Hot Cougar Action: WSU wraps up practice

Scott Olmos-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The Washington State Cougars held their final practice on Thursday before heading to Seattle to face Oregon on Saturday.

The Washington State Cougars wrapped up their week of practice Thursday with the final preparations before heading to Seattle on Friday.

Christian Caple's blog post from Thursday focused on special teams with special teams coach Eric Russell talking about how far the unit has come in a year. Strong special teams will be a key against a very dangerous Oregon team. Here is some of what Russell had to say.

"What I told them, and I was debating on recognizing them for what we've accomplished so far but I think they need some confidence, they need some good way to buy into hey, here's what we're teaching, here's why we're asking you to work so hard and I showed them and showed them where they were a year ago.

If you remember the game the game last season, Oregon scored on a blocked punt and a kickoff return. Not many are predicting WSU to have much of a chance against Oregon, but if they do, they will likely need to be much better on special teams.

Football

Ducks vs. Cougars Preview Capsule | KING5.com Seattle
WHAT'S AT STAKE Oregon hits the road for the first time this season, but it remains to be seen how much the Ducks trip to Seattle is truly a road game. Thousands of Oregon fans are expected to make the trip north for the matchup. Washington State is hoping to hang around the same way it did last year in Eugene in a 43-28 loss, but blowing a 31-14 fourth-quarter lead and losing 35-34 to woeful Colorado at home last week was not a good precursor.

Oregon Football: Three Cougars on Offense - Autzen Zoo - An Oregon Ducks Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
The biggest storyline surrounding the Washington State Cougars to start the year was about the amount of youth they have on offense. The Cougars have four underclassmen that have been making big plays this season. It is this youth that makes many WSU fans hope that the team could have a successful season behind head coach Mike Leach.

Ducks' defense readies for Air Raid | Local News | The Seattle Times
Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti has surely become accustomed in recent years to all the attention falling on the Ducks' speedy spread offense. So when the spotlight falls on Oregon's defense, Aliotti's pride is apparent.

Seahawks’ nest no worry for No. 2 Ducks against Washington State | Oregon’s first road test will be in the neutral site of CenturyLink Field, where Duck fans expect to flock
Oregon will play its first game of the season away from Autzen Stadium, but is Saturday night’s game in Seattle truly a road game for the second-ranked Ducks? "I expect, just knowing the area and being from Washington, that there will be a decent amount of Duck fans there," said senior offensive lineman Nick Cody. "And no matter how many show up, I know they’ll be loud.

Talking special teams on Thursday - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Sept. 27, 2012
FROM PULLMAN — Washington State held its standard Thursday night practice at Martin Stadium before it heads to Seattle tomorrow to take on Oregon. We have notes below, plus a conversation with special teams coordinator Eric Russell. Read on.

Leach Simply Wants Cougars to Finish What They Start - KHQ Right Now - News and Weather for Spokane and North Idaho |
PULLMAN, Wash. - Mike Leach wants his men to finish what they started. That's all. Just finish. The Cougs have had a tough time closing out games this year. The statistics show they have been outscored by 27 points after halftime this season, including last weekend's stunning loss to Colorado in which the Buffaloes erased a 17-point fourth quarter deficit.

Xavier Cooper makes the grade with Cougars - Spokesman.com - Sept. 28, 2012

PULLMAN – Because he was a year older than Xavier Cooper and the younger brother of a hometown NFL star, Desmond Trufant received most of the attention during his career at Tacoma’s Wilson High School.

Pac-12 rundown: Washington State a heavy underdog, but not without confidence against No. 2 Ducks | OregonLive.com

The Washington State Cougars - fresh off an all-time faceplant against lowly Colorado - have little reason to think they can scare No. 2 Oregon Saturday at CenturyLink Field. But that's why they play the games. No one expected the Buffs to come back from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Wazzu.

Oregon Ducks mindful of Washington State linebacker Travis Long | OregonLive.com

Washington State ranks last in the Pac-12 in total defense but that doesn't mean the Cougars don't have impact players.

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