Archive for August, 2006

2006 Cougs Preview – Defense – now live @AOL

August 31, 2006

Check it out.

Don’t worry about losing Ahmu! So they lose a backup d-tackle, so what?? Just gives Big Eichelberger and Tarkington a shot to play more, that’s all. We ok baby! 🙂

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Gidee-Up GLOOM Train

August 30, 2006

Two bits of doom and gloom from Glenn Kasses at the Spokesman review today.

First, on the injury front, Ahmu appears to have a stress fracture, meaning ONCE AGAIN we start the year off with D-Line injuries. That, as we’ve noted before in the past two years, has been DEVASTATING to our aspirations for bowl eligibility.

Second: Glenn picked us 8th in the conference. If you read his daily coverage both in the paper and on the blog, you know that the guy knows his stuff. For him to pick us 8th in what I think will be a down year in the conference is downright scary.

Of course, all could change with a strong showing on Saturday. At this point, though, Cougar fans should be entering this season ESTATIC if we simply make it to a bowl game.

2006 Cougs Preview Live @ AOL

August 30, 2006

Here’s my first part of a 3-day preview. Tonight’s feature is about the 2006 offense and what I think we can expect. A little hint – more of the same, but probably even better.

Tomorrow will be the D, Thursday the Pac-10 overall, and Football Friday will preview Auburn.

Also, Auburn’s new AOL guy is writing about the Tigers and their prep for the game. Check him out here. There’s some pretty good writers over there, hopefully some of you will check it out a few times a day once the season gets rolling. I know I’ll be working hard with new stuff as much as possible!

Getting closer, but not quite there yet

August 29, 2006

The NCAA launch has been postponed for one week, until Tuesday 9/5. I know, doesn’t make much sense when the season starts this week, and when you realize that AOL launched the NFL blog stuff today! Seems like they got it backwards. Then again, it’s probably easier to set it up for 32 NFL teams vs. 117 NCAA teams, so it’s just taken longer.

Here’s a link to the NFL site, for now anyway. You can click on the team names on the left and get that content. There are some really good writers out there covering the NFL, guys that are totally on top of their teams (from a fan’s perspective).

And, if you want to take a little peek, off the record, do a search simply for WSU, and you’ll see some of my stuff. You can click on my name after you find a post I’ve done and you’ll see everything I’ve written so far (just 1 post a day so far, but it’s going to increase).

Ah, what the hell. Check it out.

On a totally WSU Football-related note, what the heck happened to Jennifer Love Hewitt?

Look at the size of those child-bearing hips!?!??? Yikes. She was soooooo sweet on Party Of Five, but I guess we all get older. I think I actually prefer this version:

Week One: Biggest Upset Ever?

August 28, 2006

Welcome, Cougar nation to Week One. So far, you have seen and heard the predictions of the blog crew:

1) Rooster has us at a solid, albeit waffling 8-4.
2) Brinkhater has us at a less than solid 6-6 (ditto College Football news)

Hawk will make his final predictions via AOL in the coming hours, methinks.

So, onto Week One of the college football landscape. For those of you who have been out of the country, Auburn is ranked #4 in the country as we head into Saturday’s opener. They are also a trendy pick to play in this years national championship game.

For those of you who also visit Glenn K’s blog at the Spokesman (which you should because he’s simply the best), you will also notice that a little hurricane/tropical storm portends to play a factor in the game.

This much we know: the storm, in whatever severity, will leave things WET and STEAMY.

What this means to all newcomers to August-early September football in the South and Midwest is that turnovers will be experienced often for those who don’t wear gloves and who can’t take a hit….

In terms of the header of this post, we open it up for comment. What would a Saturday upset rank in terms of the greatest Cougar upsets in history? Off hand for me, it would have to rank it #3 behind @ UCLA in 88 and @ USC in 97 (when we hadn’t won there in like 50 years).

In other words, win Saturday, and this team is ALREADY affiliated with greatness.

Unfortunately, the upset won’t happen. While we’ll post predictions for this weekend’s game later in the week, Brinkhater has regained his senses and now KNOWS that we will get blown out in this game.

You want reasons? Just think about the USC game last year with weather and CROWD being an additional factor. The biggest shocker: we will have SUPREME difficulty moving the ball. Brink will be bad and we won’t run the ball well at all. Defense will hold up well–for one half.

Expect a relatively close game through 1.5 quarters, and then the avalanche will start. It won’t be pretty.

Stay tuned throughout the week for game week picks and a post-mordem on Saturday’s disaster shortly after the game.

2006 NCAA Football Schedule — Now With Helmets!

August 27, 2006

I found this and thought I would pass it on. Just some nice bells-n-whistles to what is normally New Times Roman text somewhere in cyberspace:

2006 NCAA Schedule w/ Helmets

Other news has Mkristo going down with a hand injury scare but it isn’t serious, plus redshirts burn bright before the opener.

Rooster’s Take

August 25, 2006

Okay, I’ve been way overdue to post. In fact its been so long it took me a while to figure out how. But in case you are wondering I am writing this in the lounge at Hill’s Resort on beautiful Priest Lake Idaho. There is a red beer right next to me and it is going to be responsible all the stupidly obvious stuff I’m about to say.

As far as Cougar football goes this year, like everyone else, kicking is my worst fear. Until recently I didn’t realize that long snapping was an issue too. Scarey! Last year there was 5 games that the Cougs were in it within 4 points. My first thoughts for this year were that we will have improved enough, returned enough key players and found an ample replacement for Harrison to take at least 4 of those 5 close games this year. With the kicking game the way it is right now, I’m holding off on claiming the Cougs go 8-4.

My other major concern for the season is Greg Trent. Sure the guy was an animal against the run last year picking up a big number of tackles on a minimal number of starts. However, hopefully someone has taught him to read the pass a little better, particulary picking up the tight end across the middle. His name escapes me now, and albiet he is a stud, UCLA’s tight end single handedly won the game for them last year by catching an ungodly number of balls right behind Trent. Nothing against him, he was a freshman and filling some BIG shoes, so hopefully that has been worked on in the palouse last spring and these last few weeks.

If the Cougs take care of these 2 problems, I think 8-4 is very attainable. Regardless, the offense is going to be fun to watch this year and has enough depth to spend time on the field if the defense starts getting beat up. What the heck, I’ll say it, Cougs are going 8-4. They will lose to Auburn (close game similar to the Ohio State game), ASU, USC and UCLA. It’s hard for me to say they will lose to UCLA but its away and they might be beat up by then. I went to the Cal game last year and I thought they were over-rated and I don’t see why they aren’t even more over-rated this year.

No matter what, it is going to be a wild ride this season and we are going to get to see there potential on game one because I don’t imagine there will be any Cougs not up for that game.

START LANGLEY; BLOG GOES BIG TIME

August 24, 2006

First and foremost, stay tuned to this blog for a new link shortly (like in days) that will provide SediHawk’s on-going takes on the WSU football season (via our friends at AOL). Since there are legal issues surrounding Hawk’s ascension to the big stage, this season’s blog will largely focus on the sterling takes of moi, El Brinkhater, and the mighty, albeit elusive Rooster.

As the header here indicates, Coach Doba will be making the HUGE decision later this week about which kicker he will take to Auburn: Langley or 15Letters (which will be his official name all season).

Those who have been a part of this blog for the ages know how critical we have been of the kicking game in the post Dunning era–as well we should be. Our lack of a kicking game has cost us dearly over the last couple of years–and may have cost us bowl eligibility whether it be from missed kicks or decisions to “not kick” based on lack of confidence.

Obviously, Langley has proven himself to be the pinnacle of D-II or I-AA with his leg strength and accuracy. In other words, in my humble book, LANGLEY SHOULD NOT BE OUR KICKER THIS YEAR.

But, in the spirit of keeping my second moniker (the King of Contradiction), it is also clear to me that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should his replacement, 15letter, make his collegiate debut @ Auburn.

Here are the primary reasons:

1) Forget about college experience, 15letter has NEVER PLAYED A REAL FOOTBALL GAME!!!!! In my book, if you wanna go with the kid, put him in a situation where we can succeed and build CONFIDENCE. Playing in one of the loudest, ominious stadiums in the country, in humid weather with a new holder with copious sweat dripping into his eyes and on his hands, ain’t the way to get off to a good start. Don’t put him in a position to fail!

2) If WSU is going to have a chance in this game, it MUST make extra points. While Langley has shown himself to be capable of blowing the gimmees, it is Brinkhater’s take that 15letter will undoutedly miss one (or three) in his FIRST REAL FOOTBALL GAME! Again, don’t let him fail unnecessarily.

3) If the Kicking game is going to fail in week one, then let the awful incumbent be ruled out early and start a new. There’s plenty of time to get things right @ home against Idaho and in the friendly confines of Quest Field.

As I noted earlier in the month, I believe that the Cougs will lose a heartbreaker in the opener. I hope and pray, however, that the loss is not due to 15letter missing two PATs en route to a 28-26 loss.

Offense much better, but kicking game a mess?; Mattingly won’t redshirt?

August 17, 2006

A couple of AM stories about the scrimmage last night, and things sound a lot more “normal”. The offense made some big plays, including Woolridge with a 60-yd run, Brink threw for a couple of scores and was 14-20, and Gary Rogers had a couple of TD’s. Just nice to hear the offense clicking so well, and let’s face it, we KNOW offense isn’t going to be the issue this year!

Some other highlights – Darrell Hutsona made his first big impact play, returning a kickoff all the way to the house. A lot of people have compared him to J-Smooth (Smith), for the 2003 team, but I’ve heard some say he has even more speed. Doba mentioned that right now, Hutsona is set to get some PT not only running back kicks, but also from the RB spot. Hutsona had a lot of success in high school, the San Diego Tribune athlete of the year in 02-03, so he’s got the pedigree. Maybe it’ll take him half the season to adjust to Pac-10 play, but he might be a real nice asset later this year.

Jordan had a nice night too, 6 catches for 74 and a TD. While he won’t get the headlines Hill or even Bumpus get this year, I have a feeling if that knee can hold up he’ll be a big cog in the passing machine this year. Very encouraging to hear about that.

Sadly, the kicking game sounds like it’s even worse. Langley and Romeen missed their first four kicks before making their last four. No matter who wins the job, 50% isn’t going to cut it!

Doba mentioned that young Andy Mattingly continues to impress, with a 57-yd INT last night, that he said per Cougfan: “If he continues to improve, we probably won’t redshirt him,” Doba said of Mattingly. “We’ll go ahead and put him on special teams, and get him some playing time.” I’m not wild about burning his redshirt for special teams play, but in this day and age, freshman are somewhat important. Gone are the days of redshirting entire classes, especially at a place like WSU where, as we know, depth is always going to be an issue.

Cougfan:
http://washingtonstate.scout.com/2/558047.html

Times:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/2003204439_coug17.html

I’m out the rest of the week, so Brinkhater, Rooster, go ahead and post to keep things alive around here!

D-line not as dire as we thought?; Cool Youtube highlights

August 16, 2006

While it’s been widely reported that Matt Mullenix is out with a broken hand, in today’s TNT Robb Akey says that he will return in a few days with his hand in a cast. Akey even goes as far to say that he expects Mullenix to play in Saturday’s scrimmage! That’s very good news. Still, playing with one good hand might be a bit of a detriment at DE. Hopefully it won’t hold him back too much. Some speculate that he’ll be a “poor man’s Braidwood”, whatever that means, basically solid against the run and pass, but not great at either. We’ll see.

Also, Aaron Johnson should only be down about a week with the bad hammy, much better than “indefinitely”. Johnson probably will miss the scrimmage, and you never know with hamstrings, but let’s hope an extra week of rest and he’ll be good to go. Really, what does he have to prove in camp? We know he’s huge and has a lot of ability at the DT spot, so don’t push it big guy!

Glenn Kasses also has a tidbit on Bryan Tarkington. He SHOULD finally be eligible to play after some academics should be cleared as of today, and he will be a welcome addition. There has been some decent buzz about him as well, and many think he’ll be an impact guy inside. many believe he will move ahead of Eichelberger and into a 4-man group with Ropati, Johnson, and Ahmu.

The even better news is that Brackenridge and newcomer Markus Dawes should be ready to go by 9/2. Dawes is especially interesting, as several reports so far have raved about his ability at CB. But he had some strange cramping issues, so far as to have some blood tests done. Luckily everything appears fine there.

And, finally, according to the Times, at least the team is in great shape! That will hopefully bode well playing in steamy Auburn in a few weeks.

“Doba is convinced they’re in shape.
He says conditioning coach Rob Oviatt implemented a “pirates” theme with the players, telling them that it was customary for pirates to either raise a white flag to signal they were about to surrender, or a red one to indicate they “would fight to the death.”
“He got a red flag with a skull and crossbones, and everybody on the team signed it,” Doba said. “Midway through conditioning, they’d go out and stick the red flag in the ground to remind them they were going to fight to the death. At the end, they’d take a victory lap, raise the red flag and everybody got to carry it.

“I had more than one guy come up and say this was the toughest summer they’d ever been through.”

“All you little Hulka-maniacs out there, train, say your prayers, take your vitamins, be true to yourself, true to your country, and be a REAL American!”

Finally, someone has made some cool WSU highlights from last year. You’d think we went 11-1 last year after watching some of these big plays! Some serious talent coming back this year, obviously, but we’re also going to miss #1 just a little bit…..but man are we going to score points!