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Cam Ward takes center stage in scrimmage

We’re getting closer to real football!

Jack Ellis/CougCenter

Hello from Reno, where your intrepid blogger is rather busy, and where the hurricane is supposed to hit in a few hours. Wait, what??!! Thank heavens there’s an REI nearby, because we’re gonna be outdoors a lot.

Your Washington State Cougars staged their final scrimmage of the 2023 preseason on Saturday, and according to reports, quarterback Cam Ward is ready to get the regular season going. According to the Spokesman Review, Ward was near perfect.

The show belonged to Cameron Ward, the magician who is working honing all his tricks. Across these two weeks of fall camp, Washington State’s blossoming quarterback has drilled the fundamentals, the long balls, the details that might unlock his game and unleash the Cougars’ offense.

On Saturday night, in WSU’s second and final scrimmage this fall, Ward looked like a quarterback capable of doing all of that and more. The numbers looked good – Ward completed 13 of 16 passes for 194 yards and four touchdowns – but the magic was in the junior’s accuracy, his creativity, his willingness to try plays other quarterbacks wouldn’t.

That seems pretty good! The only caveat, as always, is the fact that those eye-popping numbers came against the WSU defense. But it wasn’t all bad news for the defenders. While Spokesman beat writer chose to focus on Ward’s progression, the Cougar website noted that the defense sacked WSU quarterbacks eight times (yes, I’m sire they were all of the “touch sack” variety), and intercepted two passes. So while Ward guided the offense quite well, the defense had its moments also.

The kickers also did well, connecting on all three tries.

The one thing I noticed, aside from the typical scrimmage back-and-forth, was the note about a Carlos Hernandez touchdown catch which resulted in a celebration flag. I mean...a celebration penalty during a scrimmage? Jake Dickert had some thoughts!

Dickert is right about two things here. The Pac-12 refs are still terrible, and it’s important for the players to tone down their joy because the Pac-12 refs are still terrible. He didn’t say that, exactly, but that’s the truth.

After the scrimmage concluded, Greg Woods turned his focus to the regular season, making a projection of WSU’s two-deep roster on offense, as it prepares for a trip to Colorado State. I find it interesting, but hopefully no troubling, that Nakia Watson has barely participated in live action during camp. I know he’s a vet and all, but it seems a bit difficult to flip the switch when the season starts. Hopefully I’m wrong. I also find it interesting that, of the four receiver positions, nearly every name is new. Hopefully new and improved.

Oh, and you know that if Mike Leach were still at WSU, the quarterback position would feature at least two “Or’s” between the quarterbacks.

Women’s Soccer

Cougs win! Cougs win! Your Cougar women went to the steamy armpit of America College Station and left with a victory over the Aggies. It was a heck of an effort, as the Cougs had to battle back from multiple deficits to win.

There are few things more satisfying than going into SEC country and hanging an “L” on the home team.

This Week in Parenting

Dad has been absent for the entire week, leaving Mrs. Kendall to deal with two boys, their sports practice schedules, and a carpet company that decided to re-pad our entire house because the original carpet pad they laid down a year ago turned out to be defective. The joys of home ownership, Volume 17,345.

Before I left, we were watching a Jeopardy episode, and one of the categories was about Homer’s epic, The Odyssey. The teenager had read that book for his freshman English class, and figured he’d do well. He answered precisely ZERO clues. I didn’t even know what to say.

Now that school is back in session, it’s not only almost football season. It’s also OVERPRICED BOY SCOUT POPCORN SALES SEASON!!! We’ve been at this for many years, but got a reprieve when we lived in Europe. In past years, one adult had to accompany two Scouts at each booth, which are usually placed at local businesses. Well, thanks largely to the fact that BSA has had some rather unflattering incidents over the past years, requiring mounds of litigation, the rules have changed. Now, each Scout must be accompanied by his/her parent. And that parent has to take online classes before they’re allowed to sit there and watch overpriced popcorn sales. In other words, Mrs. Kendall and I have to take an online Youth Protection Training course so we are allowed to...sit with our own children. But yeah, drag queens are the real problem.

On the 11 year-old front, we’re knee-deep into fall baseball travel team practices, and the kiddo needed a new bat. In case you weren’t aware, bats are really really REALLY expensive! Like, it’s close to organized crime levels of lunacy! Thankfully, we have some friends that have a trove of bats they don’t need, so we snagged a couple of theirs, and they seem to work fine. One thing my kid kept mentioning was the word “drop.” As in, “I really like the Drop 10 bat, and coach thinks I should use that.”

After hearing “drop (insert number here)” like 30 times, I finally looked up what it means. Turns out it’s simply the difference between a bat’s length and its weight. For example, a 29-inch, 19-ounce bat is a Drop 10. Which led me to wonder: Are we so terrible at math in America that we now require the difference between length and weight to be calculated for us? Like, I remember as a kid, I had a 32-inch, 28-ounce bat. It was pretty easy to say, and just as easy to figure out the length/weight difference. But nowadays, apparently we need the bat companies to run the numbers for us.


Maybe that’s why these damn things are so expensive.

Dortmund Fan Since Forever

BVB is back! After a resounding win in the first round of the DFB Pokal last weekend, Die Schwarzgelben took to the field on Saturday for their opening game of the 2023-24 Bundesliga season. And after 87 largely listless minutes against the visiting Billygoats of Köln (who sport my favorite Bundesliga logo), the Dutchman Donyell Malen knocked home the only goal of the game to save Dortmund from a tie.

It’s definitely gonna be a long adjustment period now that the great Jude Bellingham has moved on to La Liga, but three points are three points, and I’ll take them! Next up is a trip to Bochum, which shouldn’t be as difficult. But it probably will be.


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