clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Thinking about Lamonte McDougle’s place in WSU’s defense

New, 42 comments

Reframing the lack of impact from the transfer nose tackle.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

WSU Athletic Communications

There is a redshirt sophomore defensive tackle on the Washington State Cougars roster who is third on the depth chart and struggling to find consistent playing time. Generally, that’s not much cause for concern — after all, defensive linemen can take time to develop, and nobody’s out here freaking out about why Jesus Echevarria isn’t playing, or why Ahmir Crowder hasn’t burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman.

However, this particular player transferred from the West Virginia Mounaineers, and he once was put on a “freshman all-Amercan” team by one publication that one time — plus the defense has struggled — which leads a lot of people to ask a lot of questions about Lamonte McDougle.

McDougle dropped off the depth chart this week, which served to stoke the flames of panic from a fan base conditioned to assume that it can’t ever really have nice things. Had McDougle left the program? Why wasn’t he one of the top two? WASN’T HE A FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN??

The Spokesman-Review’s Theo Lawson tackled that in his weekly mailbag with a thought exercise that’s worth your time:

Much of [the hoopla] derived from the nose tackle’s placement on ESPN’s Freshman All-American team in 2017, a list that was compiled by writer David M. Hale. Had McDougle not made the cut, we can probably deduct that his arrival in Pullman wouldn’t have been as highly-anticipated. ...

But, I’d pose this question to WSU fans: would you have altered your expectations of McDougle had he not earned ESPN Freshman All-American accolades? Would McDougle’s omittance from the depth chart be as concerning if he’d joined the Cougars after posting solid, but by no means earth-shattering, numbers during his rookie season in Morgantown?

It’s a great rhetorical question, partly because it’s pretty clear that fans’ expectations were derived from just how often “FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN” was plastered next to his name whenever it came up in reporting.

Lawson confirms that, yes, McDougle is still on the roster, and, yes, he’s expected to contribute this weekend. For his part, Leach said, “He’s got to be more consistent. The thing is, he’s got to be more reliable about executing the call, going where he’s supposed to be and attacking half a man.”

I mean, you can probably do this exercise yourself, since you’ve watched all of WSU’s games: McDougle has played, and not just a handful of snaps, but how many impact plays do you remember? Any? In fact, my lasting memory of McDougle so far is him getting obliterated into the end zone on a short touchdown run.

The honest truth is that he’s played like just another young 300-pound dude so far, and he’s going to have to start not playing like just another young dude to get on the field.

WSU-ASU Links

WSU shakes up defense after back-to-back losses - Columbian.com
Washington State coach Mike Leach is shaking up the Cougars’ underperforming defense in the wake of defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys’ abrupt resignation.

Washington State vs Arizona State Odds, Spread, Date & Start Time for College Football Week 7 Game
Betting preview for the Saturday, Oct. 12, Week 7 NCAA football game between the Washington State Cougars and Arizona State Sun Devils, including betting odds,

Washington State mailbag: Addressing the Lamonte McDougle question and what’s next for the Cougars’ maligned defense | The Spokesman-Review
Many of you submitted questions inquiring about potential defensive personnel changes at Washington State in the wake of Tracy Claeys’ resignation. The Cougars, in releasing an updated depth chart Monday, answered those before I could, elevating two backups into starting roles and moving two other starters into positions they’d not been playing previously.

ASU football benefits from bye week heading into Washington State game - The State Press
ASU football takes advantage of bye week to prepare for its game against Washington State.

Williams, Phillips will play against Washington State
ASU will get a pair of players back in its secondary this weekend

Washington State-Arizona State game preview [Video]
Pac-12 Networks’ Mike Yam and Yogi Roth preview a Week 7 battle between Washington State and Arizona State in Tempe. The Cougars and Sun Devils will meet for the first time since 2016 and are both coming off a bye week. Two weeks ago, WSU fell to Utah while ASU defeated Cal on the road. Catch the game at 12:30 p.m. PT/ 1:30 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Networks.

ASU will need to contain high-powered Washington State passing attack
The biggest test for ASU to date comes on Saturday when Washington State's Air Raid offense visits Tempe for a 12:30 p.m. showdown on Saturday.

ASU Football: Washington State Players to Watch - House of Sparky
Cougs are on the prowl

Cameras heading to ASU, then Wazzu | Sports | dnews.com
The goal for HBO filmmakers this week at Tempe, Ariz. — and next week here at Pullman — will be to capture reality, not alter it.

Pac-12 picks: With two conference losses each, Washington, Washington State ought to show urgency | The Spokesman-Review
The Spokesman-Review’s Theo Lawson picks Week 7 of the Pac-12 football season.

Everything Else

As youth is served, No. 24 Washington State off to strong start | Volleyballmag.com

Former Washington State safety Deone Bucannon released by Buccaneers; Shalom Luani joins Chargers’ practice squad | The Spokesman-Review
Two former Washington State defensive backs, Deone Bucannon and Shalom Luani, were involved in NFL transactions Wednesday.

Elleby: ‘I was very comfortable staying at Washington State’ | Washington State University | union-bulletin.com
SAN FRANCISCO — Regardless of what might have been said, CJ Elleby never had serious intentions on transferring from Washington State.

Soccer hosts schools from desert – The Daily Evergreen
No. 15 WSU soccer will play No. 25 Arizona at 7 p.m. on Thursday on the Lower Soccer Field in Pullman. The Cougars (9-2-0, 2-1-0) have yet to play the Wildcats (7-3-0, 1-2-0) in Pullman since 2016. WSU has the all-time record between the schools with a record of 15-8-1 but has not won since...

Elleby Named Preseason First Team All-Pac-12 - Washington State University Athletics
The sophomore returns to lead the Cougs after one of the most successful freshman seasons in program history.

Chiam Posts Top 15 Finish at Mountaineer Invitational - Washington State University Athletics
Cougars are next in action Oct. 14-15 at the Oregon State Invitational.

Soccer is Home Again - Washington State University Athletics
The Cougars take on their third-straight top-25 opponent with No. 25 Arizona coming to the Palouse Thursday.

The Cougars Look To Bounce Back in Fresno - Washington State University Athletics
Chick-Fil-A Invitational starts Friday in Fresno

No. 24 Cougars Return to Bohler Gym - Washington State University Athletics
WSU will host Oregon Friday, Oregon State Sunday as Pac-12 play continues.

Cougars Head South for Stanford Intercollegiate - Washington State University Athletics
Tournament field includes five of the top 10 teams nationally.