A RUNNING LIST of news, notes, quips and quotes from in and around the Cougar Nation. Updated regularly.
Miami safety Jamal Carter and defensive tackle Courtel Jenkins have been suspended and sent home, multiple news outlets reported, Carter violated a team rule and Jenkins' suspension was related to academics. Carter, despite only one start, was fifth on the team in tackles (48). Jenkins started seven games this season and posted 29 stops. Miami starting right tackle Sunny Odogwu was previously ruled out for the Sun Bowl after knee surgery last week.
HOOPS: WSU WOMEN'S TEAM KEEP ON ROLLING
The Cougs are off to a 9-2 start after knocking off Kansas 66-53 on the road. Senior Dawnyelle Awa scored a career-high 19 points to lead all scorers. Senior Taylor Edmonson scored 12 points in the Cougs' final non conference game.
The Cougars shot 9 of 16 from beyond the arc (56 percent) while holding KU to 6 of 25 from 3-point range. Washington State outrebounded Kansas 38-35, grabbed seven steals and blocked five shots. The Jayhawks cut the Cougars’ lead to three points with 7:48 to play before WSU went on a 10-2 to take a double-digit lead.
Washington State opens Pac-12 Conference play with a home matchup against Washington (8-2) on Dec. 29, at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. Neither WSU or UW are ranked in the polls, though UW is in the "Others receiving votes" has four votes in the Coaches poll, placing them 39th.
MIAMI RT OUT FOR SUN BOWL
The Miami Herald reported Friday morning starting right tackle Sunny Odogwu had knee surgery and is out for the Sun Bowl. Odogwu started nine of 12 games this season and injured the knee in the regular season finale. He will be replaced by Kc McDermott (six starts at left guard, one start at right tackle).
Miami has another concern on the right side of the line, the Herald notes. OL Danny Isidora has started 25 straight games for Miami (primarily at right guard) but has been limited in recent bowl practices with an undisclosed injury. Interim head coach Larry Scott, however, expects him to play on Dec. 26.
CORRECTION: WSU STAR LT JOE DAHL TO PLAY IN SENIOR BOWL
Washington State star left tackle Joe Dahl will play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 30. He was previously reported as playing in the East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 23. (Dahl was invited to both).
Dahl was named to USA Today's All-America second team and was named first-team All-Pac-12 despite missing the Cougars' last four regular season games. He played the final quarter of the Stanford game with what is believed to be a broken foot. Prior to the injury, Dahl had started 33 straight games for the Cougars and allowed just four sacks over 1,210 combined pass attempts the past two seasons, one coming in the game he was injured in. (For perspective, the average college team attempted 388 passes this season).
NEWSPAPER SPOTS SUN BOWL AT NO. 25
USA Today places the Sun Bowl featuring Washington State vs. Miami at No. 25 among the 40 bowls.
"It really wasn't a terrible season for the Hurricanes, just not good enough to save Al Golden's job. The quality of play in this contest will hinge on the availability of Cougars QB Luke Falk, who was sorely missed in the Apple Cup," reads the USA Today entry.
Near the bottom, at No. 38 on USA Today's list, is the Foster Farms Bowl pitting UCLA against Nebraska. The New Mexico Bowl, Arizona vs. New Mexico, is No. 29. The Cactus Bowl, Arizona State vs. West Virginia, comes in at No. 28. The Heart of Dallas Bowl, UW vs. Southern Miss, is No. 23 and the Armed Forces Bowl featuring Cal vs. Air Force is No. 19. The paper's list for the top ten bowls hasn't been released yet.
GOING TO BE "VERY CLOSE" FOR MARKS IN SUN BOWL
A reliable source reiterated Wednesday to Cougfan.com it will be "very close" if star wideout Gabe Marks will be ready to go on Dec. 26 for the Sun Bowl vs. Miami. Marks injured his ankle against UW in the regular season finale.
RICHT REVERSES COURSE, WON'T BE AT SUN BOWL
Incoming Miami coach Mark Richt has changed his mind. He now does not plan to attend the Sun Bowl, the Palm Beach Post reported Wednesday. Richt had previously said he would attend the Sun Bowl in his introductory news conference at Miami on Dec. 4. "The reason is unclear as of now, but we are likely to find out soon," wrote Post reporter Matt Porter.
ESPN PEGS ENTERTAINMENT VALUE FOR SUN BOWL, PAC-12
ESPN ranks WSU-Miami sixth out of 10 Pac-12 bowl games in terms of "entertainment value."
"This is a good bowl for the Cougars, even though some of them felt like they deserved a better landing spot. But this will be a solid test against a Miami team that is buzzing following the hire of Mark Richt. Interim coach Larry Scott led the Canes to a 4-1 mark down the stretch and quarterback Brad Kaaya has played well. This is a great opportunity for the Cougs to show their progress on a national stage," writes ESPN blogger Kevin Gemmell.
The Pac-12 bowl offering the most entertainment value, Gemmell says, is the Alamo Bowl, pitting Oregon vs. TCU. Second is the Rose Bowl featuring Stanford and Iowa. The third and fourth bowls are the Las Vegas Bowl matching Utah vs. BYU, and the Armed Forces Bowl, with Cal vs. Air Force. The Holiday Bowl, USC vs. Wisconsin, comes in fifth on his excitement meter. The only Pac-12 bowl not televisedby the ESPN/ABC family of networks is the Sun Bowl (CBS). CLICK HERE
for the complete entry.
OLD COUG WILL BE KEYNOTE SPEAKER FOR MORRIS TROPHY
Former Cougar offensive lineman Dan Lynch, a first-team AP All-American and the 1984 winner of the Pac-12's Morris Trophy, will be the keynote speaker for the 2015 presentation of the award at a gala luncheon in Seattle on Jan. 13. The award goes to the best best offensive lineman and the best defensive lineman in the conference as voted on by conference players. This year's winners are Stanford's Josh Garnett and Oregon's DeForest Buckner. To attend the event, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lynch, now a successful business entrepreneur in Europe, is one of four Cougars who have won the Morris Trophy. The others are Keith Millard (1983), Erik Howard (1985) and Chad Eaton (1994). Earlier this month, Lynch and Millard were picked to the all-time Cougar team selected by CF.C to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Pac-12.
CAF 48 AWAY FROM GOAL, GIFT OPTION
The Cougar Athletic Fund stands 48 members away from reaching its goal of 1,000 new members by year’s end and 7,000 members total. WSU has launched a “Give the Gift of Membership” where both the purchaser and new CAF member will receive an exclusive 8 x 10 print commemorating Wazzu's come-from-behind victories during the 2015 football season (see below). To gift a CAF membership, CLICK HERE
. The campaign runs through January 4.
NEWSLINE: FALK A HERO TO YOUNG FAN
Grayson Goodman, a young WSU fan whose dad has cancer, is following every move made by Cougar QB Luke Falk, a Sports Illustrated piece makes plain. Hunter Goodman is Secretary of the Senate and has developed a relationship with Mike Leach and his football chief of staff, Dave Emerick over the years. The Goodmans traveled to WSU for the Oregon State game this season and Grayson became Falk's No. 1 fan. Grayson to this day still sleeps with the signed football Falk and Leach sent him. For the article, CLICK HERE
INCYMI, FALK HAS SCIENTIFIC EDGE
In a recent Seattle Times article, Luke Falk's scientific side to playing the game was chronicled. Falk has worked closely with a sports scientist since he was in high school, judiciously monitors his sleep patterns and logs a record of everything he eats, and checks in regularly with a Utah-based chiropractor and acupuncturist. For the complete article CLICK HERE
NCAA FOR LONG TIME WOULDN'T AGREE VEGETABLES ARE OK
Until April 2014, Washington State and other NCAA schools couldn't give their student-athletes a vegetable as part of an NCAA-approved snack through their training table, according to an article in the Seattle Times.
“We couldn’t provide a carrot or broccoli to athletes because it would have been a violation of an NCAA rule,” said WSU’s Coordinator of Sports Nutrition Lindsay Brown.
For the full article, CLICK HERE
COUG WOMEN STORM BACK BUT LOSE ON ROAD
Washington State's women's basketball team battled back from an 18-point deficit at St. Mary's on Saturday to briefly take the lead, lose it, and then narrow the deficit to two with nine seconds left, but ultimately went down to the Gaels 75-71. It was just the CouGals' second loss of the season, dropping them to 8-2. They have one more non-conference game (Dec. 20 at Kansas) before opening Pac-12 play at home vs. Washington on Dec. 29.
Two Cougars hit double-figures in scoring, with Borislava Hristova notching 12 and Louise Brown 10. Brown led the Cougars in rebounds (4) and also posted 2 steals and 2 blocks. The Cougars waged a furious third-quarter comeback that was capped by Pinelopi Pavlopoulou's trey with 56 seconds left in the period that put WSU up 50-49 for its first lead since mid-way through the first quarter. St. Mary's retook the lead but the game remained tight the rest of the way. The Gaels outscored the Cougars 10-2 between the 2:13 and :29 marks of the fourth to lock down the win.
WSU'S MOLTON GAINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Pro Football Focus has named Darrien Molton to its College Freshman All-America team. From Pro Football Focus:
"First Team: Kevin Toliver II, LSU, +7.0, and Darrien Molton, Washington State, +8.0. Toliver II...finished with the second-best coverage grade among freshman corners at +5.4. Molton was right with Toliver at +4.4 in coverage, and played 84 percent of Washington State’s defensive snaps."
Molton has posted 36 tackles (28 solo) in 10 games this season with four pass break ups and an interception. Earlier this week, Cougar defensive end Hercules Mata'afa was named Freshman All-American by USA Today.
NORTH TEXAS CONTINUING RAID OF WSU STAFF?
"North Texas: Sources tell us Seth Littrell plans to make Washington State outside receivers coach Graham Harrell his offensive coordinator at UNT."
FootballScoop.com reported yesterday that WSU quality control assistant Joel Filani is headed to the North Texas to coach receivers.
Littrell served four years as running backs coach at Texas Tech under Mike Leach (2005-08).
COUG DL MATA'AFA NAMED FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICA
Washington State second-year freshman Hercules Mata’afa didn't start a single game this season. That didn't stop the the defensive lineman being named Freshman All-America by USA Today on Wednesday.
Mata’afa as a reserve has posted 10 tackles-for-loss while tying for the team lead with six sacks. His speed is pronounced and although he's listed at but 243-pounds, his natural strength allowed him to flourish this season down in the trenches.
In the Pac-12, he ranks tied for sixth in sacks and tied for 13th in TFL.
WSU QUALITY CONTROL ASSISTANT HEADED SOUTH?
Joel Filani is headed to the University of North Texas to coach receivers, reports FootballScoop.com. The former all-Big 12 Texas Tech wideout under Mike Leach joined Leach's staff at WSU this past February as an offensive quality control specialist. He came to WSU following two seasons at Boise State as a graduate assistant. Prior to that he spent three seasons in the NFL.
COUGS-VANDALS TO TANGLE FOR 110TH-STRAIGHT SEASON
The Washington State-Idaho basketball series, which dates to 1906, continues Thursday in Moscow when the 5-1 Cougars and 5-5 Vandals tip off at 6 p.m. Bud Nameck, the long-time radio voice of the Cougars who was replaced this season, will be back at court side, this time calling the game for SWX-TV in Spokane with CouGreat Craig Ehlo on the color.
WSU and Idaho have the oldest continuous basketball rivalry west of the Mississippi and the sixth-longest in the nation behind five Ivy League rivalries. The Cougars hold a 162-108 advantage in the all-time series and have won 11 of the last 12 and 16 of the last 18 games after falling in last season’s meeting in Pullman, 77-71.
COUGS AND CLAN LOSE OUT ON $500,000 EACH
In his break down of the winners and losers
coming out of Bowl Selection Sunday, Pac-12 beat writer Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News notes that the Pac-12's failure to land a team in the final four playoff will hit each member school in the pocketbook. Semifinal berths are worth $6 million. Since the Pac-12 splits bowl revenue, that's $500,000 per school that won't be arriving this time around.
Among the winners in the bowl selection process, he notes, is USC. "Lose five games and end up in the Pac-12’s No. 3 bowl? It’s nice to be the Trojans," he writes. He then writes of Utah, "Lose three games and drop to the Pac-12’s No. 6 bowl? The Utes are no longer fresh and don’t generate the TV ratings many bowls covet."
Wilner, by the way, is a voter in the AP football poll and makes his ballot public each week. He's got the Cougars penned in at No. 22 this week.
FOUR COUGS NAMED ESPN.COM FIRST-TEAM ALL-PAC-12
QB Luke Falk, OL Joe Dahl, WR Gabe Marks and DL Destiny Vaeao were named ESPN.com first-team All-Pac-12 today.
Vaeao "posted 11 tackles for a loss in WSU's outstanding defensive turnaround that not many people have touched on," said Kevin Gemmell of ESPN. Of Falk, Gemmell wrote; "With 36 touchdown passes and 4,266 yards, Falk not only showed he’s a product of a system (which isn’t a bad thing, mind you) but he rewrote the system’s records. And he completed better than 70 percent of his throws."
"When you consider how much WSU passes, allowing just three sacks from his position is impressive," Gemmell said of Dahl and with Marks' 99 catches and 14 touchdowns, "Marks helped out Falk as much as Falk helped out Marks."
NCAA'S EMMERT WONDERS IF TOO MANY BOWLS
NCAA president Mark Emmert on Wednesday expressed concern over the number of bowl games and specifically, the result that teams with losing records might play in them. Three 5-7 teams – Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State, were selected for the Foster Farms, Quick Lane and AutoNation Cure bowls, respectively.
“The members are gonna have to figure out, what’s the purpose of bowl games?” Emmert said during a session at the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. “Is it a reward for a successful season or is it just another game that we’re gonna provide an opportunity for? … We need to look hard at that.”
There are 80 schools taking part in 40 bowl games over the next month.
COUG WOMEN BEAT GONZAGA AGAIN, IMPROVE TO 8-1
With sophomore post Louise Brown scoring 6 points in the final two minutes, the WSU women’s basketball team downed Gonzaga, 55-48, Tuesday in front of a spirited Beasley Coliseum crowd. The win elevates the CouGals to 8-1 -- the first time since the 1989-90 season they've started so hot. It marked the second-straight season the Cougars have defeated Gonzaga.
Freshman sensation Borislava Hristova again led WSU in scoring, with 17, while Brown hit a career-high 14. The Cougars were stellar on defense, holding the Zags to .281 shooting from the field, and Brown lured GU into three offensive charges in the final minutes.
The Cougars have two non-conference games left -- Saturday at Saint Mary’s (1 p.m.) and Dec. 20 at Kansas -- before opening Pac-12 play at home on Dec. 29 against Washington.
A TOUGH DAY FOR IRRESPONSIBLE REPORTING
The man who loves to float unsubstantiated rumors about Cougar football took a couple of figurative 5-irons to the head Tuesday. First, on KJR Sports Radio in Seattle. WSU athletic director Bill Moos was asked on the Furness-Puckett Show about the rumor Kim Grinolds of Dawgman.com posted on his site saying that, "Luke Falk could be done with football due to concussions."
Moos' response was unequivocal: "No, in fact if we were playing tomorrow he (Falk) would be starting." Then, later in the day, ol' No. 4 Luke Falk himself was in uniform throwing passes at the Cougars' first practice for the Sun Bowl.
Falk left WSU's game against Colorado three weeks ago with a concussion and then didn't play in the Apple Cup. All of which added up to Grinolds citing a "source" questioning Falk's future. One wonders if it's the same Grinolds "source" who had Mike Leach leaving WSU after his first season -- as well as his second!
Cougar basketball great Klay Thompson went nuts from downtown Tuesday night, hitting 10 of 16 trey attempts to help his Golden State Warriors extend the best-ever start in NBA history to 23-0. Thompson finished with 39 points as the Warriors defeated the Pacers 131-123. Thompson rolled his ankle late in the game and told reporters afterward that it'll just be bruised for a couple weeks.
In his annual ranking of the best bowl matches, Fox Sports' Stewart Mandel pegs the WSU-Miami Sun Bowl tilt on Dec. 26 at No. 16. He writes, "Here’s hoping the dreaded El Paso wind does not grace this year’s game, because Cougars QB Luke Falk attempts nearly 54 passes per game. And he’s surely going to want to keep that up against the ’Canes’ 92nd-ranked defense."
The extended forecast falls just short of the 26th, but between now and the 21st the wind in El Paso is expected to be blowing between a low of 4 mph and a high of 24.
And in case you're wondering, Mandel ranks the two playoffs games -- Clemson-Oklahoma and Michigan State-Alabama -- as the top two bowl matches, followed by Iowa-Stanford in the Rose.
JOE DAHL NAMED TO USA TODAY ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Washington State left tackle Joe Dahl, despite missing the Cougs' final four regular season games, was named to USA Today's All-America second team on Tuesday.
Dahl, a senior, was named first-team All-Pac-12 last week. He played the final quarter of the Stanford game with what is believed to be a broken foot. Prior to the injury, Dahl started 33 straight games for the Cougars and allowed just four sacks over 1,210 combined pass attempts the past two seasons, one coming in the game he was injured in. (For perspective, the average college team attempted 388 passes this season).
Dahl's status for the Sun Bowl on Dec. 26 is likely to remain unknown until game time, WSU doesn't release injury information. Dahl has accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 23. The USA Today listing can be found HERE
Award-winning Cougfan.com columnist and one-time All-American WSU safety Paul Sorensen is a proud pop. His son Cody Sorensen, a senior defensive back at Idaho State, recently was named first-team Academic All-America. That's no easy feat when you consider that the team covers every FBS and FCS team. Cody maintains a 3.85 GPA in mechanical engineering. The Pac-12 placed one player on the team: Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey.
COUG WOMEN NOW 7-1 WITH GONZAGA UP NEXT
Washington State's women's basketball team is 7-1 for the first time in two decades following Sunday's 78-72 win at San Diego. True freshman Borislava Hristova led the way with 21 points and 5 rebounds while sophomore Caila Hailey scored a career-high 11 points. The Cougars return to Pullman for the first time in nine days on Tuesday when they host Gonzaga at Beasley Coliseum in a 7:02 p.m. tip of (TV on Pac-12 Networks).
FINAL PROJECTIONS ON WSU BOWL
With all the college football games completed, USA Today and ESPN are out Sunday with their final projections on where Washington State will go bowling. USA Today puts the Cougs in the Holiday Bowl to play Wisconsin on Dec. 30. But ESPN has WSU in the Sun Bowl vs. Miami on Dec. 26. The official announcement is expected late morning or in the early afternoon.
REMEMBERING HAWKINS, DAVEY; SALUTING SINATRO
Gonzaga Prep won the state 4A football title Saturday with a 34-16 victory over Skyline. It was G-Prep's first state title since 1986 when quarterback Ron Hawkins -- who would go on to become one of the great special teams players in Cougar history -- led the Bullups over Juanita. In 1977, another future Cougar -- star punter Tim Davey -- quarterbacked the Pups to the title game, where they lost a narrow one to Sumner. G-Prep has sent many notables to WSU over the years, including Steve Gleason, Travis Long, Joe Danelo, Nick Volk, Tim Petek, Terry Anderson, Ryan Kensok, Bob Gregory, Ted Gerela and Chuck Beckel.
On the Skyline side Saturday, future WSU baseballer Danny Sinatro turned in outstanding work at receiver and defensive. In the first half he knocked down a would-be G-Prep TD pass on fourth down and later intercepted a pass that was called back. In the second half he caught a TD pass with a spectacular, one-handed catch.
SOURCE: FALK WILL BE READY FOR BOWL GAME
Barring an unexpected run in with a door jam or falling meteor, WSU quarterback Luke Falk will be 100 percent ready for whichever bowl game the Cougars are invited to play in, a reliable source tells Cougfan.com.
FORMER WSU QB TURNS IN SOLID SEASON
Tyler Bruggman, the 4-star prep quarterback from Phoenix who spent a year at Washington State before transferring to Louisville, is now at Scottsdale Community College and capped a solid season Saturday with a 4-TD passing effort to upset Central Lakes 42-34 in the Valley of the Sun Bowl. Burggman guided SCC to a 7-4 record, passing for 1,685 yards, 19 TDs and 7 INTs.
Defensive back Jeff Farrar, who also spent one season at WSU, is at Mount San Antonio JC near Los Angeles and tells JCFootball.com this week that he currently holds offers from Utah, Jackson State, Southern, Dixie State and Western Georgia.
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS ON THE GABE MARKS FRONT
The good news for WSU fans is that Cougar star receiver Gabe Marks is planning to return to Pullman for his final year of eligibility next season, according to draft insider.net. The bad news is that the reason is because the ankle injury he sustained in the Apple Cup is so significant. In this story
, draftinsider.net says that Marks was planning to leave early for the NFL but sources say his recovery from the injury could take several months, thus ruining plans for draft prep workouts and tryouts. Earlier this week Marks was named first-team All-Pac-12.
VIKINGS HEAD MAN ZIMMER SMILES ON HIS WSU DAYS
Back in the days when WSU was more known for its defense than its offense, the man underpinning it all was Mike Zimmer. After putting the famed Palouse Posse in place he moved on to the Dallas Cowboys and today he's the head coach of the Seahawks' next opponent, the Minnesota Vikings. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times caught up with Zimmer this week in this story
to talk about the coach's winning formula -- and the origins of the Cougar Chomp -- at WSU with Mike Price.
OLD COUG EDGES NEW COUG IN NAILBITING STATE 3A TITLE GAME
WSU verbal commit Justus Rogers led Bellevue to a 28-point lead in the second half, but that's when it all went horribly wrong. Eastside Catholic, coached by former Coug RB/TE Jeremy Thielbahr, incredibly charged all the way back to send the game into overtime and then finished it off, in the process scoring 34 unanswered points to take the Class 3A state title 48-42.
Rogers, a QB who projects as a safety or receiver in college, had Bellevue's run-based offense firing on all cylinders for 2 1-2 quarters. Root Sports NW at game's end had Rogers only attempting five passes and, after sacks were figured in, with five carries for 10 yards. But the Wolverines led the Crusaders 42-14 halfway through the third quarter, and yet it was Eastside Catholic who took the final for the second year in a row and secured consecutive state titles. The two teams have played each other for the 3A state title each of the past four seasons. A year ago, Eastside Catholic ended the Wolverines' run of six straight championships and a 67-game winning streak.
COUGS vs. PSU ON HARDCOURT SUNDAY
WSU (4-1) hosts Portland State (3-3) Sunday at 1 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks) to finish off a six-game homestand. The Cougars have blocked 36 shots in five games (7.2 bpg). WSU is 7-0 vs. Portland State all-time but no Cougar player on the roster has ever faced PSU.
After Sunday's tilt, the Cougs will travel eight miles to Idaho on Dec. 10 and then play host to UTEP and Texas State on Dec. 13 and Dec. 18, respectively, before heading to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic beginning Dec. 22.
USA TODAY PROJECTS WSU IN FOSTER FARMS
On Tuesday, USA Today projected WSU to play in the Foster Farms Bowl against Nebraska, coached by former Oregon State coach Mike Riley.
The paper predicts Oregon will play in the Holiday Bowl, USC will play in the Alamo Bowl and Stanford to play in the Rose Bowl.
OL' CRIMSON's SIGNATURE FLAG GONE MISSING
The "signature flag" that accompanies Ol' Crimson to each GameDay is missing. From twitter:
Are you an @okstate or @UofOklahoma fan who's buddy borrowed my signature flag from @CollegeGameDay? Pls tell them to DM me - No ?s asked...
— Ol' Crimson (@olcrimson) November 30, 2015
ESPN reports no progress has been made since Monday's tweet. Each year a new signature flag is unfurled to be signed by every person who waves Ol' Crimson on GameDay during the season.
The tradition of 'Ol Crimson was born and bred on the Cougfan.com message boards. The flag has flown at 177 straight ESPN Game Day broadcasts.
JASON HANSON ON PAC-12 NETS ALL-CENTURY TEAM
CouGreat kicker Jason Hanson was selected to the Pac-12 Networks' All-Century team on Tuesday. Hanson was a two-time All-American and two-time all-conference choice at both punter and kicker for Washington State. He set Pac-10 records for most field goals of 50 yards or more (20) and most of 40 yards or more (39) during his career on the Palouse before playing an astounding 21 seasons in the NFL.
The Pac-12 Networks' team is heavily weighted towards USC. All five of the All-Century team running backs, for example, are from USC.
WHERE COUGS SIT IN USA TODAY RE-RANK
Washington State is No. 31 nationally in USA Today's weekly re-ranking of 128 FBS teams. Last week, the Cougs were No. 20 before the Apple Cup loss.
Stanford is ranked highest of the Pac-12 schools, at No. 6, followed by No. 16 Oregon, No. 21 USC, No. 23 Utah and Washington State. UCLA is one spot below the Cougs, at No. 32, followed by No. 51 Cal, No. 55 ASU, No. 56 UW, No. 61 Arizona, No. 86 Colorado and No. 106 Oregon State.
FORMER COUG WALK ON GREY CUP MVP
Quarterback Mike Reilly, a former walk on at Washington State, was named the most valuable player of the 103rd Grey Cup after Edmonton's 26-20 win over Ottawa in Sunday's Canadian Football League championship game. Reilly spent the 2004 season at WSU before transferring to Central Washington in search of playing time.
Reilly completed 21-of-35 pass attempts for 269 yards with two touchdowns. He also led the Eskimos in rushing (66 yards) and connected on a two-point conversion pass after the game-winning touchdown.
The Associated Press and Coaches polls punished the Cougs, rated No. 20 in the nation last week, for their loss to Washington (6-6), dropping Wazzu 13 and 11 spots, respectively.
WSU is now in the "Others receiving votes" category with eight and 13 votes in the AP and Coaches polls.
In the Coaches poll UCLA, whom WSU beat in LA in Week 9 and who has the same overall record as WSU at 8-4 but one less conference win at 5-4, is rated above WSU and three spots out of the top 25 with 20 votes.
Washington State upped their record to 4-0 after handing winless Texas Southern their fifth straight loss. Josh Hawkinson returned from a groin injury to score 20 points in WSU's 77-65 win.
The Cougs led by as many as 23 points but allowed Texas Southern to shoot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half. WSU outscored their opponent in the first half 47-26 but "lost" the second half, 39-30.
Conor Clifford played only two minutes, and Hawkinson played only 23. Ike Iroegbu scored 19 as the Cougars shot 55.2 percent for the game, helped by a 28-2 advantage in bench points.
BLEDSOE STATE TITLE A FAMILY AFFAIR
Drew Bledsoe and his three sons won Oregon's 5A state championship on Saturday as Bend's Summit High beat Ashland, 45-28. The CouGreat quarterback is Summit's offensive coordinator. John Bledsoe threw for 265 yards and two scores, and ran for two more. Stu Bledsoe had eight tackles. Henry, a freshman, also plays on the team.
Jeremy Thielbahr and Justus Rogers will meet again. Eastside Catholic, coached by Thielbahr will meet Bellevue and Rogers in the state 3A championship game Friday at 7:30 p.m. It is the fourth straight year the two teams have met in the final, with Eastside Catholic winning last season and stopping Bellevue's streak of six consecutive state titles. Eastside Catholic beat Lakes 49-21 in the semis on Friday, Bellevue dismissed Bishop Blanchet 56-28.
Rogers led all rushers in that game, with 104 yards on nine carries. He is scheduled to graduate high school early and enroll at WSU next month, coming in as an ATH who is also expected to get a look in the spring at quarterback. His best position at the Pac-12 level may be safety, according to the recruiting analysts.
Thielbahr, a former Cougar RB/TE, has guided Eastside Catholic to a 12-0 record this season. Rogers has quarterbacked Bellevue to an 11-1 mark. They're ranked 1-2 in the Seattle Times 3A poll.
GRINCH UP FOR ASSISTANT COACH OF YEAR
First-year Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is one of 34 assistant coaches across the nation who have been nominated for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach, the Rotary Club of Little Rock announced. Five finalists will be named Nov. 30, and the winner will be announced at a banquet Dec. 8. Under Grinch, the Cougar defense is yielding nearly 12 fewer points per game than a year ago, has more than doubled its takeaways, and is among the nation's leaders in tackles for loss.
Only three Pac-12 assistants are among the nominees. In addition to Grinch, they are UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and USC passing game coordinator Tee Martin. Former WSU special teams coach Dave Ungerer, now the special teams coach at Utah State, also is among the nominees.
Tom Herman won the award last season as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator. Since the award’s inception in 1996, more than 20 percent of finalists have become head coaches, including five of the past seven winners (Kevin Wilson, Gus Malzahn, Bob Diaco, Pat Narduzzi and Herman).
WSU COACHES HAVE NO SAY ON CONCUSSIONS, ONLY DOCTORS
Stefanie Loh of the Seattle Times has done a fabulous Q&A with Dr. Dennis Garcia, the director of health and wellness services and coordinator of athletic medicine at WSU. In the piece, which you can read here
, she asks if coaches have any say as to when a student-athlete is allowed to return to play or practice? Dr. Garcia's answer was unequivocal:
"Zero. Absolutely zero. Of course coaches would always like to have the athlete back, and sometimes they will hound you for knowledge, but they have absolutely no say in return to play. I’ve had situations where I’ve cleared a kid and a coach chose not to play him..."
For Husky apologists around the Puget Sound, these might be words to grow by if Luke Falk plays in the Apple Cup on Friday.
VEGAS FINALLY SETS APPLE CUP LINE
Oddsmakers, high-centered early in the week with Luke Falk's injury, finally came out with a line today for Friday's Apple Cup battle in Seattle. The Huskies have been pegged as 6-point favorites over the Cougars. Whether Falk will play remains uncertain. WSU, 8-3 on the season, now has been the underdog in six of its nine Pac-12 games this season.
FUTURE COUG ROGERS LEADS TEAM TO STATE SEMIS
WSU verbal Justus Rogers has led Bellevue High to 11 straight wins en route to the state 3A playoff semifinals (Friday, 7:30 p.m., vs. Bishop Blanchet). The winner plays the winner of Friday's Eastside Catholic vs. Lakes contest. Eastside Catholic (11-0) is the defending 3A state champ, having ended Bellevue’s streak of six consecutive championships last year. Eastside Catholic is coached by former Cougar RB/TE Jeremy Thielbahr.
Rogers, who plays QB for Bellevue, will enroll early in January Washington State. He's expected to come to Wazzu as an ATH and get a look at QB in the spring. Some recruiting analysts feel the 6-2, 210-pounder's best position at the Pac-12 level is safety.
COUGS CRUISE TO HOOPS WIN
Washington State outgunned Cal State Los Angeles 74-57 despite star forward Josh Hawkinson sitting out with an injury. Junior transfer center Conor Clifford scored a team-high 18 points in his most extensive action to date in the young season, as WSU moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2012-13.
Clifford, who played 21 minutes, was 7-for-9 from the field and fit all four of his free throw attempts while grabbing 5 rebounds. Wing Que Johnson scored 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting and guard Renard Suggs came off the bench to score 10, his third straight game in double figures.
WASHINGTON STATE AT No. 20 IN CFP RANKINGS
Washington State debuted at No. 20 in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday. It's the first time WSU has been ranked in the CFP in its two years of existence. The rankings determine the four teams in the college football playoff with Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Iowa holding down the top four spots this week. WSU is one of five Pac-12 teams in this week’s rankings with Stanford at No. 9; Oregon at No. 17; UCLA at No. 22 and Utah at No. 23.
FALK A FINALIST FOR BURLSWORTH AWARD
Luke Falk has been named one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding college football player in America who began his career as a walk on. Washington State's third-year sophomore quarterback is joined by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib. The winner will be announced Dec. 7.
Falk, who remains a question mark for the Apple Cup, leads the nation in passing with 4,266 yards despite being injured early in the second half vs. Colorado with what sources told CF.C was a concussion. He has thrown for 36 touchdowns against eight interceptions and completed 418 of 591 passes (70.7 percent). He has 119 more attempts and 99 more completions than his closest competitors and has become the fastest player in Washington State history to reach 4,000 yards passing. He leads the Pac-12 in total offense with 377.5 yards per game.
WHY ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AIN'T HAPPENING. WSU AT No. 32?
The College Football Computer Composite has come up with some strange numbers when it comes to Washington State (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12).
The CFCC on Monday ranks Wazzu No. 32 nationally -- while slotting Oregon (8-3, 6-2) 14 spots higher at 18th, and UCLA (8-3, 5-3) eight spots higher at 24th.
The Cougs beat both Oregon and UCLA on the road this season.
The CFCC is compiled by taking the geometric mean of rankings formulated by Richard Billingsley, Wes Colley, Ken Massey, Jeff Sagarin and Peter Wolfe.
EVERYONE LIKES THE COUGS AT No. 20
USA Today in their weekly re-rank slotted the Cougs at No. 20 in the nation on Monday. Also ranking WSU at No. 20 on Sunday were the Associated Press poll, the Coaches poll and ESPN's national power rankings.
DREW BLEDSOE & SONS SOAR INTO STATE TITLE GAME
Drew Bledsoe and his three boys will play for the Oregon 5A state title next week, as Summit High blasted Crater High 41-7 on Saturday. The CouGreat quarterback is Summit's offensive coordinator while his three sons -- Stu (senior), John (junior) and Henry (freshman) -- all play on the team out of Bend, Ore. Bledsoe and crew will play the Wilsonville-Ashland winner next Saturday in the championship game.
Mike Leach has been named one of 18 semifinalists for the George Munger Coach of the Year award presented by the Maxwell Football Club. Leach won the award, along with the Woody Hayes Trophy and Big 12 Coach of the Year, back in 2008 with Texas Tech. Washington State (7-3, 5-2) hosts Colorado on Saturday (7:45 p.m., ESPN 2).
WSU's POLYNESIAN PIPELINE
A good, lengthy read on Washington State's Polynesian pipeline focusing on the players from American Samoa and Joe Salave'a, from the California Sunday Magazine.
COUGS ANNOUNCE 2016 BASEBALL CLASS
First-year WSU baseball coach Marty Lees signed eight players on Thursday. Lees’ first recruiting class at Washington State: LHP Cody Anderson, LHP A.J. Block, INF Peter Hutzal, C Cory Meyer, INF Dillon Plew, RHP Joe Rosenstein, 1B James Rudkin and INF Danny Sinatro.
The class features four junior college players and four players who hail from the state of Washington.
“With the players that are currently here and the players that we have signed in this class, we feel we can compete at a very high level,” Lees added. “We will have a balance and depth in all positions. We wanted to add more speed, power, and athleticism. In order to accomplish this we sought out a balance of high school and junior college kids to get us on track and we feel this class will contribute this program right away.”
CLICK HERE FOR FULL BIOS
MORE RECOGNITION FOR FALK
Washington State third-year sophomore quarterback Luke Falk has been named one of 15 “Players to Watch” for The Walter Camp Football Foundation 2015 Player of the Year award, WSU SID said in a release. Oregon's Marcus Mariota won the award last year.
Falk enters Week 10 leading the country in passing yards (4,067) and passing yards-per-game (406.7). He is second in passing touchdowns (35) and third in total offense (395.7). The Logan, Utah native was named the Walter Camp National FBS Player of the Week after WSU's win over Arizona and has been named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week three times, a conference-best.
LEACH LEARNED SOMETHING ABOUT FALK BY WEEK FOUR
Mike Leach said on the Pac-12 teleconference call Monday that after about four games this season he learned something new about Luke Falk -- it was “definitely true” Falk was one of the toughest quarterbacks he’s ever coached. Leach also cited Falk’s ability to be “real clear-minded after he gets hit.” Leach indicated Falk is still learning on how to get rid of the ball quicker but “the other thing is we need to protect (him) better, in particular this last week we needed to protect better. We didn’t protect as well as we should have in the first half.”
The challenges in the Pac-12 make that harder to do than in other conferences, said Leach. And as he’s done often, Leach used the SEC as an example.
“It makes it really hard… because top to bottom it is the toughest conference, and I think indisputably so,” said Leach. “Right now the SEC (this week/last week) where they all play their I-AA opponent… when we’re in the middle of murderer’s row… we play an extra conference game… It’s a huge challenge, the only way it’s not a challenge is if you’re in a weak conference and we’re in the stoutest one there is.”
Leach said he didn’t have any linear goals when he came to WSU, nothing where the goal is to win X number of games, and then try to get more wins the next season.
“You try to go to a bowl (early) but you don’t put a ceiling on it, you want to go as far as you can," said Leach.
HOOPS: KENT SAYS SOME COUGS TOO ROBOTIC
An Ernie Kent press conference is very similar to how his team plays: fast.
"We’re doing a lot of good things consistently,” said Kent. “Defensively, I feel like we’re better than we were last year… better at blocking out… I still feel, however, that we have a few players in our program that are not on their games yet… They’re too robotic right now.”
Kent's fast paced basketball stryle is one thing, but there are teams coming up on the schedule that will try and force Washington State to play more half court set ups. Kent said Monday that with bigs like junior Conor Clifford, third-year junior Valentine Izundu, senior Junior Longrus and junior Josh Hawkinson, the coaching staff "(feels) like we have the nucleus to play in the half court as well."
Kent said unlike last season he has several players on this team who can step in and help Iroegbu and Hawkinson with the scoring. Sophomore Ny Redding, junior Charles Callison and junior Renard Suggs were the players Kent listed. Kent said Viont'e Daniels (5-5 on 3-pointers in opener) gives WSU another pure shooter and that there are others ready for "breakout game." He mentioned that sophomore Derrien King and Callison have the ability to fill up the basket.
WSU IS NEW NO. 1 IN SEATTLE TIMES PAC-12 POWER RANKINGS
Sorry Stanford. See ya, Ducks. Attention Husky fans, put down the brie cheese and that wine cooler and step away from the ledge. As the Seattle Times says: All hail the Cougs! CLICK HERE
HOOPS: FRESHMAN PACES COUG WOMEN AGAIN
For the second time in as many games, freshman forward Hristova Borislava of Bulgaria led WSU in scoring -- hitting for 20 points -- as the Cougar women's basketball team improved to 2-0 Monday with a 61-48 home-court win over Hampton. Hristova connected on 8 of 15 shots from the field, including 3 of 4 from downtown. She was the only Cougar to reach double figures in scoring. Louise Brown and Maria Kostourkova led the way on the boards with six rebounds each and Taylor Edmondson was tops in assists with four. The Cougars will hit the road this week, traveling to Honolulu for the Rainbow Wahine Classic. They will play Nevada on Friday and Hawaii on Sunday.
ANOTHER WSU PAC-12 PoW BUT NO, NOT LUKE FALK
WSU quarterback Luke Falk can't win the weekly Pac-12 award every week. But Washington State volleyballer McKenna Woodford was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the week on Monday.
Woodford, a 6-4 outside hitter from Chandler, Ariz., led the Cougars in the 3-0 win over California with 14 kills. Two days later in the loss to No. 6 Stanford, Woodford led the team with 15 kills.
The Pac-12 offensive player of the week in football went to Jared Goff, who led Cal to bowl eligibility with a win over Oregon State.
FUTURE COUG QB NEARLY HITS 8,000 YARDS
Washington State verbal commit Cody Brewer of Corpus Christi, Texas, last week capped his prep career with a third-straight win and upped his three-year passing total to 7,734 yards. He also rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in his three years as a starter. His Flour Bluff High team missed the playoffs by virtue of a tie-breaking formula. This season, the 6-foot-6, 215-pound Brewer completed 175 of 300 passes for 2,352 yards, 23 TDs and 10 INTs. He also rushed 81 times for 510 yards and 7 TDs.
"It has been a pleasure to coach him and to see him grow up," Flour Bluff coach Chris Steinbruck told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times about Brewer. "I can't say enough about his character, his leadership and what he has done for Flour Bluff football. He's going to be dearly missed."
COUGAR WOMEN CRUISE IN OPENER
Washington State's three true freshmen combined for 29 points Friday night as WSU's women's basketball team cruised to a season-opening win on Friel Court over UC Santa Barbara, 61-44. The CouGals forced the Gauchos into 23 turnovers and held UCSB to 11-of-43 (.256) shooting from the floor. Cougar freshman Borislava Hristova of Bulgaria led all scorers with 15 points, while fellow rookies Maria Kostourkova (7 points, 8 rebounds) and Alexys Swedlund (7 points) got into the act as well. WSU will host Hampton on Monday at 7 p.m.
SOME WSU FANS CAN'T WATCH HOOPS OPENER ON TV
If you have the Pac-12 Networks and live outside the state of Washington, there’s a good chance you can’t watch the Cougs’ basketball season opener tonight on your TV (WSU-Northern Arizona, 5:30 p.m.) The game is only being shown on Pac-12 Washington. The Pac-12 national network will be showing live look-ins at various Pac-12 games in progress (as many as eight during the time the Cougs are playing). Every TV provider is different in what they offer, so fans will want to 1) check their on-screen guide or 2) contact their provider directly. Those who have the Pac-12 Networks but not the Pac-12 Washington channel can watch the game on their computer or mobile device by signing in at Pac-12.com.
WSU-COLORADO TICKET UPDATE, DEALS OFFERED
There are 7,000 tickets remaining for the WSU-Colorado game on Nov. 21 (7:45 p.m. kickoff), WSU informed CF.C. The game is particularly challenging from an attendance standpoint because students will be on Thanksgiving break. To overcome the hurdle, Washington State is offering not one but two deals to try and reach a sellout for the home finale.
First, WSU is offering the same deal as they did for the night game on Halloween vs. Stanford: four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and a parking pass for $70.
Washington State is also giving out free
student guest tickets to students whose parents are coming to pick them up for the holiday break. "If mom and dad want to come see the Cougs play in the final game this season in Pullman, the student can claim a free guest ticket(s) on Monday at the ticket office," director of ticket operations Paul Finn told CF.C. "This way, everyone can stay for the game on Saturday, and Cougar football is a great way to bond!"
To order tickets for the home finale vs. Colorado on Nov. 21 CLICK HERE
or call 1-800-GO-COUGS (1-800-462-6847).
ESPN RATES COUGS LOW AMONG 351 D-1 HOOPS TEAMS
If Ernie Kent took exception to the Pac-12 media poll that slotted his Cougars dead last in the conference -- and he did -- he's going to love this. ESPN is out with their rankings of all 351 D-1 hoops teams and ...they rank WSU last in the Pac-12 by a good margin, and No. 160 overall.
Arizona leads the way on ESPN's rankings at No. 10. Utah (18), Cal (27) and UCLA (29) all make the top 30. After that it's Oregon (32), USC (49), Oregon State (51), ASU (62), Colorado (67), Stanford (82), Washington (125) and WSU (160). Mid-major Gonzaga is No. 11. The Cougs host the 'Zags on Dec. 2 in Pullman (8 p.m., FS-1).
SI SEES HAWK AT NO. 3 IN PAC-12
Sports Illustrated, using a projection system developed in part by an economist, predicts Cougar junior forward Josh Hawkinson will be the No. 3 scorer in the Pac-12 this season and No. 45 nationally. SI sees Hawk averaging 15.0 points per game, up from his 14.7 last season. The only people ahead of him in the conference are Cal's Jaylen Brown (16.8 ppg) and UW's Andrew Andrews (15.7). Gonzaga's Kyle Wiltjer is projected at No. 1 in the nation at 21.0.
TWO COUGS ON LIST OF 40 GREATEST SEAHAWKS EVER
Legendary WSU corner Marcus Trufant has been pegged at No. 20 and 1992 Copper Bowl center Robbie Tobeck at No. 38 in the Seattle Times' countdown of the 40 greatest Seattle Seahawks in the history of the franchise. The list coincides with this being the team's 40th anniversary.
Trufant was selected by the Seahawks in the first round of the 2003 draft and went on to earn All-Pro recognition and help the team reach the 2005 Super Bowl. Tobeck spent seven seasons with the 'Hawks, making 88 starts -- including the 2005 Super Bowel -- after coming over from Atlanta. He is the only center in Seahawks history to earn a Pro Bowl nod.
In case you're wondering, the Times' top 10 went like this: 1) Steve Largent; 2) Walter Jones; 3) Cortez Kennedy; 4) Kenny Easley; 5) Earl Thomas; 6) Richard Sherman; 7) Russell Wilson; 8) Matt Hasselbeck; 9) Marshawn Lynch; 10) Kam Chancellor.
WHOA NELLIE! ROSE BOWL HONORS KEITH JACKSON
The Rose Bowl announced today that the broadcast level of the stadium is going to named after WSU graduate and legendary ABC-TV sportscaster Keith Jackson. The "Keith Jackson Broadcast Center" will be formally dedicated in early December. Jackson called 15 Rose Bowl games in his career -- more than any other broadcaster -- and coined the phrase The Granddaddy of Them All. In fact, the last game he ever called was the fabled 2006 Rose Bowl battle between USC and Texas. “This place is one of the more important places in my entire life and my imagination,” Jackson in a press release. "To be part of it for history, myself and the whole family is honored and thrilled.”
Jackson is no stranger to such honors. A little more than a year ago, the Murrow College at WSU named its broadcast building Keith Jackson Hall. Murrow graduated from WSU in 1954 and went to work for KOMO-TV in Seattle before launching his 40-year run with ABC.
USA TODAY PROJECTS 5 PAC-12 TEAMS IN BIG DANCE
Preseason bracketology is already here. USA Today is out with its forecast for who makes the NCAA Tourney and they project only five Pac-12 teams will hear their names called for March Madness. Oregon is slotted a 10th seed in the East bracket. Cal a No. 3 in the West, Arizona a No. 4, Utah a No. 6 and UCLA a No. 7in the South bracket. Mid-major Gonzaga was pegged the No. 2 seed in the West. WSU hosts the Zags Dec. 2 in Pullman (8 p.m., Fox Sports 1). WSU was previously picked to finish last in the Pac-12 in the media poll.
ESPN EYES LUKE FALK FOR HEISMAN TOP 10
If the ESPN experts are right, Washington State quarterback Luke Falk will finish in the top 10 for the Heisman Trophy.
. Falk, a third-year sophomore, leads the nation in passing with 415.1 ypg. He has completed over 70 percent of his passes and has 33 TDs against seven interceptions. Washington State (6-3) takes on No. 18 UCLA (7-2) in Pasadena on Saturday night (7:45 p.m., ESPN). The Bruins are favored by 9 1-2 points at last check.
HOOPS: WILL CLIFFORD PLAY FRIDAY?
Ernie Kent said the plan this week is to bring 7-0 center Conor Clifford along slowly in practice. But even if Clifford responds well, the expectation is to play him only a few minutes in the season opener against Northern Arizona on Friday (5;30 p.m., Pac-12 Washington). Clifford hasn’t played in either of the team’s exhibition games due to a knee injury. Kent indicated Clifford was shut down as a precaution and the injury wasn't serious.
WSU's nonconference slate is similar in quality to the rest of the Pac-12, Kent said, with plenty of home games. With each home tilt, he said, the plan is for each player’s confidence to grow with the knowledge they’re going to get tested by several opponents, including Gonzaga and Idaho. Kent said he believes his bench will allow him to make more adjustments during the season. Three Cougs scored in double digits and played 20 minutes or more in the second exhibition, a 97-70 win over Pacific on Friday in Bohler. Renard Suggs tallied 18 points, Viont’e Daniels scored 16 points, and Robert Franks scored 13 points against Pacific.
PAC-12 SAYS WSU-ASU OFFICIALS GOT IT WRONG
A blown call went the Cougs' way - that was what the Pac-12 said on Sunday.
Towards the end of the second quarter in WSU's 38-24 win, Gabe Marks' forward progress on fourth down aappeared to have been stopped and short of a first down when an inadvertent whistle blew the play dead. Because of the whistle, the officiating crew after discussion determined the fourth down would be replayed. Dom Williams' ensuing TD catch allowed WSU to close to 14-10 at the half. But in a release entitled "Pac-12 Conference acknowledges officiating error," the officials "should have determined it should have been stopped at the point when the whistle blew as forward progress was stopped short of the first down. The ball should have been turned over to Arizona State on downs," said the Pac-12.
As a result, "the entire officiating crew has been downgraded and the Line Judge has been suspended for the next game," the statement read.
NEWCOMERS PROPEL COUGS TO EXHIBITION HOOPS WINS
The new faces on Ernie Kent's Cougar basketball teams took center stage Friday in exhibition action at Bohler Gym. JC transfer Renard Suggs scored 18 points and freshman Viont’e Daniels hit for 16 in a 97-70 WSU win over Pacific University of Oregon. Legendary Cougar basketball coach George Raveling and several of his former players -- including James Donaldson, Terry Kelly and Craig Ehlo -- were on hand as part of the "Flashback Friday" salute to Raveling, who recently was inducted into the national basketball hall of fame.
Suggs hit 7 of 12 from the field, including 4-for-8 from downtown. Daniels was 7-for-9 overall and 2-for-4 from beyond the arc. Another freshman, Robert Franks, was the Cougars’ leading rebounder, with 7. He also scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers.
Meanwhile, junior center Valentine Izundu, who redshirted last season after transferring in from Houston, brought the fans to their feet with two highlight-reel dunks. He also had two blocked shots. All Cougars who played scored, except for JC transfer Derrien King, who found a way to contribute with 5 rebounds and a blocked shot.
12 IN A ROW: COUGARS TOP HUSKIES AGAIN
The Huskies scored first, but it would also be their last against Cougar goalkeeper Ella Dederick, as the Washington State women’s soccer team defeated UW 3-1 in Seattle on Thursday. After UW went up 1-0 in the 11th minute, WSU quickly secured the equalizer in the 16th minute (Kaitlyn Johnson). WSU then added goals two (Cara Wegner) and three (Kelsee Crenshaw) in the 27th and 83rd minutes, respectively. The Cougars (14-5-0, 7-4-0) have beat the Huskies (12-6-2, 5-5-1) the last 12 meetings between the schools.
Washington State entered the match No. 30 in the NCAA RPI and expects to hear its name called when the Division I Soccer Championship selections are announced Monday. The 1:30 p.m. selection show will stream live on NCAA.com.
WSU'S PEYTON PELLUER HONORED
Cougar MIK Peyton Pelluer was named to the 2015 Academic All-District VIII First Team, WSU SID said in a release. Pelluer, a third-year sophomore from Sammamish boasts a 3.57 GPA while majoring in history with an emphasis in secondary education.
Pelluer leads Washington State in tackles (67). His 8.4 stops per game ranks fifth in the Pac-12. Pelluer's father, grandfather and great grandfather all played football for the Cougs.
The Cougars play host to ASU Saturday at 12:30 p.m. from Martin Stadium (TV: Fox Sports 1). Reserved and standing room only tickets have sold out.
MARTIN WILL BE PACKED TO THE GILLS SATURDAY
The last standing room only ticket has been sold for Saturday's WSU-Arizona State tilt, WSU SID told media. Reserved tickets sold out Tuesday. The 12:30 p.m. game will be broadcast on FS-1. To order tickets for the home finale vs. Colorado on Nov. 21 CLICK HERE
Saturday's WSU-Arizona State tilt (12:30 p.m.; Fox Sports 1) has sold out, WSU tells CF.C. A small number of standing room only seats remain. To order the standing room only tickets - or the home finale vs. Colorado on Nov. 21 CLICK HERE
A BIG WSU SHAKEUP IN LAS VEGAS
Washington State is now favored by 2 1-2 points in this Saturday's game against ASU in Pullman (12:30 p.m.) The opening line had ASU favored by 1 1-2 points.
JUST 800 TICKETS LEFT FOR WSU-ASU
Tickets for Saturday's WSU-ASU game in Pullman are almost gone. There are 800 tickets remaining for the 12:30 p.m. kickoff. To order tickets for ASU or the home finale vs. Colorado on Nov. 21, CLICK HERE
UPDATED WEATHER FORECAST FOR WSU-STANFORD
Two hours before the 7:30 p.m. kickoff, NOAA's forecast for Pullman called for plenty of rain and wind. NOAA's precipitation potential during the game was 100 percent, with surface winds in Pullman at 22 mph and gusts up to 31 mph. NOAA did not include a projected wind chill during the game but a pretty good estimate would be to subtract 6-8 degress off the actual temp. The forecast temperature at kickoff was 61 degrees, falling to 55 by expected game's end. Between 10:00-11:00 pm, when the Cougs and Card are expected to be in the fourth quarter, the precipitation potential drops significantly, down to 36 percent.
COOPER MAKING MARK IN CLEVELAND
Browns rookie and former WSU standout Xavier Cooper has gone from the inactive list the first two weeks of the season to playing the second-most snaps (26) on the Cleveland defensive line last week. “He’s done his job. It’s that simple,” Browns coach Mike Pettine was quoted saying
in this story
from clevelandbrowns.com. “He’s a guy that’s earned the trust.” Adds Browns defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil, Cooper brings a different element to the line and is “a guy who can make a couple of splash plays in the backfield."
HAWK SOARS IN EXHIBITION WIN
Cougar unior Josh Hawkinson scored 29 points and snagged 9 rebounds Friday to lead WSU to an 81-74 exhibition game victory over Lewis-Clark State at Friel Court. Junior Que Johnson added 11 points and JC transfer point guard Charles Callison added 10 points and 3 assists Senior Junior Longrus added 7 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Junior Ike Iroegbu had a game-high 7 assists, adding 9 points, a block and a steal.
CRIMSON ROLE REVERSALS AT ESPN.COM
The five-person panel of ESPN.com staffers who predict the outcomes of Pac-12 games each week have done a complete reversal this week. In forecasting the WSU-Stanford battle, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, only Ted Miller is predicting a Cougar win. He has the Cougs taking it 40-38, while colleagues Kyle Bonagura, Kevin Gemmell, Chantell Jennings and David Lombardi all see the Card winning by somewhere between four points (Jennings) and 14 (Gemmell). A week ago, headed into Arizona, it was just the opposite. Those four were calling for a Cougar victory and Miller envisioned a WSU loss. Say this about Miller, the former Seattle P.I. scribe: he marches to his own drummer.
MIKE LEACH TELLS POST HE KNOWS HE'S BORING
You know Washington State is having a good season when legendary writer John Feinstein of the Washington Post is calling to talk with the head coach. “I just go to work every day, spend hours in the film room, go to practice, go home and then do it all again the next day,” Leach told Feinstein in this story
. “I know I can be boring and I sound like a walking cliche but I really do just try to get our team ready to win a game on Saturday. That’s pretty much my life.”
WULFF JOINS STAFF AT IOWA STATE
Just days after Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads unexpectedly fired offensive coordinator Mark Mangino and promoted former WSU OC Todd Sturdy to the position, he has added former WSU head coach Paul Wulff to the staff as a volunteer assistant, the school announced yesterday.
Wulff will serve through the final fives games of the season. Wulff was sitting out this season after being dismissed as offensive coordinator and line coach at South Florida following last season. He spent two seasons with the San Francisco 49ers following his dismissal from WSU in 2011.
NEW COUGAR FOOTBALL BOOK IS OUT
Darin Watkins, a Washington State graduate and the director of communications at the Murrow College of Communication, is out with a fascinating book about the 1915 Washington State football team. It's called Chance for Glory - the Innovation of the Washington State 1916 Rose Bowl Team. The public debut will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Auntie's Bookstore in downtown Spokane. To order online, head to chance4glory.com
The book details how a group of undersized players and their innovative coach, Lone Star Dietz, transformed WSU from a gridiron afterthought to a national powerhouse. More than just a football story, the book chronicles the battle of a fledgling college in a fight for its very existence facing a determined challenge from the University of Washington. Keep an eye out next week for a story about the team that Watkins has crafted exclusively for CF.C.
MIKE PRICE LOVED HIS PLAYERS AND COACHES
Former WSU football coach Mike Price was inducted this week into the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame. “We were fortunate to have a lot of great players and coaches. I’m not kidding you. I didn’t like them, I loved them. I just stood on the sidelines and cheered," Price said at the ceremony. In 14 seasons at WSU he guided the Cougars to two Rose Bowls.
ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER LUKE FALK HONOR
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk was named the Maxwell Award Player of the Week, WSU SID said in a release. The Maxwell College Player of the Year is announced after the season. Falk on Sunday was named the Walter Camp National FBS Player of the Week (the first Cougar to receive the honor since 2004 season) and was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week Monday for the second time this season. Falk threw for a season-high 514 yards this past Saturday against Arizona, completing 47-of-62 passes (76 percent) with five touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 172.1 in Washington State’s 45-42 victory. The Cougars host No. 8 Stanford on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
LATEST TICKET NUMBERS FOR WSU-STANFORD & WSU-ASU
As of Thursday morning, there are 3,600 tickets remaining for Washington State's tilt with Stanford, WSU tells CF.C. Wazzu has sold 3,400 tickets over the past five days. With a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Halloween, WSU is offering the following deal for this Saturday: four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and a parking pass for $70
Meanwhile, a week from Saturday the Cougs play host to Arizona State with an early afternoon kickoff time of 12:30 p.m. Tickets for that game are going fast, with just 1,600 remaining as of Thursday morning.
To order tickets for any of WSU's three remaining home games (the Cougs host Colorado Nov. 21 in the home finale) CLICK HERE
DOM WILLIAMS ADDED TO WATCH LIST
Washington State fifth-year senior wide receiver Dom Williams was added to the 2015 Biletnikoff Award Watch List, the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation announced Wednesday. The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the outstanding receiver (at any position) in college football. Williams joins fellow Cougar wideouts junior River Cracraft and redshirt-junior Gabe Marks on the watch list, making WSU the only team from a Power 5 conference with three players on the list and the only Pac-12 team with multiple players on the list.
Williams enters Week Eight tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with 41 receptions. He has six touchdown grabs, 562 receiving yards and is third in the conference at 80.3 receiving ypg. Williams is second in WSU school history with 25 career touchdown catches (tied for No. 15 in Pac-12 history). He also is No. 6 in receiving yards (2,411) and No. 8 in receptions (158) in the WSU record books. The Pomona, Calif. native now sits atop the WSU record book with eight career multiple-touchdown games following his 11-catch, 158-yard, two-touchdown performance in the win over Oregon State on Oct. 17.
FALK ATOP ESPN QB POWER RANKINGS, BUT O-LINE OMISSION GLARING
ESPN.com's David Lombardi ranks Luke Falk No. 1 in his Pac-12 quarterback rankings this week. "Falk has been excellent during the Cougars' current three-game win streak ... Falk is at the controls of a well-oiled machine that threatens defenses in more ways than one," writes Lombardi.
It's nice to see Falk getting some of his due -- too often the media parrots the old and tired "it's the system" mantra when it comes to a Mike Leach quarterback. But over the last three weeks, Falk's decision making in the pocket, accuracy and pre-snap reads have made it all but impossible to ignore: Luke Falk is playing some seriously good football.
The only thing that would have made ESPN's blog entry complete: a mention of the offensive line. A small mea cupla would have also been welcome. Lombardi, Cougar fans will recall, ranked
Washington State's o-line 11th out of 12 in the Pac-12 this preseason. Clearly, the Cougar hogmollies are proving that that to have been a very big miss. - Barry Bolton
The TV broadcast and kickoff time for WSU-Arizona State on Nov. 7 -- Dad's Weekend in Pullman -- is set: Kickoff is 12:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.
ESPN EXPLAINS GAMEDAY DECISION
As you are no doubt aware, ESPN GameDay has chosen Temple-Notre Dame over WSU-Stanford after an extra day of debate and consideration. CF.C asked ESPN for insight on that debate process. Here's what Lee Fitting, ESPN's senior coordinating producer, had to say:
"This was the toughest call we had to make in my 12-year tenure producing the show. There were two schools that College GameDay has not visited in addition to having great seasons. In this case, the 'ranked vs. ranked' match-up gave Philly the edge. Ole’ Crimson has been such a big part of the GameDay fabric over the years – we vow to get to Pullman one day.”
LUKE FALK NAMED PAC-12 POW
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season, the conference announced Monday. Falk threw for a season-high 514 yards, completing 47-of-62 passes (.758) with five touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 172.1 in Washington State’s 45-42 victory over Arizona in Tucson. On Sunday, Falk was named the Walter Camp National FBS Player of the Week, the first Cougar to receive the honor since the 2004 season.
Falk is second in the NCAA in passing (412.1), third in total offense (403.3) and fourth in passing touchdowns (26). He leads the Pac-12 in all three categories. The Cougars host No. 8 Stanford Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN.
WSU-STANFORD TICKET SALES UPDATE
Ticket sales for WSU-Stanford have been brisk ever since the Cougs beat Arizona on Saturday (see below). Washington State has sold 2,000 tickets in a little less than 48 hours.
There are 5,000 tickets remaining as of Monday morning, WSU tells CF.C.
To order tickets, CLICK HERE
NO GAMEDAY IN PULLMAN NEXT WEEK
Although Washington State's big win at Arizona sets up a Pac-12 North battle for supremacy with Stanford next Saturday in Pullman, Chris Fowler during the OSU-Rutgers game broadcast said the ESPN GameDay truck only has to drive to Philly for next week (Temple-Notre Dame) according to the twitter-verse.
LATE MONEY ON THE COUGS IN VEGAS
Washington State a few hours before the game at Arizona was listed as a 5 1-2 point underdog by a number of sports books in Las Vegas. The Cougs opened earlier in the week as an 8 1-2 point underdog. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.
VETERAN SCRIBE JOINS CF.C
We're pleased to announce that Lew Wright, whom we're guessing some of you know personally or by name, is joining the CF.C team starting this Saturday. Lew will be writing a post-game column for us each week, bringing his unique insight to the readers.
A graduate of Washington State, Wright has covered Cougar athletics for many years. His articles and essays have been published in a number of national and local print as well as online media including: New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, LA Business Journal, SI.com, Yahoo!, Examiner.com, Bleacher Report and a number of Southern California newspapers. Editing credits include a sports blog, book of poetry and corporate newsletters.
HOW TO DISABLE AUTO-PLAY ON FRONT PAGE AND FORUMS
Scout.com has made it so when you visit the front page of Cougfan.com or the forums, the videos up top autoplay. You can disable this by toggling the slider at the bottom right -- on both the front page and in the forums -- as noted in the photo below.
MORE HONORS FOR WSU SAFETY SHALOM LUANI
Washington State third-year junior safety Shalom Luani was named the Jim Thorpe Player of the Week, WSU SID announced Wednesday. Luani was also added to the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year watch list this week.
Luani, already named the Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Week, recorded a game-high 11 tackles, eight solo, with two interceptions (including an 84-yard return for score) and a pass break-up in Washington State’s 52-31 win over Oregon State.
LEACH AND RICHROD STARTED IN DIFFERENT PLACES
Mike Leach and his counterpart on Saturday, Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, are both part of the Pac-12's highly notable coaching class of 2012, which also included Todd Graham at ASU and Jim Mora at UCLA. Because the four arrived in the league together, pundits have tended to compare their relative progress. For Leach, that hasn't looked so good, but the fact of the matter is that he had much more building to do than the other three. How so? Let us count the ways.
Rodriguez inherited a program that had been to three bowl games in the four years prior to his arrival. UCLA has been to eight bowls in the 10 seasons prior to Mora's arrival, including two of the last three. And Arizona State was coming off a bowl appearance -- and had been bowling five times in eight seasons -- when Graham was hired. WSU, on the other hand, hadn't been to a bowl game in eight straight seasons at the time Leach came on board.
Think about the cumulative effect of that, both in terms of the winning mentality post-season play promotes and the practical benefit of the additional reps.
Each bowl berth earns a program 15 more practices. Consequently, UCLA benefited from an extra 90 practices than WSU in those eight seasons, while ASU had 75 more and Arizona 45 more. Pundits can compare all they want, but the practical reality is that Leach's starting point was so different as to make comparisons meaningless.
WSU WOULD BE GAMEDAY'S 66th DIFFERENT SCHOOL
With Pullman on the short list to host ESPN GameDay on Oct. 31, we asked ESPN senior public relations director Keri Potts what all goes into making the decision on where to bring the show. "College GameDay looks to be at each week’s best story. Not necessarily highest-ranked game, biggest matchup, etc. Case in point, the show’s JMU (James Madison) visit this coming weekend," she emailed.
"Factors include how games pan out the Saturday before making the next week’s site selection. Also, the news cycle of that week beforehand could make a particular site compelling to visit. And, of course, we look for a quality experience for those on site and the viewers at home." She noted that WSU, if picked for the Oct. 31 broadcast, would be the 66th school to host GameDay and Pullman would be the 74th different city.
DAHL, PAULO SNAG MID-SEASON RECOGNITION
Two WSU seniors -- offensive lineman Joe Dahl of Spokane and defensive lineman Darryl Paulo of Sacramento -- have been picked to the mid-season all-conference team selected by Pac-12 beat writer Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News. Former Cougar Jordan Simone, now at ASU, was tabbed at safety. If you're wondering how WSU receiver Gabe Marks was left off, Wilner went with Jordan Payton of UCLA, JuJu Smith-Schuster of USC and Kenny Lawler of Cal as his wideouts. CLICK HERE
for the complete list.
WSU OFFERS SEAT SALE FOR OCT. 31 GAME VS. STANFORD
With 7,000 seats left to sell, Washington State is making it easy for tight-fisted fans to attend the Cougars' Oct. 31. home game against No. 10 Stanford (7:30 p.m. kickoff). Four tickets, a parking pass, four hot dogs and four sodas can be had for $70. Depending on what happens this coming weekend, the Cougs and Card could be playing for first place in the Pac-12 North. To contact the WSU ticket office CLICK HERE
Cougar junior safety Shalom Luani, the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, today was added to the watch list for the Polynesian College Football Player of the Year Award. Luani, from Pago Pago, is one of the leading tacklers in the Pac-12. He also has notched three interceptions -- including the game-winner at Oregon and another he returned for a TD against Oregon State -- and two forced fumbles.
LUKE FALK ON RECORD PACE FOR A LEACH QB
Luke Falk has completed 72.3 percent of his passes this season through six games. The only Leach QB who can match that (kinda) is current WSU outside receivers coach Graham Harrell, who played for Leach at Texas Tech from 2005-2008. In his junior season, Harrell completed 72.7 percent of his passes during the regular season. But Tech went bowling, and over 13 games Harrell's completion percentage was 71.8 percent. Falk is 235-325 on the year for 2,371 yards with 21 TDs against four interceptions.
COUGS AND CARD HEADED TO PRIME TIME
Washington State's Oct. 31 home game against Stanford has been picked up by ESPN and will be kickoff at 7:30 p.m., WSU announced today.
COUGS GET VOTES IN COACHES' POLL
Washington State (4-2, 2-1) appeared in the "Others receiving votes" section of the USA Today Coaches' poll on Sunday morning. The Cougs have five votes in the Week 8 poll, spotting them outside the top 25 in a tie for 35th. Also receiving five votes were Oregon, Western Kentucky and Utah State. Jerry Palm of CBS Sports projects Washington State vs. Western Kentucky in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Also in the Coaches' poll, UCLA is in a tie for 29th, Arizona is No. 42. Cal is ranked No. 19, Stanford is No. 11 and Utah is No. 7. Washington State plays at Arizona this week followed by a matchup against Stanford in Pullman.
COUGS No. 4 IN ESPN PAC-12 POWER RANKINGS
Washington State jumped up to No. 4 in ESPN's Pac-12 Power Rankings after their dominating win over Oregon State on Saturday. "No, this isn’t a misprint. Why not the Cougs? Everyone ahead of them from last week lost and they dominated a team they were supposed to dominate. They have enough of a run game to make the Air Raid that much more efficient, and the defense, although still not elite, is at least forcing turnovers. Tough to make an argument for anyone behind them," writes ESPN's Kevin Gemmell. ESPN's rankings:
4. Washington State
6. Arizona State
12. Oregon State
ANALYST PEGS COUGS IN DALLAS BOWL
Know anything about the Hilltoppers? If college football analyst Jerry Palm's projection turns out, CougFans will know a lot more about Western Kentucky by the end of the year. Palm predicts Washington State will meet the Hilltoppers in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in his weekly projections on cbssports.com. Washington State is 4-2 (2-1 Pac-12) while Western Kentucky is 6-1, 4-0 in Conference USA play. The bowl game is played Dec. 26 at the Cotton Bowl and will be televised on ESPN.
Washington State has sold out of regular reserved and premium tickets for the Homecoming game against Oregon State on Saturday (1 p.m.) A small number of obstructed view seats ($10) & Standing Room Only ($15) tix available for WSU-OSU: Click here to order
JOSH HAWKINSON ADDED TO WATCH LIST
Washington StateJosh Hawkinson has been named to the 20-member 2016 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award watch list, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced Friday. The third-year junior was one of four Pac-12 players named to the list. Hawkinson exploded onto the scene last season as a sophomore, becoming the only Pac-12 player to average a double-double over the course of the season.
COUGS OH SO CLOSE TO SELLOUT
Washington State is tantalizingly close to a sellout. CF.C got the very latest numbers moments ago: Less than 300 tickets remain for Washington State's Homecoming game vs. Oregon State on Saturday (1 p.m.)
COUGS' VALENTINE IZUNDU SOARS
Above the rim? More like above the backboard. Check out the video of WSU 6-10 center Valentine Izundu, who spent last season redshirting in Pullman after transferring from Houston. CLICK HERE
PAC-12 MEDIA SEE COUGS FINISHING LAST
The Pac-12 media poll has been released and there's not much faith in the Cougs and Ernie Kent for 2015-16. Washington State is picked by the media to finish in the cellar, below No. 11 Washington and No. 9 USC. The full poll:
1. Arizona (18) 406
2. California (9) 378
3. Utah (7) 360
4. Oregon (1) 338
5. UCLA (1) 304
6. Oregon State 235
7. Colorado 188
8. Arizona State 165
9. Stanford 145
10. USC 111
11. Washington 96
12. Washington State 65
LUKE FALK ADDED TO MANNING WATCH LIST
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk was added to the Manning Award Watch List on Wednesday, the Allstate Sugar Bowl Wednesday. Falk is one of five Pac-12 quarterbacks included on the list of 40 quarterbacks. Falk leads the Pac-12 in passing at 392.8 ypg, third-best in the country and his 15 touchdowns are tied for second in the conference and eighth-most in the FBS. A native of Logan, Utah, Falk has thrown just two interceptions in 275 pass attempts and threw for 505 yards and five touchdowns in the win over Oregon, and also posted a rushing TD. Though he has started just eight games in his WSU career, Falk's 28 career touchdowns are tied for ninth-most in WSU history with Mark Rypien.
JUNE DAUGHERTY MAKES BOLD PREDICTION
At the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Media Day Wednesday, the media picked WSU to finish 10th. June Daugherty sees things differently. "“We’re going to be the surprise team in the Pac-12,” Daugherty said. “As a staff, we feel we have 10 starters right now. That’s a testament to the offseason work we have put in and the recruiting base.” Mariah Cooks accompanied Daugherty to the event. Cooks started all 32 games a year ago, averaging 7.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg, while recording 23 assists, 17 steals and nine blocks.
CBS PREDICTS TOUGH SEASON FOR ERNIE KENT
The good news in CBS Sports' preseason ranking
of all 351 Division I men's college basketball teams is that the Cougars are picked ahead of the Huskies. The bad news is that the Dawgs are the only team in the conference picked lower than the Cougs.
CBS slots WSU at No. 156, just behind Missouri and just ahead of Northeastern, and Washington at No. 167. CBS writes of WSU: "Went 13-18 last season but in theory should see a much better team on the defensive end. Not the worst team in the Pac-12!"
Four Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 25 (Cal 14, Arizona 15, Utah 18 and Oregon 23), and then you drop all the way to the 50s to find the next two conference teams (No. 51 UCLA and No. 54 Oregon State). The rest of the Pac is Colorado 67, Stanford 69, ASU 88, USC 89.
CBS sees North Carolina as the top team in the nation, with Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland and Virginia rounding out the top five. Mid-major Gonzaga is pegged at No. 10.
FORMER COUG WR VINCE MAYLE WAIVED
Less than a week after being promoted from the team's practice squad to the active roster, the Dallas Cowboys have waived former Cougar Vince Mayle.
The receiver was activated just prior to the Cowboys' loss to New England on Sunday. In his first NFL regular-season action the rookie took part in five snaps and was targeted once with no receptions. - John C. Witter
A SELLOUT FAST APPROACHING FOR WSU-OSU?
LESS THAN 700 TICKETS REMAIN for WSU's Homecoming game against Oregon State at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Click here to order
MARKS ADDED TO BILETNIKOFF WATCH LIST
Washington State wide receiver Gabe Marks was added to the 2015 Biletnikoff Award Watch List, it was announced Wednesday. Marks joins fellow Cougar wideout River Cracraft on the list, making WSU the only Pac-12 Conference team with multiple players listed.
Marks, a fourth-year junior, enters Saturday’s homecoming contest against Oregon State leading the Pac-12 with 43 receptions. He is second in the league with 525 receiving yards and third with five touchdown catches. His 8.6 receptions-per-game average is fourth-best in the country and tops in the conference and his 105.0 yards-per-game are twelfth nationally.
COUGS CLIMB IN COMPUTER RANKINGS
Washington State has a ways to go yet but the win over Oregon vaulted them 20 spots up in the College Football Computer Composite rankings. WSU is now ranked No. 62. The rise was the second-highest of the week, behind another Pac-12 team: UW moved up 21 spots to No. 34 on the heels of beating USC. The Cougs' opponent this week, Oregon State, is ranked No. 74.
The CFCC combines five of the computer formulas used in the former Bowl Championship Series standings. It takes the mean of rankings formulated by Billingsley, Colley, Massey, Sagarin and Wolfe. Among the metrics in the CFCC are wins and losses, strength of schedule, home-field advantage, recency of game and, in Massey and Sagarin's case, margin of victory.
JEFF TUEL BACK WITH JAGUARS
Former Cougar quarterback Jeff Tuel rejoined the Jacksonville Jaguars today, FoxSports.com reports. The Jags signed him to their practice squad, "giving them a third quarterback in case Blake Bortles can't play this week because of a sprained throwing shoulder." Chad Henne is the Jags' No. 2 QB. Tuel was claimed off waivers by the Jags in June and then was released in training camp in August after playing in one preseason game.
REPORT: DOM WILLIAMS DEALING WITH PERSONAL LOSS IN OREGON WIN
Washington State wide receiver Dom Williams caught the game-tying TD in Saturday's win over Oregon with a heavy heart, CougCenter reports
. Williams is currently in California mourning the death of his grandmother, Jennie Dodd, who passed away at age 73 on October 4, according to the article. Williams was extremely close
to his grandmother -- she actually raised him -- as CF.C wrote about this summer.
WSU HOOPS COMING TO PASCO AND THEY'RE BRINGING PIZZA
Washington State men’s basketball team will hold on open practice for all fans Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10 a.m. to noon at Chiawana High in Pasco. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Cougar fans can take in a practice and will have the chance to meet the players, head man Ernie Kent and staff, and enjoy free pizza and drinks. The event will end with an autograph session.
Information for the bus/ticket package for the game against Washington, Saturday, Jan. 9, will be available, along with the opportunity to join the Cougar Athletic Fund (CAF). WSU opens the regular season Nov. 13 playing host to Northern Arizona at 5:30 p.m.
The Cougars will host two exhibition games this season. The first is Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. against Lewis-Clark State with the second on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. at Bohler Gym against Pacific (Ore). Hall of Famer George Raveling will make an appearance in Pullman for the ‘Flashback Friday’ game on Nov. 6. Both exhibition games will take place the night before home Cougar football games.
HENRY STARTING NICKEL, DOTSON APPARENTLY STILL AILING
Parker Henry is listed on the newly released depth chart for Oregon State as the starting nickel with Logan Tago backing him up. Henry started this past week vs. Oregon and tied for the team lead in tackles (8) and posted two tackles for loss. Customary nickel starter Isaac Dotson missed about two weeks before returning to play against Cal. But at the following Sunday night session, Dotson was out again and hasn't practiced since. WSU does not comment on absences or injuries under Mike Leach. CF.C subscribers can CLICK HERE
for a previous Luxury Suites nugget on Dotson.
WSU HOMECOMING BACK TO THE FUTURE
As part of WSU's homecoming eeekend festivities against the Beavers, Cougar football is going Back to the Future. Fans are encouraged to dress up like their favorite character from the 1985 movie, with the first 5,000 fans receiving a limited edition Back to the Future T-shirt. Washington State is a 7 1-2-point favorite over Oregon State. As of Monday afternoon, there were 2,000 tickets remaining. Click here to order
KICKER ON PATH TO ENROLL IN JANUARY
Blake Levin, the Santa Barbara CC placekicker who was expected to compete for the starting job at Washington State this season, ran into a credit transfer issue that sent him back to Santa Barbara this semester. He's on track to enroll at WSU in January and compete in spring practices, he told CF.C over the weekend.
APPLE CUP SHAPING UP AS "MUST-SEE TV"
Following WSU's road win over Oregon and Washington's victory at USC, Pac-12 beat writer Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News notes that the Apple Cup is 46 days away and dubs it "must-see TV." He adds, "If you figured the Washington schools would be as well, if not better positioned than Oregon at this point – or any point – COME ON DOWN!" Of WSU's big day in Eugene, Wilner marvels, "If the 2OT win wasn’t stunning enough, consider that the Cougars were down 10 with four minutes left in regulation."
COUGS' BOWL CHANCES SKYROCKET IN ESPN'S EYES
With the big win in Eugene, WSU's bowl chances took a decided turn upward in the eyes of ESPN prognosticators. Kyle Bonagura sees the Cougs earning an at-large bowl berth while colleague Kevin Gemmell says he's giving the Cougs a 50/50 shot at making the post season.
COUGS AND CATS TANGLE AT 1 P.M.
Continuing WSU's season-long trend of getting attractive start times, the Washington State-Arizona football game in Tucson on Oct. 24 will kick off at 1 p.m. Pacific Time, the Pac-12 announced today. This Saturday's Cougar game, in Pullman vs. Oregon State, also kicks off at 1 p.m. The Cougars are 8-points favorites.
NATIONAL PROPS FOR LUKE FALK
Cougar quarterback Luke Falk's 505 air yards, 5 TD passes and 1 rushing TD in WSU's double-overtime upset at Oregon earned him one of four spots in ESPN's Capital One "Performance of the Week" fan poll. Falk took the lead, one-percentage-point ahead of Tennessee's Joshua Dobbs late Sunday, but as of Monday evening the Volunteer faithful had pushed their man to a 50 percent vs. 28 percent advantage over Falk. The other nominees, Dalvin Cook of Florida State and Travone Boykin of TCU, trail far behind.
LESS THAN 2,000 TICKETS REMAIN FOR SATURDAY
Fewer than 2,000 seats are available for WSU's Homecoming game Saturday at Martin Stadium against Oregon State, WSU reports today. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. and WSU is an 8-point favorite.
MAYLE ELEVATED BY COWBOYS
Former Cougar receiver Vince Mayle was promoted from the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad and may see his first NFL regular-season action on Sunday. His elevation was made possible by an injury to running back Lance Dunbar. Mayle was a fourth round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns last Spring before being cut in early September. The Cowboys signed him to their practice squad three days later. The rookie was the Pac-12's leading receiver as a Washington State senior, catching 106 passes for 1483 yards, both Cougar single-season records.
FORMER WSU HOOPERS' INTERNATIONAL MOVES
Former Washington State guard Marcus Capers is returning to Canada’s National Basketball League for a second season, but with a new team. Capers has joined the London Lightning after a strong season with the Mississauga Power last year. London and Mississauga are cities in Ontario.
Despite being a 6-foot-4 guard, Capers tied for first in the NBL with 1.6 blocked shots per game and tied for third with 7.9 rebounds. He averaged 11.4 points and 3.0 assists and made the All-NBL defensive team.
Former WSU reserve James Hunter has signed with Grupo Inec Zamora in one of Spain’s lesser pro leagues. Hunter turned pro in a summer league in New Zealand this year (he lived in New Zealand and Australia while growing up) after spending his senior season starting at center for South Dakota. – Howie Stalwick
TAYLOR ARD SIGNS WITH MLB CLUB
Another big season in independent ball has earned Taylor Ard another shot with a major league organization. Ard, the former Washington State slugger, has signed with the Miami Marlins.
Ard was named Most Valuable Player in the Frontier League this season after leading the league with 30 home runs and 83 runs batted. He earned all-star honors at third base after hititing .313 in 96 games with the River City Rascals of O’Fallon, Mo.
Ard was drafted out of WSU in the seventh round by the Seattle Mariners in 2012. Released after two seasons, he spent part of last season with River City, signed with Arizona at midseason, then was released by the Diamondbacks prior to the 2015 season. This week, Baseball America named Ard the sixth-best major league prospect in independent leagues, which do not have affiliations with major league clubs. – Howie Stalwick
ANOTHER TWIST IN HALLIDAY'S PRO QUEST
The British Columbia Lions released Connor Halliday on Thursday, two days after signing the former Washington State quarterback to the practice squad.
“I think they’re just looking for a little more arm strength,” said Jamie Cartmell, media relations director for the Lions, a Canadian Football League team.
Farhan Lalji of The Sports Network tweeted a similar comment regarding Halliday. The Spokane native was known for his strong arm in college.
Halliday led the Football Bowl Subdivision with 430.3 passing yards per game last season. That is the school and Pac-12 Conference record. Halliday set the Pac-12 career record of 13,189 total yards before his senior year ended with a broken leg in the ninth game.
Halliday had been working as a quarterbacks coach at Ferris High School, his alma mater. He was signed as undrafted free agent by the NFL’s Washington Redskins but shortly after arriving in Washington D.C., quit right before training camp started. He then had a tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs, but was not signed. – Howie Stalwick
MIKE LEACH IS 38TH HIGHEST PAID FBS COACH PER REPORT
Mike Leach's $2.75 million salary places him at No. 38 on the compensation list of FBS coaches (128 total) according to USA Today. Potential bonus figures are not calculated in the newspaper's tally (Leach can receive up to $625,000 in additional bonus money in 2015). In the Pac-12, Washington's Chris Petersen tops the conference list at $3,402,940 followed by UCLA's Jim Mora ($3,350,000); Arizona's Rich Rodriguez ($3,238,844); Oregon's Mark Helfrich ($3,150,000) and ASU's Todd Graham ($3,002,960) and then Leach. Alabama's Nick Saban ($7,087,481); Michigan's Jim Harbaugh ($7,004,000) and Ohio State's Urban Meyer ($5,860,000) are the top three on the compensation list.
COUGAR HOOPS & FOOTBALL ON SAME DAY
Washington State men’s basketball will hold an open practice Oct. 17 at Hollingbery Fieldhouse’s Food Fair at 11:30 a.m. The Cougs will practice at 11:30 a.m. for 30 minutes of shooting and defensive drills before signing autographs for fans prior to the start of the homecoming football game against Oregon State (1 p.m). The Crimson Girls will perform at 11:20 a.m. But the Fieldhouse Food Fair opens at 10 a.m., a place where WSU fans can meet up and enjoy food and beverages. The venue also includes multiple televisions and an on-site Bookie location with Cougar gear.
CFL TEAM SIGNS HALLIDAY TO PRACTICE SQUAD
Former Cougar quarterback Connor Halliday
today joined the practice squad of the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League, the Vancouver Sun reports. Halliday, who had a tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs last month, has been coaching at his old high school, Ferris in Spokane.
“I thought I was going to end up taking a year off from football,” Halliday, told the Sun. “I was just hanging around the game, coaching and throwing the football, keeping my arm in shape, when my agent called me and said that B.C. was interested. Here I am.”
Back in the spring, Halliday signed a free agent deal with the Washington Redskins and then cryptically quit the team just before the start of training camp. At WSU, he passed for more than 11,000 yards. On the Lions, he'll join former Cougar tackling leader Alex Hoffman-Ellis
, who is a backup linebacker on the club.
TIME SET FOR COUGS' HOMECOMING GAME
The Pac-12 continues to give Washington State great kickoff times. The Cougars' homecoming game vs. Oregon State on Oct. 17 will kick at 1 p.m. Fans are encouraged to dress up like their favorite character from the movie "Back to the Future," WSU says.
ROSIE LEADS GREATEST COMEBACK WIN EVER
Adams State, coached by former Washington State quarterback and assistant coach Timm Rosenbach, produced the greatest comeback win at any NCAA level ever last Saturday when they stormed back from a 42-6 deficit to defeat Western Colorado 52-51 in overtime.
3 COUGS OFF TO SOLID PRO STARTS
Former Washington State basketball stars DaVonte Lacy
, Taylor Rochestie
and Brock Motum
have made impressive starts with their new pro teams.
Lacy came off the bench in his first two games in Austria’s top pro league. The rookie guard has recorded 17 points, three rebounds, two steals, two assists and seven turnovers in 45 minutes of playing time with the 2-0 Gussing Knights.
Rochestie, sharing time in the backcourt with NBA veteran Jordan Farmar, has helped Israel powerhouse Maccabi Electra go undefeated in eight preseason games. The Tel Aviv squad knocked off Emporio of Milan 85-79 Thursday at Chicago’s United Center in the first game ever held in North America between Euroleague teams. The same clubs play Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Motum led Zalgiris of Kaunas with 15 points Thursday in a 78-64 win over Siauliai on the opening night of play in Lithuania’s top pro league. Motum, an all-star in his native Australia last year, tied for the team lead with five rebounds and two steals. – Howie Stalwick.
for previous entries in the Cougar Blog.