Happy Friday Cougs, and welcome to Spring Game Eve. Finally we get to see some form of Mike Leach, Pirate-style football action tomorrow - in person, no less. Yes, it's "Cougar on Cougar" violence, which is always a little weird, yet should be extremely interesting. But like we've said before, scrimmage "games" like this are always a little strange. Who do you root for anyway? Will you cheer loudly if Deone Bucannon comes up and just breaks a WR in half coming over the middle? After all, he's drilling one of our own. Do we really want to root AGAINST anyone on the field tomorrow!? Of course not! But I think it's safe to say that we all certainly want to watch this offense in action, and to see the new schemes and wrinkles introduced on D.
Sutra asked this question yesterday, but what are you expecting from this scrimmage tomorrow? Do you believe that Jeff Tuel will come out throwing bullets, and the offense will just steamroll up and down the field? Or do you think the offense will sputter a bit, as has been reported in the last week or so that things aren't exactly clicking at the moment? And what do you think we'll see on D? Will they show an aggressive, blitzing attack that comes from everywhere out of the 3-4 hybrid? Or will they sit back and coverage and try to confuse not only Tuel but the wide receivers who are still in learning mode?
Personally, here's what I'm hoping to see:
1) Jeff Tuel in slice-n-dice mode. As has been reported, the offense hasn't exactly been blowing it up of late, and Tuel's scrimmage numbers have been slightly lower than expected? Granted it's early, they are still learning the new schemes, blah blah blah....but I know I want to see him grab this bull by the horns and run with it.
2) Marquess Wilson doing his Optimus Prime thing, where he's some sort of unstoppable robot-like creature ala Megatron. I still remember the spring game a year ago, where Wilson looked flat-out dominant as a sophomore-to-be. He looked long, lean, fast, and of course, spiderman-sticky hands where he snatched the ball out of the air in a completely different way compared to everyone else. Simply put, he looked "next level" in every way, shape and form. With some of the recent stories about him not having the best spring practice session right now, I would love nothing more than see him go all Randy Moss on the secondary.
And finally, 3) a pass rush, any pass rush at all! Of all the points of contention in the Wulff era - and there were more than a few - was the lack of a consistent pass rush. The frustrations are long, the player problems are numerous along the D-line in the last four seasons. But no matter how you add it all up, the defensive pass rush just wasn't very good. With some of the spring practice reports of the d-line getting pressure as well as the "two-handed-touch" sacks in scrimmages, there is definitely some hope that things are about to change. But I definitely want to see it with my own two eyes, know what I mean?
So to sum it up - I guess I want to see EVERYTHING! Firework style offense and a bunch of great pressure from the defense. That's it.
Oh, wait - and I want to see a decent crowd?
This was a shot from last year's spring game. The weather was OK for a while, the sun even made an appearance out for a bit. But it was the first year in Spokane and the enthusiasm just wasn't great last year, so we didn't exactly fill the stadium. This year should be a LOT different. The weather is supposed to be decent, the game is free, the beer garden is back, and MIKE LEACH is our coach. WSU is hoping for 15k, and I bet it will at least approach that number.
By the way, anyone think some EWU representatives will be there? We play them in game two of 2012, and this is a full blown scrimmage in pretty much EWU's back yard. A little awkward, perhaps!? Maybe EWU faithful will fill the stadium and cheer every BAD play and/or BOO everything good that happens!?
So if you can't make it tomorrow? Fear not, for the 2012 Crimson and Gray game is supposed to be broadcast in COLOR on your local Spokane station, SWX! Fantastic. Of course, those of you not lucky enough to call the Inland Empire your home are, well, you're out of luck. But wait, are you? There is a rumor floating around that SWX will stream the game live, over the web, at this location! You can tune in tomorrow at 1 PM PST and see for yourselves. But worst case scenario, more than likely WSU will post some sort of YouTube highlights/recap/etc a few hours after the game, so at least if you are away from the action you can still get a taste.
Anyway, we'll be there tomorrow morning in the RV lot, ready to have a good time. Feel free to drop by and enjoy a free dog and beverage of choice (note - as pointed out at WSUCougars.com, alcohol consumption in public is illegal per Washington State law.....so just use your best judgement. If you do partake, probably a good idea to drink from an unmarked cup?). And hey, if you don't like us or the blog and don't care to have a dog or a drink with us? At least come by and tell us all how stupid we are, right to our faces! Sorry though, Sutra won't be with us as he's busy with real life in up-state NY. But the rest of us will be there, so come by and say hello. And FYI, it's Longball's BIRTHDAY, so you have to come by and help him celebrate??
We will have a post up tomorrow as sort of a spring game open thread, and will also tweet our location for the tailgate, so check our Twitter feed tomorrow. We'll be tweeting a ton during the game as well, so follow us here.
All for now. Again, hope to see you tomorrow! GO COUGS!