WSU's early bowl practices were dedicated to the youth and players down on the depth chart, and RB Theron West caught Mike Leach's eye. Later in bowl prep, when West again got a lot of work in one practice session, most chalked it up to Leach getting little-used players who had performed well, like West, some additional extra work.
After all, a coach wouldn't take a little-used player over 12 games and suddenly make him a key part of the game plan, would he? For a bowl game? Who does that?
West had three catches for 50 yards and a touchdown plus another three carries for 17 yards in the New Mexico Bowl. (For comparison purposes, starter Marcus Mason had four carries and Teondray Caldwell had three.) West also had the punt block and recovery that led to WSU's second score.
West probably would have had more touches but he fumbled early in the third quarter. The ball was recovered by Elliott Bosch but that's the last time West shows up in the stat book play-by-play.
What to take away from West's sudden addition into the game plan? It seems Leach may insert someone new into his Saturday offense and at any time -- even a guy who for 12 games has worked almost exclusively on special teams. All they have to do is earn it. Beyond that, if we've learned anything these first two seasons with Leach it's this: Forget about normal. It doesn't apply here.
Colorado State d-line coach Greg Lupfer's verbal volley on Cougar QB Connor Halliday, caught on tape by ESPN, was beyond surprising.
As was the fact that the 19-year coaching veteran initiated it after Halliday tossed his first touchdown pass.
CSU Director of Athletics Jack Graham said he spoke to Lupfer after the game.
"I'm fully aware of what happened; I've seen footage of what happened," Graham said, according to Loveland Reporter-Herald. "We're going to take a deep dive on this. It appears as if it was a very inappropriate event. We will take a deep and thorough dive around it. If it is what it appears to have been, that's not who we are, it's not who Colorado State University is. It's unacceptable behavior, and we'll deal with it appropriately."
Graham also said he would not rush to judgment, adding he will take as much time as necessary to come to the "right decision."
CSU released a brief statement from Lupfer via Twitter: "I am truly sorry for what I said. It was wrong and those words to not represent who I am and what I believe in. I apologize for the embarrassment I caused Colorado State University, this team & my family."
CSU head coach Jim McElwain said he didn't have full details. Unlike Graham, he said the incident would be dealt with it in a timely manner.
"I heard something about it, but honestly I don't know anything until I look at it," McElwain said. "We'll definitely handle it in a quick manner, whatever it is."
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