Sean Hawkins over at the WSU Football Blog has once again put together an awesome highlight montage of the weekend's game, and I wanted to pass it along to you for your viewing pleasure. Sean has his thoughts here; I'll offer some of my quick thoughts afterward, since this is literally the first I've seen of this game.
- I feel even better about my post from last night. As I watched this, I was trying to put myself in the shoes of someone watching it live, and I could feel the excitement building within me. And I already knew how it turned out. Obviously, this montage spared me the backbreaking runs in the fourth quarter, but wow -- this was like the SMU game with about 100 times the excitement. I'm really, really encouraged right now. If you're still down, watch this. Please. And try to remember what the offense looked like a year ago.
- The offense is already ahead of where I hoped it would be by the end of the year. At this point, I really don't give a crap that it took Todd Sturdy and Paul Wulff three wasted games to change the philosophy. It's here now, and it is awesome.
- My gosh, does Jeff Tuel look good. Obviously, this is only his best throws, but his mechanics are excellent, he's delivering tight spirals, putting the right amount of air under all of his throws ... the kid looks completely in control. That drive to end the first half is one of the more impressive things I've seen this year. Remember, folks: He's a true sophomore who just made his 10th start. He doesn't even have a full season of starts under his belt, and he's now running an offense that is completely different from what it was two weeks ago. I'm almost speechless ... and absolutely giddy with excitement.
- Jared Karstetter just might be the most underrated receiver in the entire Pac-10. He suffers from White Guy Perception Syndrome -- take note of the commentator's comment that he's typically "even but not leavin'." Except that we've seen him "leave" plenty of times in the last two years. I don't know if he dropped one on Saturday, but I can't remember the last time the guy dropped a pass he got his hands on. He uses his body as well as anyone to shield defenders, and he's much more athletic than most are willing to give him credit for. In short, he's damn good. And it's about time people start to recognize.
- The offensive line was good enough (with a little help from the running backs). Tuel had time to step up on most of these throws and deliver a good ball. Still not satisfied with the run blocking -- the few runs showed here featured either misdirection or a good individual effort from the RB -- but pass pro was good enough. Maybe it looked worse on some of the other plays. But it looked solid enough here.
- Zack Williams should spend six hours a day practicing shotgun snaps with someone hitting him a millisecond afterward.
- I have much less of an issue with the goal line play calling than I thought I would. Tuel should have gotten in on second down. All he had to do was stretch. Then, he sort of outran his protection on that third down call, which was a little weird, but never had any time to develop. His backside protection whiffed, too. Again, not the playcaller's fault. Then, the fourth down call? It worked before. Maybe you can argue that the mistake was in going back to the well, but there's also something to be said for not getting cute in that situation. I'll give Sturdy a pass on that whole sequence, which I realize isn't going to be popular, because I think execution was the larger issue.
Keep the faith, guys (and gals). There's a lot here to love.
Before getting on to all of the links, I want to highlight a couple before the jump.
First, if you missed Vince Grippi's feature on LeAndre Daniels -- I did, because I was out of town when it hit the site on Saturday -- make sure you read it. It's a compelling story that's well written, which is always a great combination.
Second, Klay Thompson has been named to the Wooden Award watch list. Yay, basketball!
And, last, if you need a laugh, visit CGB.
On to the rest of the links.
WSU Football News
WSU back to practice for Oregon - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Oct. 4, 2010
With that out of the way, let’s get to tonight’s practice. The first thing to say about the defense is starting safety Chima Nwachukwu did not suit up, nursing a sore hamstring suffered against UCLA, according to coach Paul Wulff. Deone Bucannon was in his place, of course, but there was another new face back there, Anthony Carpenter. With the emergence of freshman Damante Horton at cornerback, Carpenter was available to move to safety, adding speed to the position.
First Look: WSU at Oregon - Spokesman.com - Oct. 4, 2010
What it means for WSU: The month from hell begins Saturday with the Ducks’ homecoming appearance. After this one, No. 9 Arizona visits, followed by trips to No. 16 Stanford and Arizona State. The offense has come alive since the Cougars went exclusive to a no-huddle, spread attack, but such a course could put Jeff Tuel under the gun against Oregon’s attacking defense. And the Cougars defense, 118th in the nation, must figure out a way to at least slow the Ducks offense, tops in the country, averaging 56.6 points a game.
Cougars to Host No. 3 Oregon During Homecoming Weekend - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Washington State University football team (1-4, 0-2) looks for its first conference win of the season as it hosts No. 3 Oregon (5-0, 2-0) at Martin Stadium as part of Homecoming Weekend, Saturday (Oct. 9). Kickoff between the Cougars and Ducks is scheduled for 2 p.m. For the first time this season the Cougars will not be televised live.
Scout.com: NFL Cougar Highlights: Week Four
ANOTHER STRONG PERFORMANCE by St. Louis receiver Brandon Gibson this weekend will again have Rams fans questioning just why the Washington State alum was not activated for the season’s first two games.
What Grinds My Gears - WSU Football Blog
On 4th Down, instead of handing it to Marcus Richmond on the 2 foot line, we elect to go with James Montgomery on the stretch play. For my money, if the play call wasn't a sneak or FB dive, we should have pounded it with Mitz. Oh yeah, Mitz's only carry on Saturday? 24 yards...!
Other WSU News
Cougars Complete First Round at Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Cougars finished the opening day 14th in the field following a score of 316.
Stanford new #1; Melissa Henderson POTW | College Soccer News | TopDrawerSoccer.com
WSU midfielder Eileen Maes made their "Team of the Week."
WSU Concludes Jack Taylor Open - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
In singles action, Marina Nicolas defeated Madeline Murray of Montana 6-0, 6-0. Lea Jansen beat Alejandra Lozano of Idaho 7-6, 6-2.
Women's Basketball Opens Practice - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE - Blog
This is the first year for the revised NCAA rule that allows women's basketball teams 40 days to complete 30 days of practice before the season officially begins. The Cougars open the 2010-11 season Friday, Nov. 12 at St. Mary's. The home opener is Monday. Nov. 22 vs. Nebraska.
Volleyball Meets No. 9 Huskies in Seattle Oct. 8 - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Washington State University volleyball team (6-8 overall, 0-4 Pac-10) has reached the half-way point of the 2010 season...Cougars travel to No. 9 University of Washington (14-1, 3-1) for a 7 p.m. match Friday, Oct. 8, at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
WSU Tied for Fourth at Wolf Pack Classic - WASHINGTON STATE OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
The Washington State University men's golf team finished tied for fourth after the first day of the University of Nevada Wolf Pack Classic, Monday. The Cougars posted a team score of 578 at the 54-hole tournament held at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Pac-10 Power Rankings: Week 6 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
10. Washington State: Close counts for the Cougars. It may be all they can hope for this fall.
Is Oregon the new USC? - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
The Ducks are building toward their best run in modern program history. And they are just a few clicks from becoming one of those PROGRAMS.
Pac-10 expansion: Calling my shot on the title game, division alignment and revenue sharing | College Hotline
Since we’ve reached the stretch run, it’s time to call my shot — to get on the record before the ADs narrow the options and the CEOs make the decisions. Here we go, with odds on every scenario.
Quick previews: Pac-10 Week 6 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
No. 3 Oregon (5-0, 2-0) at Washington State (1-4, 0-2), 5 p.m.: How long will Chip Kelly keep his starters in the game? Or will the Cougs put up enough of a fight to keep this one interesting?
Other Stuff We Like
Burrowing Into Box Scores, Week 5: Oregon's Second Halves, Pitt's Moonlight Graham, And More Denard Robinson - SBNation.com
Digging through the Week 5 box scores finds all sorts of interesting statistics. Oregon is coming up big in second halves, Denard Robinson is rolling up eye-popping numbers, and Pitt may have found a Wally Pipp situation with a moonlighting Graham.
The Alphabetical, Week 5: Really, Let's Just Talk About The End Of Tennessee-LSU - SBNation.com
Recapping everything that happened in Week 6 of the college football season, with a special emphasis on the insane Tennessee-LSU game.
THE CFB BUYERS' GUIDE: CONFERENCES - Every Day Should Be Saturday
Once again, EDSBS and Consumers Union have teamed up to ensure that you get the absolute best value for your college football dollar. This week we brought some entire conferences into our state-of-the-art testing lab, and the results may surprise you.
Lastly, we'll just leave you with this little piece of GIF magic from EDSBS, courtesy of the famed LSU Freek: