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A look behind enemy lines to see what Auburn thinks of the Cougars

With the game edging ever closer, we bring you a lot of videos to help you get ready. Not only is there sound from three WSU coaches, but we look behind enemy lines to see what AU coach Gus Malzahn thinks of the game and the Cougs.


Wednesdays would usually be the day that Mike Leach and company sit in front of the media and answer questions in their weekly press conference. While Coach Leach was on the Pac-12 conference call and there were no shortage of post practice interviews, which are posted a little further down, there weren't any formal press conferences. Well, I have a fever and the only prescription is a real, live press conference. For that reason, I turned to the other sideline and read up on coach Gus Malzahn's first pregame press conference.

If you want to watch it all, the raw video from WIAT CBS 42, Birmingham's news leader, is posted below. If you just want the interesting bits, I channeled my inner intern, went through everything and logged them for you.

On the Cougars:

We're playing an opponent that I feel like is going to be much improved. Washington State finished the year by beating their rival, Washington, which is a very big win. They got the majority of their guys, offensively and defensively back. So, that definitely is a concern. Then the fact that it is the second year in the system and they have a proven head coach who has won just about everywhere he's been. So we're expecting those guys to be much improved and a very good opponent for us in the first game.

On transfer QB Nick Marshall's first start:

This will be, really, the first quarterback that we've had that didn't go through spring. He's learning every day. We named him the starter because we feel like when he was comfortable, he definitely earned that position. We feel like he'll definitely get more comfortable and better each game.... Until you get in that arena, that's when things get real clear.

On the concerns with lack of depth in defense:

We're playing a good offense. They're going to be much improved than they were last year. When the quarterback had time they were very effective. We've go to get a pass rush. They're going to throw it a lot, so we've got to have some depth in the secondary. It'll be a good challenge for our defense.

On what stuck out about Washington State in 2012:

You know, you look, and they almost beat Stanford last year, which was an excellent team. They played Oregon extremely close. Of course, I got a chance to see Oregon up close last year so I can kind of relate to their talent and how they go about their business. They're capable of playing, even last year, capable of playing good football. I think sometimes they got behind and it kind of snowballed on them. But we're really expecting a much improved team. Anytime you have experience and you have coaches back for the second year it's a great advantage and they know a lot about their team

On lack of a number one receiver:

We need to find a go-to receiver. In 2009 when we first got here we were saying the same thing. We thought Darvin Adams had a chance to be, but he showed it out on the field. That's kind of, you know, when I say that we're really curious to see how some of these guys respond, the receivers, we need someone to step up and be a go-to guy. How you do that is you prove it on Saturdays.

On top of that video, we have a little bit of a video extravaganza today. Coach Leach gave a long past practice interview, as did Coach Simmons and Coach Breske. However, in order to save those of you on a phone or with slower bandwidth, the Leach one is the only one embedded below. The other videos, including a cheap plug for my Auburn preview, are included in the links.

Also in the links: notes from the aforementioned Pac-12 conference call, the official game notes, a cool looking infographic from the Auburn site, more notes from Malzahn, a cheap plug for my own Auburn preview video yesterday and some looks at former Cougar Basketball coaching great George Raveling. Enjoy!


Notes from Leach on Pac-12 call - SportsLink - - Aug. 27, 2013
There is no greater indication that a new season of college football is upon us than the 2013 debut of the Pac-12 coaches teleconference. The first one is in the books. Here are some notes from Mike Leach's segment.

Washington State at Auburn: Game Notes
Official game notes from Washington State University prior to their first game of the 2013 season at Auburn.

Breske after practice - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Defensive Coordinator Mike Breske speaks to the media following practice

Simmons after practice - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Outside Receivers Coach Dennis Simmons talks to the media after practice

Wave the Flag Road Trip is Underway - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Three WSU students began their cross-country journey to Auburn, Ala.

The CougCenter video preview of the Auburn Tigers - CougCenter
CougCenter on Youtube is back and for the first video, we take a quick look at the Auburn Tigers. Who are they and do the Cougs have a chance on Saturday?

Wilner: Pac-12 football predictions - San Jose Mercury News
5. Washington State: Mike Leach's system is firmly established and the Cougars are free of any quarterback controversy (Connor Halliday is the starter). But that doesn't mean WSU is ready for a breakthrough.

Football (Notes from Auburn) - Washington State Infographic
An awesome infographic profiling Washington State University, both the team and the university as whole.

Auburn football: Malzahn open to slower pace, if need be, against 'much improved' WSU | The Montgomery Advertiser |
Not much will slow down Gus Malzahn. The innovator of the hurry-up, no-huddle offense has his goals at Auburn set at being the fastest offense in college football this season

Malzahn testy over his offense being misnamed - TimesDaily: Auburn Football
If you want to raise Gus Malzahn’s blood pressure, call the hurry-up, no-huddle philosophy he developed a spread offense.

Week One: Auburn vs. Washington State Preview and Prediction - Fly War Eagle - An Auburn Tigers Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and more.
This game doesn’t have the feel of a game between two teams comin off 3-9 seasons. Many Auburn fans expect Malzahn to turn the program around quickly and at least get to a bowl, while Mike Leach teams always seem dangerous. The Cougars will make plays on offense, especially in the first half, but their inability to be two-dimensional will cost them when Auburn’s secondary settles in in the second half and comes up with more stops. Prediction: Auburn Tigers 48, Washington State Cougars 24


Newest recruits give Cougs hope - - Aug. 27, 2013
It’s an indication of the Pac-12’s prowess that seven of’s top 15 recruiting classes come from the powerful conference. That one of those classes belongs to Washington State University is an indication third-year head coach Jen Greeny, part of the school’s glory days as a player and assistant coach, is on the right path toward returning the program to prominence.

George Raveling

Reflecting on a Dream - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
If George Raveling was coaching today, what would he tell his players about Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech?

George Raveling's Favorite WSU Memory - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
During our phone conversation last Friday I asked Coach Raveling what was his favorite memory during his Washington State coaching career? It didn't take long for him to come up with it.

Actual Hot Cougars

More Actual Hot Cougars
The most bold and courageous segment ever written on this, or any SB Nation, website returns. Boy, has it really taken off. This time, we may have stepped over the edge. This hot Cougar has clearly seen something she likes and will do anything to have it. There may be snow on the ground, but the sun is out and this hot mama is feeling frisky.