Your guide to WSU at Pac-12 media days

THERE'S ALWAYS A lot of coach-speak at media days -- the word "excited" will get worn out by the time the event is an hour old. But there are also plenty of compelling storylines for the Cougs headed into Mike Leach's third year. Here's the schedule of events, how to watch and more.

Anyone can watch, online, the Pac-12 Networks broadcast of Wednesday's and Thursday's media days. The schedule (detailed below) on both days runs from 9 am - 1:30 p.m. You can view the proceedings by CLICKING HERE. (Please note that the online feed will be available at Pac-12.com on a desktop or mobile device -- using the Pac-12 Now app will still require your TV provider username and password).

Leach, Connor Halliday and Darryl Monroe are scheduled to take the podium on Wednesday at 12:50 p.m.

But if you can't watch live, Cougfan.com will be live-tweeting. And we'll have our recap up shortly after Leach and crew finish -- plus we have correspondent Forrest Lee with his boots on the ground in Hollywood, Calif.

While we wait for tomorrow, here are four likely storylines to come out the Pac-12 media day for the Cougs:

DEFENSE
There's been a prevailing theme this offseason when the media has turned to forecast Washington State. The general consensus by the scribes is that WSU should be highly productive on offense, but just doesn't have the defense to make a significant leap forward this year.

The secondary is thin and inexperienced, no two ways about it. And there are surely to be several mentions of what the Cougs lost to the NFL in All-America safety Deone Bucannon.

The core of the front seven, however, is made up of veterans. Still, the media just doesn't think guys like Toni Pole, Cyrus Coen, Destiny Vaeao and others are going to be able to get it done against Pac-12 offensive lines. One thing that may or may not get a lot of play at media day: The Cougs for the first time under d-line coach Joe Salave'a might just field a legit, six-deep rotation up front.

QB DEPTH
Almost as stunning as the departure of assumed QB heir apparent Tyler Bruggman was the timing of it all. He didn't leave at the end of last season, or after spring ball but instead in mid-July, just weeks before fall camp. Leach figures to be oft-asked about what it all means for the Cougs in 2014.

And you can expect him to talk up Luke Falk, a walk on who heads into fall camp as the backup behind fifth-year senior Connor Halliday.

No doubt many will point out Falk has yet to take a single snap for the Cougs. But here's one thing to keep in mind: Long before Bruggman decided to leave, way back in March, WSU released their pre-spring depth chart. It listed Falk and Bruggman as co-No. 2's.

As for Halliday's durability, there were a few times last year after a hard hit when it looked all but certain he was out for the game or for the following week... and he was knocked out of the Stanford game. But back he came the next week, and he finished the season starting all 13 contests.

SPECIAL TEAMS
WSU has a mountain of questions here. They're replacing their kicker, punter and punt return man.

And it doesn't end there.

A botched fake punt against Oregon State was the spark behind a tie game turning into a fourth quarter rout. ASU and Colorado State (the latter, twice) pulled off successful fake punts against the Cougs.

Reporters will likely ask about it all, and certainly where Leach stands on a new kicker and punter headed into fall camp.

RUNNING GAME
The familiar media refrain on the Cougar Air Raid the first two seasons is that WSU has not been effective enough running the ball.

Whether you agree with that or not, there should be more than a few media day questions about the Cougs' running backs, a stable that now runs five-deep.

Just don't expect Leach to agree with the premise of the question or to say yes, he's going to run the ball more. What Leach is more likely to say is what he's said before: That some of the passing game in the Air Raid is an extended run game and that he wants his backs to instead lead the conference in all-purpose yards.

Pac-12 Media Day Schedule
Wednesday:
Utah's Kyle Whittingham, Dres Anderson, Nate Orchard: 9:35 a.m.
Arizona's Rich Rodriguez, Austin Hill, Jared Tevis: 10:12 a.m.
Cal's Sonny Dykes, Jared Goff, Stefan McClure: 10:52 a.m.
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott: 11:17 a.m.
USC's Steve Sarkisian, Cody Kessler, Leonard Williams: 11:31 a.m.
Oregon's Mark Helfrich, Marcus Mariota, Derrick Malone: 12:12 p.m.
Washington State's Mike Leach, Connor Halliday, Darryl Monroe: 12:50 p.m.

Thursday:
Colorado's Mike MacIntyre, Nelson Spruce, Judah Parker: 9:38 a.m.
Arizona State's Todd Graham, Taylor Kelly, Jamil Douglas: 10:16 a.m.
Oregon State's Mike Riley, Sean Mannion, Michael Doctor: 10:54 a.m.
UCLA's Jim Mora, Brett Hundley, Eric Kendricks: 11:32 a.m.
Washington's Chris Petersen, Ben Riva, Hau'oli Kikaha: 12:11 p.m.
Stanford's David Shaw, Kevin Hogan, Jordan Richards: 1:04 p.m.

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