Good morning, Cougar fans. The WSU football team continued its spring drills Saturday with practice number six, and there was a prevalent new wrinkle. The quarterbacks practiced lining up under center extensively. Anyone who has seen a good bit of Mike Leach's offenses knows this is a very foreign concept. The coaches went so far as to say the quarterback could line up under center as much as 25 percent of the time.
As Jacob Thorpe points out, the Cougars lined up under center exactly one time last season, and it resulted in a Luke Falk touchdown. No need to mess with success, right? I seem to recall the Cougs breaking out this formation a couple times last year, with two offensive linemen added for a total of seven, and the quarterback under center at least one other time. It may have been at Nevada. However, there was a procedure penalty, and WSU went back one of its regular formations. I could be wrong, though. EDIT: Jacob Thorpe found a video clip of that formation against Oregon here, confirming that they ran the play out of shotgun. My guess is that's the same formation they tried to use against Nevada.
My guess is that the Cougars will line up in this particular formation in certain down/distance situations that would normally call for it, such as third-and-short and when they're either backed up against their own goal line or inside the other team's five yard line. I also get the feeling that, while the coaches talk about lining up in a new formation more extensively than before, reality will catch up once the bullets start flying, and the offense will end up in the shotgun nearly every time. That's not a criticism, but coaches are like everybody else. When the heat gets turned up, they will likely tend toward familiarity. It'll be really interesting to see the quarterback take a snap under center, turn around and hand the ball to a bowling ball like Wicks on a power play, though. Hopefully we see a lot of goal line situations like that in 2015.
One other item of note from practice was the performance of Deion Singleton. It has taken Singleton a bit to get his legs under him, mostly since he hasn't played in quite a long time. If Singleton can continue to emerge as a legitimate asset at safety, it could be a huge development for the defense, especially given the fact that WSU will play extensively in the nickel package next season. Add Shalom Luani to the mix in fall camp, and hopefully the defensive backs get a big shot in the arm.
WSU could be going under center more this season - Spokesman.com - April 4, 2015
"I think these quarterbacks are more inclined in that direction," Leach said. "Just one of the idiosyncrasies with Connor (Halliday), he’s more of a (shot)gun guy, and we’ll always be a gun team, anyway, so that’ll always be a bigger part of it."
WSU quarterbacks spending time under center | The Spokesman-Review
Over the course of 1,011 snaps last season the WSU quarterbacks received the ball under center just once. Expect that number to go up drastically next season.
Mike Leach - Head Coach of the Washington State Cougars - 4.3.15
This was a pretty interesting interview, and the hosts even got Leach to talk about some X's and O's, which doesn't always happen. Around the six minute mark, he gets into route concepts for a couple minutes, which I found pretty interesting.
Gesser on Coug Spring ball | 700 ESPN | Sports Radio | Spokane, WA
Patchin, Lukens and Osso talked to Jason Gesser as Spring football gets underway for the Washington State Cougar football team.
Cougars Drop Finale at No. 12 Cal, 6-2 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Chris Paul drove in three runs and starter Matt Ladrech worked seven strong innings as No. 12 California avoided a series sweep with a 6-2 victory over Washington State Saturday at Evans Diamond.
No. 11 WSU Rowing Sweeps Gonzaga, Takes Fawley Cup - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Who needs baseball and basketball? Hey Zags, we own you on the river!
We've got a two-fer today, and I am disappointed with the first link. I guess it's a good thing for Yuengling that the rankings are based on sales, because that's the only reason they should be anywhere near the Top 50. If you ask me (and you didn't), Yuengling is ok, but it's basically a slightly better Coors. If these rankings were based on, you know, quality of product, neither Yuengling nor Gambrinus (which makes Shiner Bock, the Texas version of Budweiser) would be anywhere near the top 10.
Yuengling ousts Boston Beer as top U.S. craft brewery
In 2014, craft brewers sold an estimated $19.6 billion in beer, the association says, representing 19% of the U.S. beer market — up from 14% in 2013. Craft brewers produced 22.2 million barrels, an 18% increase in volume, equal to about 11% of total beer volume produced in the U.S.
Craft beer hops for the Final Four's hoops - Fortune
While there’s nothing like attending the NCAA finals in person, your couch does have one big advantage over the seats occupied by fans in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium: You can enjoy a beer with the game.
The Monster Next Door: Rwandan Genocide
This is a long read but, just, holy crap.