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HOT COUGAR ACTION: Position Changes Aplenty

It seems like every day there's word of another position change coming from Pullman. Dan Spitz moved from the defensive line to the offensive line yesterday, and today positions are being shuffled around again because of injuries.

Vince Grippi has a few notes on the switches.

WSU preps for SMU - SportsLink - - Sept. 15, 2010
With Nwachukwu sitting out, Anthony Carpenter ran with the safeties today, giving the position a little depth. Carpenter played there all last year while he redshirted. Nwachukwu's backup is freshman Deone Bucannon, who while not nearly as experienced, is quite a bit faster.

Additionally, the offensive line situation is still fluid, with players being shuffled around in the interest of flexibility and versatility.

I understand putting players in the position that best suits them, but it feels like this is something that should be done well before the season. Thoughts?

Ryan Leaf Pulls It Together In Pullman - SB Nation Seattle
On a more positive note, I was asked to write about Ryan Leaf following the AP update on him earlier this week. I've seen Leaf on the sidelines more and more lately and am glad to see him back around the program. He looks like he's doing much better and from all I've heard, he's got his life together.

On to the links!

WSU News

Football Friday on Thursday, SMU Mustangs Edition
Now, I do believe the offense will execute a little better. Karstetter and Simone healthy makes a difference in the passing game, and the youngsters in Barton and Wilson help stretch the field and "take the top off" the defense, giving the Cougs some respectable speed that the safeties have to at least recognize and pay attention to? But the running game is still a major work in progress, with so many stretch-type plays running right into the strength of the Montana State defensive front, which was undersized but quick. Hmm, run wide against speed, no matter the level of opponent? It usually doesn't work. Anyway, the running game isn't nearly good enough to keep the SMU athletes on defense from being honest. Injuries raise questions for Cougar defense
Deone Bucannon, a true freshman who has impressed on special teams and in spot duty the past two weeks, may be thrust into prime time this weekend because of an injury to senior safety Chima Nwachukwu. Meanwhile, two Cougar defensive tackles joined Nwachukwu on the sidelines Wednesday as the injury bug rears its head.

Cougars | Cougars' Texas players returning home | Seattle Times Newspaper
Nwachukwu has been a starter since stepping on campus, playing first at cornerback and the past couple years at safety. Outgoing and personable, he's a leader on the field and off, as president of WSU's Student-Athletic Advisory Council and as a member of the Pac-10's same board.

Washington State travels West to Honolulu for a the Outriggers Hotels and Resorts Soccer Classic hosted by the University of Hawai'i...Cougars play host Hawai'i (2-5-0), Friday, Sept. 17 and Pepperdine (4-2-1), Saturday, Sept. 18

NCAA: Washington State vs SMU Game Week - SB Nation Seattle
Our game week stream at SB Nation Seattle. It's stuff you've seen here and elsewhere, but it's all compiled into one place in a neat-and-tidy way.

Pac-10 News

Pac-10 predictions: Week 3 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
SMU 41, Washington State 24: What the Cougars need is a soft nonconference schedule that helps them build confidence. What they've got is a road game at a good SMU squad that will be highly motivated after its mistake-filled loss last year in Pullman.

What to watch in the Pac-10: Week 3 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Cougs stepping forward? Does the comeback win vs. Montana State turn a page for Washington State? Sure, it was just an FCS opponent, but showing some backbone feels meaningful.

Oregon basketball: Investigation involving Pac-10, NCAA centers on agents |
Oregon released a statement late Tuesday saying officials from the university, the Pacific-10 Conference and the NCAA have been looking into the eligibility of former players, including Michael Dunigan, since Aug. 2. According to several sources, the school was tipped off to possible illegal benefits provided by a sports agent to Dunigan and other players from the 2008-09 and 2009-10 teams.

It's not all quiet on Bruins' defensive front -
The Bruins gave up 211 yards rushing against Stanford. Call it an improvement - Kansas State did rush for 313 yards in the first week - but it was clear the defensive front was still overmatched.

If the schedule gives you lemons …. -
More on the Pac-10 officiating snafu in Saturday's USC-Virginia game: The referees incorrectly called an illegal block on a Virginia fake punt, which could have changed the course of a scoreless game. Virginia Coach Mike London could be seen, for good reason, screaming at the refs "I've never seen that called!"

Pac-10 stock report - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Stock down: Washington State's defense: The Cougars are yielding 475 yards per game, which ranks 110th in the country.

Other Stuff We Like


Rick Neuheisel Vs. The Undefeated Stanford Band - From Our Editors -
I've been stuck in the Rose Bowl myself after a loss to UCLA, the exits jammed with victorious fans not ready to let anybody leave just yet, unable to hear anything but Rick Neuheisel on the mic, extolling the virtues of the Bruins