Happy Labor Day Cougs! Here's hoping you are all "on the mend" after a fun weekend out on the Palouse (and that includes our own #10, Jeff Tuel. Get better fast, please?). We had a fantastic time at the tailgate party, and once again thanks to all of you who managed to wander by and enjoy some eats and drinks. It was a lot of fun mingling with some of you, and it was great to get some feedback on the Cougs, the blog and everything else. We may try and pull this off again, possibly for a November home game, so stay tuned there!
First, some video from the weekend. Thanks to the WSU athletic department for sharing this stuff, it's always great to take a look back at the highlights a couple of days later and see how things looked on video (and I know we are late to the party on this, as many of you already saw it late yesterday?):
Just some quick thoughts, bullet-point style:
- I really understand what Longball had been reporting all August - this team collectively is bigger, stronger and most definitely faster than any Paul Wulff team in Pullman. Again, we have to put it in perspective and realize they weren't playing a powerhouse or anything like that, so it's easy to get geeked by what you see. But as a group, they are a faster, more athletic team since at least 2007.
- Marshall did fine, no huge mistakes. He completed some stuff underneath, some of the safer throws, and that's great. But what I really liked is that he wasn't afraid to take some shots down the field and let his group of wideouts go down the field and make some plays. It wasn't like he had a bunch of completions but only had like 100 yards passing, he did stand strong in there and put some juice on a few balls. What will it look like in a couple of weeks, when he has less time to make decisions and guys are covered a lot more tightly? Well, let's just hope we see him play like a 5th-year senior and not an indecisive youngster with lock-on-itis!
- Speaking of speed, Rickey Galvin was fantastic! Watch some of the highlights, and watch his feet. He looks like he was moving at normal speed and everyone else is sorta slo-mo. Granted the offensive line was pushing and shoving Idaho State around all day long, and as Ian Furness said on one of Galvin's TD's, one of them in the booth could have scored on that play with the size of the hole(!). But what an excellent addition to the backfield he will be this year to go along with the others like Mitz and Winston and now youngster Marcus Mason also in the mix for carries.
- Finally, really nice seeing Connor Halliday get some PT, as well as his first TD pass on the deep fade down the right side. Just a nice touch pass on the deep ball, and it came right down the chimney, just as you would want it. You figured Halliday could get some snaps anyway, whether Tuel was out or not, but now the young QB is one play away from being the guy under center. So it was good to get that first game experience out of the way, and hopefully he'll be ready as the next guy in line.
All told, an impressive first game. It's really nice to get out of the gates on a beautiful weekend in Pullman and put on a show for the home faithful. It's days like that where you start to get people buzzing again about what could be down the road, you know what I mean? It was a great show and left a really positive impression on those who made the journey, and it's those types of experiences where you pull out the schedule and start thinking about another game - or two - that you will want to come to THIS year. The downer is obvious in the Jeff Tuel injury, and it absolutely sucks what happened. But football isn't just a physical sport or a contact sport, it's a COLLISION sport and these things just happen. Whether or not he was sick or whatever the case may be, he wanted to play and the coaches wanted him to get some PT, and it's really unfortunate. But as they all have been saying since it happened, that's just football. Here's hoping the recovery is quicker than some people believe, and we'll see young Tuel back in there in a month or so.
Finally, this week's blog ballot. Check it out if you wish:
WSU Football Blog Ballot - Week 2
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||--|
|4||Boise St. Broncos||2|
|5||Florida St. Seminoles||-1|
|7||Texas A&M Aggies||1|
|8||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||1|
|12||Virginia Tech Hokies||1|
|13||South Carolina Gamecocks||-3|
|15||Ohio St. Buckeyes||5|
|16||Michigan St. Spartans||--|
|17||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||2|
|19||West Virginia Mountaineers||5|
|22||Penn St. Nittany Lions||--|
|25||TCU Horned Frogs||-10|
|Dropouts: Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Georgia Bulldogs, USC Trojans|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
Boise State sits firmly at #4, and now they go into wait-and-see mode as they roll into their normal schedule and hope that a couple of teams above them stumble. I was also really impressed by Baylor and that WILD finish in Waco, wow! We were lucky enough to be set up next to a guy at the tailgate with his satellite TV on Friday night, so we watched the whole second half and just couldn't believe that game. Baylor's huge lead, TCU comes storming back, but the Bears pull it out. Gotta love college football!
That's about it for now. Enjoy your Monday, and as always, GO COUGS!