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Kicker Erik Powell a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award

The Cougar kicker is one of best in the country

NCAA Football: Eastern Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

With Erik Powell’s field goal range getting longer every week, it should be of no surprise that Washington State’s kicker is receiving some recognition. Thursday, it was announced that Powell is a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, given to the nation’s top kicker.

After missing his first five field goals of the 2016 season, Powell has become a reliable quantity for WSU. This year, he has made 14/17 field goal attempts and 36/37 extra points. Last week against Arizona he notched his third 50+ yard field goal of the year with a career long 56 yarder.

Powell is one of 20 other semifinalists and the first Coug to make it to this stage since Andrew Furney in 2011. The top three kickers in the country will be named finalists and have the luxary of going to Palm Beach, Florida for a ceremony. If Powell were to make it that far, there is a fan voting aspect, so keep an eye out.

Hercules Mata’afa was also named a semifinalist for a national award this week. He is one of 18 defensive players being considered for the Chuck Bednarik Award.

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Football:

Overshadowed by others in the past, WSU OT Cole Madison has worked his way into the spotlight | The Seattle Times
Cole Madison started his WSU football career as a receiver. Five years later, the big man the Cougars call "Moose" has become one of the top offensive tackles in his class.

Washington State senior kicker Erik Powell named semifinalist for Lou Groza Award | The Spokesman-Review
Erik Powell is the first WSU kicker to be named a semifinalist since Andrew Furney was in 2011.

WSU’s Mike Leach a coach whose curiosity knows no bounds - SFGate
Leach, 56, who has a law degree, is a man of enormous intellectual curiosity. He’s learning Spanish on his iPhone. He is considered eccentric, brilliant, often cantankerous and stubborn.

From the Vault: Stanford-Washington State Football 2015 - Rule Of Tree
Remembering a Halloween thriller and near upset the last time Stanford traveled to face Washington State.

Stanford Cardinal Face Washington State Cougars
The Pac-12 North Division is up for grabs as the Stanford Cardinal face the Washington State Cougars as the weather will play a likely role.

Stanford Cardinal vs. Washington State Cougars: Odds, Betting Pick | Bleacher Report
The Stanford Cardinal beat the Washington State Cougars eight times in a row heading into last year, going 5-3 against the spread in the process, but the Cougars bit the Cardinal good down on the Farm.

Stanford Cardinal vs. Washington State Cougars Preview and Prediction
Plenty is on the line for both Stanford and Washington State when the two Top-25 teams clash in Pullman this weekend.

Women’s Basketball:

UConn women a unanimous No. 1 in AP preseason hoops poll; Gonzaga 31st | The Spokesman-Review
Gonzaga and Washington State were among those receiving votes. The Bulldogs, with nine points, are tied at 31st with North Carolina. Washington State, meanwhile, received one point.

Bonner County Daily Bee - Sports, Cougs blast NAIA foe
If Wednesday night is any indication, then Washington State women's basketball coach June Daugherty may not need to make many adjustments to her original game plan.

Washington State women aim for new heights | The Spokesman-Review
Has any basketball team defied the odds more than last year’s Washington State women’s squad?

Men’s Basketball:

Ernie Kent cranking up the pace as Washington State enters 2017-18 season | The Spokesman-Review
For all the time they spend wearing down their bodies with shuttle sprints, hill runs and VersaClimber intervals, the Washington State Cougars probably had their most exhaustive cardio program of the 2016-17 season in an actual game, against Creighton at the Paradise Jam.

Volleyball:

Volleyball is Swept at No. 15 Utah - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
he Washington State volleyball team (14-12 overall, 3-11 in Pac-12), playing in its fourth match in seven days, struggled offensively in the 25-18, 25-11, 25-18 loss to No. 15 Utah (18-6, 9-4) Thursday night.