Good morning. Once again, we’ve done it, everyone. We’ve scaled the offseason mountain, and my oh my the view is spectacular. Six days from now, College Gameday will be filling our television screens, and actual live college football will be taking place. Sure, we won’t see the Washington State Cougars for another week, but an appetizer of Miami Hurricans vs. Florida Gators, followed by Arizona Wildcats vs. Hawaii Rainbow Warriors isn’t bad!
Speaking of the Cougars, they spent their Saturday in Martin Stadium, running over 100 plays during the final camp scrimmage. As has been the case with nearly every team since the beginning of time, all eyes were focused on the most important position on the field. But enough about the kickers.
Ok, maybe not. Jeff covered the simmering quarterback battle previously, so we’ll highlight some other aspects of the team’s day, largely thanks to Theo Lawson and the Spokesman Review.
Tracy Claeys went “Defensive Coordinator 101” with his post-scrimmage comments.
“Let’s see … pass rush, coverage, stopping the run, contain on the quarterback, blah, blah, blah,” Claeys said. “A lot of work to do in 10 days.”
“I just don’t think we’re where we need to be. We’re behind, but the good thing is we’ve got 10 days to try to get it figured out.”
I don’t think any coordinator in history has ever said, two weeks prior to the opener, anything like, “Yeah, I love where we’re at. We’re pretty much ready to dominate the opposition.” So let’s hope those quotes are Claeys talking keeping his players in check, because if the defense really is that far away...I don’t want to think about it.
You know the receiver depth is pretty good when a guy who probably won’t crack the rotation is having a standout camp. That’s the case with Rodrick Fisher, who continues to impress in the preseason. Once he gets all the nuances figured out, I think he’s going to be a great one.
If there is true cause for alarm, it’s the cornerback battle opposite Marcus Strong. While Claeys’ previous comments were textbook, his thoughts on this subject seem to be more telling.
“So, like I say, we’ve got 10 days to figure it out. Then we’ll see what happens. But it’s a close (battle), we’re grading it every day and that’s the one thing about it, I’m a little frustrated because we’re experimenting here a little bit too late. I’d rather not be experimenting right now.”
The Cougar corners are going to struggle in practice, mostly becasue the opposition is so good, but the fact that neither candidate has separated himself by now is concerning.
Looks like the kickers are coming along, as Lawson reports that they finished 13-16 during the two scrimmages. On Saturday, Blake Mazza converted three times on four pretty long field goal tries, cementing his spot at placekicker. However, why the heck is he wearing a cast on his arm?
On the happy and healthy front, I suspect (hope) that Frederick Mauigoa and Skyler Thomas just needed a rest day. However, Dillon Sherman’s continued absence is turning into an issue.
The team will conduct a late (and probably light) practice Sunday evening, followed by an off day on Monday. Before we get to the articles, let’s take a look at some scrimmage highlights.
Anthony Gordon takes a significant step in QB race. And four other impressions from Washington State’s second scrimmage | The Spokesman-Review
Anthony Gordon takes a significant step in QB race. And four other impressions from Washington State’s second scrimmage.
College football: Pac-12 power rankings led by Washington, Oregon
The Cougars aren’t expected to match last year’s 11-win finish but should hover around the Top 25 behind Mike Leach’s offense, transfer quarterback Gage Gubrud and a very friendly slate of home games.
Midseason Form - Washington State University Athletics
The Cougs appeared ready for the regular season with a 5-0 win at SDSU Friday night.
This Week in Parenting
I was largely an absentee dad this week, as work kept me occupied until 7-8pm early on, and I departed for the Hampton Roads area of Virginia (still humid!) on Thursday. The boys had their school physicals on Friday, and the stats revealed that the 10 year-old is already five feet and one inch tall, which is just one inch below mom’s height. Hoo boy.
Best beer I had this week: Virginia continues to be a pretty great place to get craft beer. I headed over to Oozlefinch Brewing on Saturday afternoon and tried a couple of their offerings. Riveting Conversation, a sour aged in Scotch barrels, wouldn’t seem to be something I’d typically enjoy, but I dove in anyway. I’m sure glad I did. The level of sourness was just right, and the barrel-aging gave it the perfect amount of bite.
Regarding the article, I had to chuckle at the opening paragraph that mentioned brewers always having beards. There has been more than one instance when my 7 year-old has seen a bearded man and said, “he must work in a brewery.”
Just how full of white dudes is craft beer?
What’s to be done to better align the craft beer industry with the consumers who enjoy its products?
North Korean soldier fleeing Kim Jong Un's regime makes midnight dash to freedom across DMZ - The Washington Post
The man eluded land mines and other fortifications to reach South Korea, where military officials said he would be assessed.