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Pretend games continue for Cougars of certain ages

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NFL preseason and college practice are about at the midpoint

Washington State University Football Fall Practice 14 - Tsion Nunnally (89) Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Good morning! In just 13 days, your Washington State Cougars Football team will take the field against Utah State. For once, 13 seems like a not bad number! In the meantime, the Cougs held their second camp scrimmage (sort of) on Saturday, and it appears that the race for QB1 is about to narrow ever so slightly.

It seems the Cougar coaches are taking a bit of a cue from NFL staffs, as they held out or severely limited the participation of several veterans. Even the teams’s website referred to it only as a padded practice and not a scrimmage. As such, there was no stat sheet. According to the Spokesman Review’s new WSU beat reporter, Colton Clark, neither starting offensive tackle (Abe Lucas, Liam Ryan) took part. Joining them on the sideline were Jahad Woods, Justus Rogers and Jaylen Watson; the caveat being that the latter three may have played sparingly but did not register on Clark’s unofficial statistical tabulations.

In addition to those watching, Clark reports that expected starters Max Borghi, Brennan Jackson and Ron Stone, Jr. took part for only a couple plays before heading to the sidelines for the remainder of the events. That gave the young guys a chance to shine, and one freshman that I think will garner a lot of early playing time is linebacker Francisco Mauigoa. He seems to be around the ball quite a bit, and I won’t be surprised if we see his number 51 on the field quite often once the proverbial bullets start flying.

As for the others who took part, it appears that running back Jouvensly Bazil, receivers Reed Shumpert and Joey Hobert, defensive lineman Tyler Garay-Harris, linebacker Travion Brown (another guy who I think will break out this season), and defensive back Daniel Isom had a solid session.

On the quarterback front, offensive coordinator Brian Smith hinted that the quarterback derby’s candidates would narrow soon, possibly to two as soon as the upcoming week. It will be interesting to see (obviously) which two make the initial cut, because judging by practice reports, none of the contenders has stood out. Well, unless you factor in Oklahoma drills conducted on the beach, in which case Jayden de Laura is the front-runner. We can only hope that his on-field decision-making far outstrips the decisions he’s made off the field over the last year.

The Cougars will once again take Sunday off, and resume preseason practices on Monday, 23 August.

Football

We’ll start with videos, first the highlights and then some interviews. I’m skeptical of a highlight video that starts with a field goal, and it appears that the camera operator(s) made their debut on Saturday, judging by the stability of the picture, or lack thereof. It’s preseason for everyone.

You may also notice that head coach Nick Rolovich did not take any questions after practice. No reason was given.

In scrimmage-like practice, Washington State focuses on reserves | The Spokesman-Review Several first-string Washington State football players only appeared briefly during Saturday’s scrimmage-like session at Gesa Field. A few of them were held out altogether.

Pac-12 Football: Examining Over/Under Win Totals for the 2021 Season - AthlonSports.com | Expert Predictions, Picks, and Previews
The Pac-12 is still considered a Power 5 conference, but it has been underperforming as a group for years. The conference only has two appearances in the College Football Playoff, and its lone win came from Oregon in 2014.

Cougars in the NFL

First, the good news. Dezmon Patmon is having a heckuva preseason for the Indianapolis Colts. For the second straight week, he led the team in receptions with four for 60 yards, including a 28-yard crossing route. Hopefully Dez will continue to have an impact.

Meanwhile, Anthony Gordon continued his quest for a roster spot with the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend. Gordo completed all seven of his passes for 42 yards, and the guess here is that it’ll come down to him and Shane Buechele for KC’s third quarterback spot, which likely means a place on the practice squad. Also, apparently Chad Henne is still in the league! Backup NFL quarterbacl continues to be the greatest job in sports.

Safety Jalen Thompson also saw action on Friday, collecting one tackle in a 17-10 loss to the aforementioned Chiefs.

There are also a few Cougs taking part in Sunday’s action. 2018 teammates Easop Winston and Gardner Minshew will square off in New Orleans, while River Cracraft faces the Los Angeles Chargers. Best of luck to all.

Indianapolis Colts beat Minnesota Vikings: 5 takeaways from 12-10 win
Patmon continues his strong preseason after waiting his turn to see some snaps until the second half.

Don't Forget About Anthony Gordon In Battle To Make Chiefs Roster | The Draft Network
Gordon largely flew under the radar as far as draft projections are concerned when he was at Washington State, garnering a pop of attention around the Senior Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine.

On the bad news front, it appears that Andrew Dillard is really having a tough go of it in Philadelphia. I kind of hope he gets the opportunity at a fresh start in a new city. Regardless, he needs to get healthy.

Philadelphia Eagles' Andre Dillard likely to be backup left tackle or traded
Teams have inquired about Dillard’s availability in a trade for the Eagles left tackle, according to sources.

This Week in Parenting

We’ve officially stepped into the cold shower of reality around here, as the week was spent trying to overcome jet lag, get ready for school and take part in the first two hours of football conditioning just a bit after getting off a transcontinental flight. I do feel like bragging on my little bastards a tad, though. When they flew on their own from Frankfurt to Indianapolis, and again from Indy to Spokane, flight attendants from multiple crews told them and their grandparents that they were the two most polite kids those attendants have ever seen on a flight.

Later, when we were at lunch on Lake Pend Orielle, the two boys and their cousins were sitting at their own table. Toward the end of the meal, the waitress went out of her way to tell us how polite all four of them were. Then on the flights home, more of the same from several flight attendants. 100% of the credit goes to their mom.

This weekend, the nine year-old finally succeeded in his campaign for a trip to the bowling alley, so off we went on Sunday (a few hours ago). The 12 year-old sat this one out as a result of some remarkably poor judgment during a sleepover last Friday, so it was just the two of us. We may not have knocked over the most pins, but he certainly led the way in fashion sense among his fellow bowlers.

And with that, summer as they know it is officially over. Long live summer.

I Wonder

I wonder, why do they call it the Little League World Series if there aren’t any teams besides the U.S. in the tournament?

Non-Sports

We’re all aware of the foreign policy and humanitarian catastrophe taking place in Afghanistan, so I thought I’d share a bit of good news, and brag on my fellow Airmen in the process. While I haven’t flown anything but a desk for a long time, many of them are doing the Lord’s work by flying people out of danger in Afghanistan and providing shelter in places such as Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The volunteer support from service members, family members and others on this base has been overwhelming.

Please read the three-tweet thread on this next one. It should be made into a movie.

Chasing the Lava Flow in Iceland | The New Yorker
At a volcanic eruption, the sublime experience of watching land submerge land.

Kabul airport chaos: How the Washington Post team escaped Taliban-controlled Afghanistan - The Washington Post
Susannah George, The Washington Post's Afghanistan bureau chief, recounts evacuating Post staffers and their families.