodaca not getting a chance to play. I was looking forward to him getting some meaningful snaps. Barring an injury or major falling apart by Connor Halliday, the rest of the schedule doesn't figure to hold many opportunities for Apodaca to play. At the end of the second quarter Saturday I had a feeling he might be stuck on the sidelines because the Cougs just weren't scoring fast enough for there to be a natural spot to get him in. Young offensive linemen Riley Sorenson and Eduardo Middleton, both of whom played a week ago, didn't get into the Idaho game either.

3. Mike Bowlin had a great night. His two punts were beautiful spirals that went high and long. He averaged 49.3 yards between them (about 12 yards more than he was averaging) . So I guess the yellow shoes are good to stay around for a while. Bowlin was also fun to watch on kickoffs, because he looks like a linebacker the way he always ends up in the middle of the action.

4. Defensive lineman Xavier Cooper is a blast from the past. He had 1.5 sacks plus two other tackles for loss among his five total stops. He seemed to be all over the field much of the night. His play really highlighted what the Cougars are bringing to the field for the first time in a long time: nonstop enthusiasm and major aggression.

5. Feddie Davey is going to be a standout before all is said and done on his career. The way he flies down the field on kickoffs is a sight. He's fast and physical. On one kickoff in the first quarter, he sent one Vandal rolling backward and delivered a shot to another just as the whistle blew on the touchback.

6. I loved the all-anthracite uniforms the Cougars wore. The crimson numbers can be a little hard to read depending on the angle and your place in the stands but they're sharp looking and way more unique than the all-black uniforms some schools wear. The players who wore crimson socks looked especially good.<

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