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Crimson vs. Gray is about to go down

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The annual battle of Cougs vs. Cougs is set for Saturday afternoon in Spokane.

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Welcome back, Cougar Football Saturday. Ok, sort of. While WSU won't take on another team for 19 weeks, Saturday is a chance to watch the Cougs run around and hit for the first time since, well, I prefer not to think about the last time I saw the football team on the field.

There's always a bit of mystery and anticipation with this game, as it's often our first chance to see a player about whom the coaches have been raving. Last year, we'd seen lots of Boobie Williams practice clips, but we hadn't really seen him in person. Needless to say, he did not disappoint in either the spring game or the regular season. While there may not be a Boobie-like mystery this season, there are still a few guys I'll be keeping an eye on.

The first is Sean Harper. WSU will need a solid player to complement the expected starting duo of Jalen Thompson and Robert Taylor, and indications are that Harper could be the guy. I also want to see if Easop Winston has the best hands this side of Lance Alworth (look him up, kids), as Luke Falk alluded to after last Saturday's scrimmage.

Like Brian mentioned in his Pre-Snap Read, I really want to see how the defensive line, particularly the interior, shapes up. The caveat here is that it may be tough to judge how stout they could be against actual opponents, because WSU's offensive scheme is unique. Still, it will be a good test for those guys, as they'll be facing will likely be one of the Pac-12's best offensive lines. There's also a caveat there, as games like this often feature mixing and matching along the interior, which stunts the continuity.

I also want to see whether one of the kickers can make a field goal longer than 40 yards. The first two scrimmages didn't produce glowing results for either guy vying for the job, so here's hoping Leach gives them plenty of chances in simulated pressure situations. And while I don't think there will be much, if any, punting, what I really don't want to see is a starting receiver trying a rugby punt.

What would I like to see the most? Well, I'd like to see and meet you folks. We will have plenty of good libations at the right price, and we really don't want to take them home. (I already bought plenty of beer to take home and the airline will frown upon a 125-pound suitcase) So stop by, say hello, tell us about all the times you're wanted to kill us for something we wrote, and we'll have a laugh. The weather is shaping up to be damn near perfect. Hope to see you there. But if you can't make it out, the game can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks. Go Cougs.

Football

Washington State strives for equal sides in annual Crimson and Gray Game | The Spokesman-Review
Falk was just some walk-on quarterback to most WSU fans until the 2014 spring game. In that game he outplayed Tyler Bruggman, a highly hyped recruit who transferred later that summer and who will likely lead Montana State against the Cougars in next year’s season opener.

Five Cougars to watch in Washington State’s spring game | The Spokesman-Review
Spring games should come with a disclaimer. It should inform fans that playbooks are shrunk, rosters are jumbled, and that the list of players who broke out in spring games never to be heard from again is long.

A way-too-early projection of Washington State’s 2017 depth chart | The Spokesman-Review
Allow us to shed some light by taking a stab at next year’s two-deeps, based on our practice observations, knowledge of individual players and some good, old-fashioned projection.

New WSU defensive line coach Jeff Phelps has the Cougars homed in on little details | The Seattle Times
This Saturday, when the Cougars put on their annual Crimson and Gray Spring Scrimmage at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane, watch how the defensive linemen position themselves on the line of scrimmage before the snap.

Game changer for Pac-12 football salaries
For all the influx of money into the conference over the past five years, the salary structure for head coaches has lagged the SEC and Big Ten: Only Petersen and Stanford’s David Shaw are in the top 20.

Baseball

The Cougar baseball team put a Band-Aid on what has been an arterial bleed of a Pac-12 season Friday night, beating Washington in 11 innings. A game-winning walk isn't exactly the stuff of which movies are made, but we'll take it. As always, they didn't make it easy, surrendering a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning. Still, they hung tough and got a big win.

Cougars Beat No. 30 Huskies With 11th-Inning Walk-Off Walk - WSUCougars.com | Washington State University Athletics
Cory Meyer drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the 11th inning to give Washington State a 5-4 victory over No. 30 Washington in the series-opener at Bailey-Brayton Field Friday evening.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: While I'm looking forward to lots of good beer Saturday, I found a bottle of Evil Twin Imperial Mexican Biscotti Cake Break on Friday. After a few hours in the fridge, she was ready to go. Man, was she good.

The 101 Best Beers in America | Men's Journal
Everybody loves rankings!

Non-Sports

Facebook and the Murderer - The New Yorker
Steve Coll writes about the video of an alleged murder in Cleveland that was shared on Facebook before the company took the post down.