THE 200 STANDING ROOM ONLY tickets for WSU-Oregon have been sold, Bill Moos said on the radio Monday morning. With Martin Stadium packed to the brim for Saturday’s game against the Ducks (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.) the Cougs’ Director of Athletics implored fans no fewer than five times during the radio hour to show up early in order to avoid bottlenecks and be in their seats, and loud, in time for kickoff.
“And I am going to say this too – stay ‘til the end,” said Bill Moos
. “Because, if it might look like we’re slipping a little bit, we can get right back into the game. And we need the crowd.”
Jason Gesser chimed in that during his playing days in Pullman, the home crowd made a difference to he and his teammates.
“When you have a crowd and they’re behind you… You feel the buzz from the energy in the stadium. And you also feel the lull,” said Gesser.
WSU Director of Football Operations Dave Emerick joined in from Pullman, saying the staff right now has five official visitors planned for this weekend. There were no official visits this past weekend, Emerick said, in part because there are few prep teams with byes so early.
He also emphasized that for the rest of the season, because they’re all Pac-12 games, they’ll look to max out as many visitors and their families as they can the rest of the way. Typically, Mike Leach
likes to bring in eight visitors maximum on game weekends so as to be able to spend enough quality time with each.
Emerick said the Cougs might have come in too amped up against Rutgers and Nevada before finding a better starting rhythm against Portland State.
“The first two games, we probably put a little too much undue pressure on ourselves to perform, to score a 100-yard touchdown on every play. That’s not we need. We need routine plays … stack a pile of routine plays together and all of a sudden you have something pretty big,” said Emerick.
Emerick said being able to effectively run the ball and get the ‘backs involved in the passing game opens up so many more things in Leach’s Air Raid offense, saying the all-purpose RB yards is something that needs to continue, (Gerard Wicks
and Jamal Morrow
combined for 165 all-purpose hashes against Portland State.)
He also said it was noticeably louder with the new Football Operations Building and new touches like the video ribbon board created enthusiasm.
Moos said he thought there were no serious injuries coming out of the game, with Emerick basically joking that he could neither publicly confirm nor deny.
Leach told Gesser he thought it was Connor Halliday’s best decision-making game ever, (despite Halliday throwing two interceptions.) The Cougs handed the ball off 10 times to running backs, along with 11 pass attempts, in the first quarter. WSU finished with 64 pass attempts and 23 rushing attempts (22 by RBs) against PSU.
Gesser noted that the Cougs by his count averaged a TD every seven plays, “so you can see where our development is going.” He also said after WSU went 7-7 in the red zone, with 6 TDs, he asked Halliday what was the difference. Halliday replied it was that he trusted the run better. If they run effectively in the first two games, Gesser said the Cougs are probably 3-0.
Shawn Deeds, Coordinator of Football Operations, said the new security group this season hit the ground running and with the sellout, echoing Moos’ thoughts on arriving early and being patient so that the Cougar staff will get them into their seats by kickoff.
Legendary Cougar Keith Jackson was in Pullman for the opener, with Moos saying it was the first college football game Jackson had seen in person since he retired from the broadcast booth in 2006. Moos said he had a game day catered lunch Saturday in his office with Jackson and his wife that ended up going 2 ½ hours. “I had an absolute blast… he’s so funny and he’s so humble. And he loves his alma mater. They both had a fabulous time,” said Moos.
To listen to the pregame interview between Bob Robertson and Keith Jackson click below. Robertson tears up at the end.
FOR PART I CLICK HERE
FOR PART II CLICK HERE
Moos said when he arrived in 2010 at Washington State, his department had 135 employees. Now they have 180.
Gesser said he had heard from several Cougar notables who plan on being on hand for the game against Oregon, including Marcus Trufant, Devard Darling, Hamza Abdullah and Lamont Thompson. With Thompson, Gesser said it will be the first time he’s been back to Pullman since his pro day workout.
Moos said when he arrived in 2010, the department had 135 employees. Now they have 180.
Here’s another video clip featuring Jackson as well …