Greetings Coug fans, and a happy humpday to you and yours. In today's edition of the Morning Drip, we'll take a look around at what's out there for today, plus some real appreciation for a certain player who really seemed to grow up in 2012. So with that, let's get rolling.....
You know, it's funny but sometimes as a fan you find yourself torn up by your own players. And what I mean by that is yeah, you love your team and you support your team and all that good stuff, but there are players sometimes that just.....I don't know, drive you crazy sometimes?? Take Connor Halliday for example. You see the length and the arm strength and the fearlessness, and you find yourself saying "SUPERSTAR!" when you see him do some really impressive things in stretches here and there.
But then when he makes mistakes or whatever else, he find yourself less-than-thrilled with what he's doing because you really believe he's capable of so much more. But hey, I'm just a fan and all that so deep down I guess it doesn't really matter what I think, and that we tend to flip out over the smallest things while coaches and players understand mistakes and growing pains are simply part of the process? But all that said, there is a player who drove me nuts at times this year, but really seemed to take a huge step as 2012 went on. And that player, my friends, is Deone Bucannon.
I think back to the start of Bucannon's career, and it was incredibly easy to get excited by what we saw when he first showed up in Pullman. He played immediately, and he announced his presence with AUTHORITY early and often with those huge, bone-jarring hits in the secondary. It wasn't pretty though, and it seemed like every time you turned around you were seeing him get beat in coverage or delivering personal foul hits to the opponent. It was at times hard to watch, and he was very up-and-down as many young players tend to be in the beginning of their college careers. But it just seemed that his mistakes were glaring, and you found yourself remembering the errors vs. appreciating what he was really doing back there.
What made matters worse is that his start to the 2012 season was rocky, at best. Here was a junior who had played a ton already in his career, and you found yourself simply expecting more and more and to see him take a huge step. Early on, that just wasn't the case. Maybe it wasn't all his fault, but there were some boneheaded personal fouls (vs EWU) and a huge mistake vs. Colorado, where he admitted he simply didn't see the tight end in the slot and gave up a crucial touchdown in CU's fourth quarter comeback. As the guys at Cougcenter broke it down so well, here is a gif from just what I'm talking about....
JUUUUUUUSSSSSTTT a little late
Anyway, a strange thing happened around the middle of the season - Bucannon, as well as the rest of the defense, seemed to start to figure things out. He played well vs. Oregon, where he picked off a couple of passes. He had a huge game vs. ASU when so many didn't get off the plane, with a season-high 17 tackles(!). But maybe the best indicator of Bucannon playing better and better? You stopped hearing fans bitch about his performances! Where early in the year there were complaints left and right, the Bucannon-haters seemed to really pipe down as the season went on. But you also saw him talking more in the media, and really starting to embrace his role and showing some leadership back there in the secondary, where he really appeared to be growing up.
And I can happily say that 2012 concluded with Bucannon being named All-Pac-12 second team, with a team-high 106 tackles, a team-high 4 INT's, and second on the team in passes defended. Bucannon's 106 tackles were second in the Pac-12 this year, and when you step back and look at the end result after a full season, you can see he really deserved it! Quite a turnaround from how his 2012 started out, and I can say this - if you would have told me after, say, the Colorado game that he was going to finish the season like this, as a second-team all conference player? I would have said WHAT, ARE THEY LEGALIZING MARIJUANA OR SOMETHING?? Oh yeah.....
Anyway, for that I say Bucannon is a perfect example of "Why Do We Fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up again!" Great job Bucannon, and we hope for a huge senior year out of a kid who suddenly appears to be figuring it out.
Moving on, Coug recruiting is continuing to percolate. The Cougs appear to be a finalist for a JC d-tackle, Marquel Combs, per ESPN insider (hat tip to Cougcenter for the link). Combs is a beast at 6-3, 310, and per ESPN currently holds about 50 offers. We'll see what happens there, but adding a top-notch JC tackle to the mix up front could be a nice addition!
Finally, so I guess there's a hoops game or whatever tonight? :) Don't look for much out of me in the way of college hoops though, as I'm just not a huge fan (but I still dream of a return of the Supersonics). Cougcenter has a huge rundown of reading material for tonight's showdown vs the hated Zags, so check it out here.
That's it for now. Enjoy your humpday, and of course, GO COUGS!
I'll go on record right now saying Haliday won't start the whole year at QB next year. He may not be the starter at all.
@Ambush184 I have to say, this is definitely a possibility. His progress in the offense this Spring will be a big story. We keep hearing about how valued accuracy is for Leach and that is certainly not Halladay's strength.
That remains to be seen. The possibility certainly exists. Right now my money would be on Appodoca to start ahead of Halladay though.
Right now I'd say those are justthat, whisperings. If he gets his head in the offense, he'd be a really good QB
@Thrilliams Gleason would have to be mighty close. Of course, if you played in our secondary from 2008 - 2010 this record was there for the taking.
@Longball He's got to be close. He's basically been the only plug in a leaky ship that has been our defense for his three years now. Obviously it would be nice if a linebacker would consistently be our tackling leader....someday right?
Am I the only one who feels like Deone has been here FOREVER? I could have sworn this was his senior year. He's been one of the only bright spots on the defense the past few years, and deserves the second team honor. My philosophy with Safeties is that you hardly ever want them to be your leading tackler. This usually means your linemen are getting steamrolled back into the linebackers, and the safety has to run up and make the TD-saving tackle. But, if your linemen do happen to be blasted into oblivion, and your linebackers are having a hard time making their reads and tackles… then there probably isn't a better guy to have than Bucannon to have your defense's back.
Sadly, I can't even get excited about Cougar hoops. Needing my fix, I went out and bought Seattle U season tickets. Fire Ken Bone!
@LucasNurmi I know the feeling. I am considering season tickets to the Aggies. They're good and then there's the proximity. I can pretty much fart on the arena from my office.
Of course a win over the Zags would do a lot to spark my interest.
Solid. We've talked about this before, but it's worth mentioning again. Whenever this team is mediocre-to-good (see 2006 as the most "recent" example), our roster has two important characteristics: (a) It sends kids to the NFL or NFL training camps (b) It puts players on the All-Conference team.
The fact that Deone made it was great for him, but more importantly, it is great for the team. Now, we need to have a few boys in our front 7 challenge for all-conference honors. When that happens, we'll know we've become that much closer to a bowl bid.
@Sutra True that. That '06 team had a sad finish but that team had some guys who had at least a cup of coffee in the league? I may have to go back and look but a few names like Hill, Gibson, Abdullah come to mind! I am just kind of amazed at how Bucannon turned the tide on his season. It couldn't have been worse after the PF vs EWU and the CU breakdown, and to see him take it all the way to all-conference is seriously impressive!