Hot Cougar Action: Gameday links

George Frey

Gameday is here, but before the Cougars take on the Utes, we have plenty of morning links.

There seems to be some optimism heading into this afternoon's game which is a nice change, but I can't help but fear that optimism is going to turn into rage by the end of the day.

Coming off a strong showing against Stanford, it seems a good portion of Cougar fans are cautiously optimistic about the matchup with Utah. I was doing an excellent job of not letting myself be optimistic all week, the Craig had to go and write favorable previews and get me all excited. The feeling I have right now is how I imagine young teenagers feel when they go out in their backyard to record some video with the hopes of becoming YouTube famous.

They think everyone is going to like it and they will get 10 million views and make enough money to drop out of middle school. Instead, the video sucks. They get 73 views -- most of which are from their mom -- and their friend Jared harshes on their mellow by calling them dorks in the comments.

Prior to writing this, I found myself looking at WSU's schedule and thinking, "maybe they can run the table ..." I should know better -- in fact I do know better -- but there is no controlling blind optimism. Just like those kids think jumping from a tree branch and doing a summersault is HILARIOUS, I think the Cougars could come out with a win today.

There is a good chance Utah plays the role of Jared today and crushes our dreams. Then again this video has nearly 13 million views so maybe anything really can happen.

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Football

WSU Football vs. Utah: Cougars Match-up Well with Utes - Pacific Takes
The Cougars have the chance to make a mini-statement Saturday against Utah.

Cougars looking to end losing streak at Utah " Kitsap Sun
SALT LAKE CITY — The youthful Washington State Cougars have received so much praise for their strong performance at then-No. 19 Stanford last week, some players might be tempted to let it impact their preparation for Saturday's game at Utah.

Five Prospects to Watch in Week 10 - CBSSports
Travis Long, DE/OLB, Washington State: When the Washington State Cougars face off against Utah Saturday, it will be the Utes' spectacular defensive tackle Star Lotulelei who earns all of the pregame hype...

Utah Utes football: Utah vs. Washington State from an insider's perspective | Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Christian Caple covers Washington State football for the Spokesman-Review and knows the team as well as anyone. We asked Caple five questions to gain a better perspective on Utah's next opponent.

Utah Utes football: Gameday glance vs. Washington State | Deseret News
For Washington State ... Bowl eligibility. One more loss and the Cougars have no chance of going bowling in Mike Leach's first season at the helm. Leach took Texas Tech to 10 consecutive bowls during his tenure with the Red Raiders.

Utah football: Utes, Cougars have different styles, same goal | The Salt Lake Tribune
The Utah Utes and Washington State Cougars might be as far apart as two teams could be in philosophy and personalities, but they are right in sync when it comes to the goal of becoming a better team in the Pac-12.

What to watch for: Washington State at Utah | ksl.com
Last season the Utes pulled out an overtime win at Washington State during a terrible snowstorm. This year, the Utes will be at home under what should be clear skies Saturday. The Utes are clearly the more talented team, but the schematic matchup seems to favor Washington State.

Scouting report: Washington State at Utah | Cougar Football | The Seattle Times
The setup: Both teams trying to sustain bowl hopes, but WSU has no margin for error, needing to win out to do it. Utah needs only to win three of final four against a softer schedule.

Cougars face Utah’s solid home record - Spokesman.com - Nov. 3, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY – Hope never seemed as high for the 2012 Washington State Cougars as the last time they flew into this city’s airport.

2 Minute Drill - Spokesman.com - Nov. 3, 2012
1No more sacks. OK, so maybe that’s an unrealistic expectation. But the Cougars at least need to protect quarterback Jeff Tuel better than they did last week against Stanford when the Cardinal sacked him 10 times. A strong offensive performance is possible against a Utah team that has been shaky against the pass this season, but the Utes’ front is strong enough to put Tuel on his back if the offensive line doesn’t play well.

Pats on back aside, nothing beats a win | WSU Cougars - The News Tribune
The youthful Washington State Cougars have received so much praise for their strong performance at then-No. 19 Stanford last week, some players might be tempted to let it impact their preparation for today’s game at Utah.

Utes aim to keep Washington St. winless in Pac-12 - SFGate
Mike Leach's first trip to Utah this year was a forgettable 24-point loss to Brigham Young in the season opener.

Washington State vs. Utah: Cougars defense seeing incremental improvement - SB Nation Seattle
The Washington State Cougars defense has slowly improved throughout the season, which was highlighted in their effort against Stanford last week.

Utah Utes football: Utah changing priorities to face Washington State's 'Air Raid' | Deseret News
Throwing the ball is more than just a passing fancy for Mike Leach and the Washington State Cougars. They chuck it around pretty good. In last week’s 24-17 loss at Stanford, WSU’s offense racked up 401 yards in the air. The ground game wound up with a deficit, minus-16 yards.

WSU Athletics

Volleyball Triumphs Over Utah 3-2 - The Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Jaicee Harris and Rachel Todorovich combined for 29 kills to lead the Washington State volleyball team (12-14, 2-12 Pac-12) to a 3-2 win over Utah (12-14, 3-10) Friday night at Bohler Gym, giving the Cougars their second consecutive Pac-12 win. After a painfully slow start to the night, WSU captured the match with set scores of 10-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, and 16-14.

Cougars Host Western Oregon Saturday For Exhibition - The Washington State University Official Athletic Site
COUGARS HOST WESTERN OREGON SATURDAY FOR EXHIBITION: Washington State women's basketball continues its preseason schedule with another home exhibition against Western Oregon University 12:30 p.m., Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.

Cougar Soccer Leaves Nothing on the Field and Allows No Points on the Board - The Washington State University Official Athletic Site
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State soccer closed out the regular season with a 1-0 victory over arch rival Washington at Lower Soccer Field, Friday.

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