The day before the day

George Frey

34 hours to Cougar Football Saturday!

We are now only one day away from the start of WSU's 2013 football season. To celebrate, today's edition of Hot Cougar Action features 2013 links ... give or take 2000.

Before we jump to the links, let's take a quick look back at Thursday's action. College football season got off to a bang with several exciting games. Pac-12 teams got off to a 2-0 start, although neither Utah or USC were especially impressive. The Utes got all they could handle from Utah State in a 30-26 victory while USC beat Hawaii 30-13. Coming from where WSU has been, neither win is something to scoff at, but USC didn't exactly look invincible in its tuneup for the Cougars in Week 2.

The Friday before a game is always an interesting blend and that is once again the case. There are a few last-minute preview type things. A few predictions and some other final wrap ups before gameday. It won't be enough to keep you busy until kickoff, but seriously, WSU plays a football game tomorrow.

WSU Football:

WazzuWatch.com - PREVIEW: Auburn Defense 101
As the Auburn offense takes a different shape from last season heading into the opener, so does the Tigers' defense, which will be orchestrated by longtime SEC defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson.

Pac-12 Week 1 Game predictions - ESPN
Kevin Gemmell: I got burned by the Cougs in the season opener last year when they were two-touchdown dogs on the road, and it haunts me to this day. Lesson learned. Auburn 28, Washington State 21

Leach matches up against an old rival - The Spokesman-Review

PULLMAN – Mike Leach didn’t remember the last time he coached against Ellis Johnson. Yet he did remember at the same time.

River Cracraft impact newcomer at WR for WSU - The Spokesman-Review

Maybe Mike Leach has a plan: give the No. 84 to the most promising of his freshmen receivers, and watch them dazzle onlookers during preseason camp.

Leach has seen Auburn’s defense - Decatur Daily: Auburn Sports

Gus Malzahn and Mike Leach will face each other’s high-tempo offenses for the first time Saturday night when Auburn hosts Washington State.

Yakima Herald Republic | Bud Withers: WSU defense looks for attitude adjustment

Amid the hurly-burly of a recent Washington State scrimmage, with assistant coaches hollering instructions to their various units, came this reminder from the sideline to linebacker Ivan McLellan: "Ivan! Body language!"

Cougs get taste of SEC mystique - Spokesman.com - Aug. 30, 2013

It’s different down here. Not just in Alabama, where college football is nearly synonymous with church for some fans. But in all geographical locations associated with the Southeastern Conference, which has established itself during the last decade as college football’s premier league in nearly every way.

Battle Loyale: Why Washington State Will Win | ThePostGame

And let’s talk about the real reason why Washington State will win:

Auburn Football:

Auburn looks to stop the air-attack from Washington State | WIAT CBS42
Auburn’s defense is ready for Mike Leach’s air raid. Injuries mean guys like Jonothan Mincy even more important. He says the defensive backs have been practicing on key pass defense drills to shut down the Cougars.

Auburn football: Marshall, coaches seek comfort zone | The Montgomery Advertiser | montgomeryadvertiser.com
Quarterback Nick Marshall will make his first start in major college football Saturday when Auburn hosts Washington State. Keeping the expectations for his debut within reason is important for a team and fan base starving to put the disastrous 2012 season behind them.

Tiger Talk: Gus Malzahn ready to chew bubble gum and coach games | al.com
Gus Malzahn is growing restless. The first-year Auburn coach is anxious to make his debut on the sidelines Saturday in the season opener against Washington State.

Auburn Tigers Gus Malzahn Washington St Cougars Mike Leach on offense - ESPN
It’s no surprise that many experts are predicting a shootout between Auburn and Washington State on Saturday. The game features Gus Malzahn and Mike Leach, two of the more innovative offensive minds in college football.

Innovative offenses square off as Auburn takes on Washington State (Auburn Football Podcast) | al.com

Two of the nation's most respected offensive minds will do battle in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday as Gus Malzahn and his Auburn Tigers host Mike Leach's high-flying Washington State Cougars. Will the Hurry-Up, No-Huddle outpace the Air Raid offense? Will Auburn's recent string of injuries leave gaps in their defense? How will Nick Marshall look in his first start as the Tigers' starting quarterback?

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