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What to watch for in WSU’s Spring Game

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Lots of positions to keep an eye on.

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

Good morning, and welcome to (sort of) game day! We all know the real Cougar Football Saturday won’t return until the fall, but in these football-starved months, the old saying “any port in a storm” comes to the forefront. While Saturday’s game is just a scrimmage filled with several artificialities, hopefully we’ll get at least a small glimpse into what these guys will look like next fall.

We’re all primarily focused on the most important position on the field, of course, but enough about the punter. From the looks of it, Trey Tinsley and Alex Gordon will get the bulk of the snaps in the first half. While I understand Leach’s thinking there, I’m a bit disappointed since I want to see Cammon Cooper, and odds are I’ll be back at the tailgate by the time the second half starts.

I’m also really excited to watch Max Borghi. Judging by all of the spring practice video clips, Borghi is ready to step in for the guys who departed after 2017. Along with Borghi, it will be interesting to watch how much action Keith Harrington gets. I’ve probably said it before, but I am honestly stunned that Harrington stuck it out at WSU despite seeing very limited action over the last two years.

Since WSU lost so many players to graduation/the NFL Draft, there are questions just about everywhere.

  • Will WSU’s offensive line ably replace two starters following a disappointing performance in 2017? Leach seems to be pretty high on Abe Lucas at right tackle.
  • Will perennial spring star Easop Winston continue to shine? What about the other receivers? Is Tay Martin ready to take the next step?
  • Who will fill the gigantic void left on the defensive line with the departures of Daniel Ekuale, Garrett McBroom and Hercules Mata’afa?
  • Is Jack Crane the man at kicker? I hope they give Crane several attempts tomorrow. He seems to have kicked quite well in the first two scrimmages.
  • How will WSU mix and match what is, on paper, the strongest returning position group in the linebackers?
  • The most important question - will we be able to get through all the beer I brought from Florida?

Another major factor on Saturday will likely be the wind. The forecast has called for the wind velocity to be up around 20mph for the better part of the week, and that’s where it sits currently. High winds will have a detrimental effect on what the new QBs are able to do in game conditions. Both scrimmages so far have been played in less-than-ideal conditions, so hopefully the passers are at least a little used to bad weather.

Either way, a good time should be had by at least some. Go Crimson, and Gray, and White, and black singlets, and whatever other jersey some of the guys are wearing. So I guess just Go Cougs.

Football

All eyes on QBs as Washington State moves its spring routine to Spokane for Crimson & Gray game | The Spokesman-Review
A large contingent of Spokane’s WSU alumni/fanbase will turn out for the annual spring game.

Washington State football chat transcript: previewing the Crimson & Gray game | The Spokesman-Review
It’s been awhile!

2018 Crimson and Gray Rosters - Washington State University
I fully expect players to change sides and wear multiple jerseys.

Spring game previews for UCLA, Washington, Washington State and Oregon
There is no shortage of options, but none of the quarterbacks in uniform Saturday has a passing attempt to his name.

Grading the Pac-12 football non-conference schedules for the next five years
Would love to have seen one A-Level opponent prior to the Wisconsin series in 2022-23

2018 NFL Draft Quarterback Rankings: From The College Perspective | College Football News
He’ll be around the league for a long time as a terrific emergency option.

Basketball

Projecting the Pac-12 basketball race in 2019: Oregon, UCLA the teams to beat
No Franks, no Malachi Flynn (transferring) and no impact newcomers — as best we can tell — makes the Cougars the overwhelming favorite for 12th place.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: This one came courtesy of an accidental discovery when I went to dinner with my folks at a downtown place called the Blackbird. The tap list was decent, but then dad decided to go to the bathroom and saw a bunch of beer in their cellar window (I wasn’t smart enough to see it on the menu). I then consulted CougCenter’s resident beer oracle, Craig Powers, and came up with this beauty.

Craig has never steered me wrong, and he didn’t disappoint here either. It is sensational. Oh, and mom and dad bought, which made it even better!

Craft Brewers: Actually, You Don't Have to Apologize for Liking Fizzy Yellow Beer | VinePair
After years of decrying macro producers' "Dad beers," craft brewers like Founders and Firestone Walker are embracing light, refreshing craft lagers.

Non-Sports

The Long Way Round: The Plane that Accidentally Circumnavigated the World
The morning of 6th January 1942 was going to be a cold one. Not that this was unusual for New York, mused the night-shift air controller at LaGuardia’s tower, but it did mean he’d have to wrap up extra warm when he headed home.