Archive for the ‘PAC-10 spring football’ Category

Monday Links

April 20, 2009


I guess we could continue to beat the already-dead horse about the Apple Cup….but I think you, us and everyone else with an opinion has weighed in. There really isn’t much left to say as we wait for the shoe to drop.

With that, might as well see what else is going on…links-style. And believe it or not, there are some things happening other than the move of this game.

From Grippi, the Cougs had a scrimmage on Saturday, as spring ball enters the last week. It sounded like things went alright, although the ranks are awfully thin right now. Tardy with one carry before heading to the sideline with ice on his left leg? James Montgomery didn’t even play? Tons of linebackers, like Andy Mattingly and now Louis Bland, several defensive backs, etc, all out? Levenseller and Lobbestael still not part of scrimmage action? Wonderful.

Well, at least Kevin Lopina is getting a lot of reps, and with the thin running back situation, there were a lot of throwing opportunities. Lopina turned in some fairly decent numbers – 12-for-17, 162 yards, plus the only offensive TD of the scrimmage. 162 yards? That would be good for Lopina’s third-best total from all of last season (174 yards at Baylor, 167 vs. UW). So it is fair to say he’s playing pretty well given the extra opportunities.

But it is also fair to say that overall, the entire team is far from full strength, and maybe even a shell of the team that we will see in the fall. No offense to the current players who are out busting their butts on the field right now, but everyone knows they are missing some pretty key parts to this thing.

Moving on, from the same Grippi – WSU recruit Brock Motum has reaffirmed his pledge to Ken Bone, Ben Johnson and WSU! VERY, very good news here. The 6-9 Aussie will be ready to roll next fall.


Talk about a productive beginning for Bone – three of the four recruits, all regarded as the most important three of the four, all decide to still come to Pullman? No defections on the current roster? Retaining Ben Johnson? It’s ALL GOOD right now. And don’t forget, our own Kaddy met Ken Bone a week ago, and you can read all about it here.

Read on for more…

Meanwhile, off the field, UW is getting new Field Turf. Big deal, right? We already got ours a couple of years ago, as did Qwest Field last year. But the difference? PAINTED END ZONES! That’s right, UW is getting gold end zone paint, not just the green with their name colored in. So I ask, WHERE ARE OUR CRIMSON END ZONES!?!? Not a big deal, but still. I heard one time that painting the end zones a solid color was actually pretty expensive, over 100K or something crazy, so that’s part of the reason we don’t do it.

Washington State senate bill SB6116 has moved out of committee. It now heads to the senate, where they will vote, then if it passes there, to the house. If it passes all phases, then it becomes reality. Why point that out? Because SB6116 is the bill that has the stadium “language” in it, where not only would Key Arena get the long-desired renovation funds, but the door also opens for Husky Stadium. There is thought that the momentum is building behind this thing, and could be passed this week by the senate. From there it must pass the house, or, it could be “tacked on” to another house bill, such as house bill 2252. Should be interesting.

Here’s a question for you. If the bill means the Seattle Center and Key Arena get a major overhaul, but, UW gets their money to renovate their stadium, what do you think from a WSU angle? I know the NBA has been out of sight, out of mind for many of you. I know I survived without the league this winter. Would have been nice to have the NBA back, but with college hoops keeping some interest, and then with the return of Griffey to the M’s, things have blended nicely. As much as I loved having the Sonics in town, I have to admit I didn’t miss it a whole lot. Now part of that was by design of the prior ownership, where they did every possible thing they could to alienate the fanbase and get the hell outta dodge, on their way to “paradise” in OKC…you know, Oklahoma City? The center of the basketball universe? The Thunder sure put them on the map.

Anyway, it’s a double-edged sword. Having Steve Ballmer own the Sonics in an updated Key Arena and a major Seattle Center overhaul would be a great thing for Seattle and the NW. But it also means UW wins in their tax money grab, and they get their $300 million palace on the lake. We’ll see what happens, but it should be an interesting final week in the legislature.

Around the PAC-10:

USC had a scrimmage on Saturday, and their QB battle is still seriously ON. FOUR high school All-Americans are competing for the job?? Wow, tough times at Troy.

Oregon State is talking about money, and what might or might not be cut in these trying times. Even with Reser Stadium naming rights, a renovated stadium, and all their donors, they are struggling just like anyone else right now. It’s a good read to see how our state cousins in Corvallis are fairing.

The Quacks had a scrimmage on Saturday as well (seems like everyone had scrimmages Saturday) and it went “just OK” according to Chip Kelly. Jeremiah Masoli had a big day though, three TD passes plus a 51-yard run. Anyone who watched Oregon late last year and the improvement in their offense as Masoli grabbed that job can see that they got pretty scary by the end of the season. Who knows what they can do with a full season of him leading the offense, but he looks born to run that system.

Cal had their spring game on Saturday. The defense sounds clearly ahead of the offense, and threw a lot of blitzes at the O. Kevin Riley was “okay” according to their recap, but maybe a little indecisive if not disappointing?

UW had a scrimmage too – did we mention everyone had a scrimmage Saturday? – and they took a big step towards an undefeated 2009 with a running game so dominant, so brilliant, it blinded those who dared to stare directly at it….OK, not really. But they did churn out 174 rushing yards. LOOK OUT LSU!

Locker played OK – 10-16 for 133 yards (hey, LOPINA WAS BETTER!) – but he sounds like he is starting to get more comfortable in the pro-style offense.

“He’s starting to understand the nuances of the position within our system,” Sarkisian said. “I thought he was much more comfortable today than he’s been the entire spring. The one pick was a miscommunication between him and (Aguilar), I thought the rest of the day he had a really good day. He felt comfortable, distributed the ball well, had great huddle presence, had good command at the line of scrimmage, I just though he handled the day well.”

OK, it must be said – Is it me, or are they serving up super-sized helpings of hype to anyone who cares out there? I guess the change from the closed off, angry, guarded Ty Willie to the Twitter King in Sarkisian, with his arms wide open to all comers, is a big part of it. But the media seems to be playing along. Whatever. We’ll see soon enough if it’s the real thing.

That’s about it for a Monday. Enjoy it, and GO COUGS!