Happy Humpday morning Cougs. And per some good links this morning, as we hit the half-way point of the week, it appears the Coug QB situation might be crystalizing a bit? Let's get started.....
Caple leads off with a report from yesterday's practice, with the ever-continuing question at QB. It appears that Connor Halliday took the majority of the reps with the starters, while Tuel did get in some reps as well. But per Caple, while Tuel threw the ball just fine, they didn't have the QB's move around a whole lot in drills and such. He still is sporting the knee brace, so who knows what's going on.
By the way, interesting note floating around - apparently it was tweeted out yesterday that Connor Halliday let it slip in an interview that Jeff Tuel actually suffered an MCL sprain of his knee? Halliday hopped on the airwaves of 700 ESPN in Spokane with Dennis Patchin and had a good interview overall, but buried in there is the quote on Tuel, right about the 3-minute mark of the interview.
NOTE - if you can't get the embedded player to work below, you can get it here.
Another interesting part of Caple's article? Bobby Ratliff and his move to one of the inside receiver positions.
Ratliff is an intriguing player. Good size at 6-2, 200 lbs or so, he could be a real factor with a strong body between the numbers. But while he still seems awfully young as a sophomore right now, on paper anyway did you know he was the number two receiver returning in 2012 behind Marquess Wilson? Ratliff caught 28 balls last year, for 348 yards and averaging 12.4 yards per catch. But the article is interesting in how they have many options with both Ratliff and Andrei Lintz on the field at the same time at the inside receiver spots, where they can show multiple looks as potential tight ends but they really are wide receivers. And maybe just having Ratliff out on the field more will help open up the running game, or even better, the quick-hitting bubble screen type plays where you need solid blocking down the field out of your skill guys? While Ratliff is completely different than the scat-type quality of Rickey Galvin, it could be a huge opportunity for him to take a big step forward in this offense.
Moving on, Cougfan has a recap of the action yesterday. It's a premium article, but check it out if you can.
Finally, from the Seattle Times, here's an AP story on the QB situation. While not saying too much anyway, Leach does admit that Halliday is impressing:
Added Leach of Halliday's progress: "He's way ahead of schedule for guy who played only a handful of games."
I think that's where I'm guilty at times of expecting too much from the QB. I mean think about it - here's a kid in Halliday who has ONE start coming in to this year, and then gets his first start on the road in a hostile UNLV environment and throws for a bunch of yards and 4 TD's?
Yet all you hear about is the two INT's, or that he looked "OK, not great" or that he was underwhelming. I mean the kid has BARELY PLAYED in any games and when he has played, he's done pretty damn good (now 13 TD passes in 6 career games played). Maybe the reality is that we just have to let him grow at the position and see where things are after, oh, I don't know, a full season or so?? But hey, I admit it - sometimes as a fan I just expect too much, even if I should pump the brakes a bit! All for now - GO COUGS!
I think the Cougs should go with Halliday at quaterback. Granted he might throw some picks by forcing the ball but he just seems to give this air raid offense some of the spark it needs. When he's in defenses have to account for the deep ball because he isn't shy about throwing down field and has the weapons to do so (Wilson, Myers, Marks) .
That picture is VERY deceiving... there were far more people in the stands! Granted, they were Cougs, but...
Damn, i guess when you add Boise State Donks to your staff its only a matter of time before they say/do something stupid:
@Longball Them's fightin' words....Nothing better than watching Robby A. and Choate duke it out in the tunnel before next year's game.
Overall, not a lot of love lost between Idaho and Wazzu of late--Akey was pretty steamed at Wulff's comments about Doba as well a few years back. Classic
With the exception of my wife, every single one of my wife's extended family who ever attended college, attended the U of I. And let me tell you, almost to a person, they don't think Idaho should have left the Big Sky and they would like to see them back in it. These are season ticket holders I'm talking about. They love the rivalry they had with Montana as much as they did their rivalry with Boise State. And while sure it hurts to have the younger whipper-snappers down at BSJC playing on the national stage while you get left behind, it hurts much worse to watch your team get killed weak after weak competing for nothing, when you remember them competing for national championships (at the D I-AA level) year after year after year.
@Longball Stupid? How about true. And right.
@WallaCoug Whether its true or not is irrelevant. Its not Choate's place to tell Idaho what they should and shouldn't do, but as a former Donk, he just couldn't help himself. The last 4 years you could have made a pretty good case that the Cougs didn't belong in the Pac-10, fortunately none of the coaches at Idaho were classless enough to suggest it out loud to the press. Chaote should see time in the sandbox for this one. It was a dumb, arrogant, classless statement that reflects horribly on our program.
@Longball By the way, I'm living on planet Earth. How is Planet Kolob?
@Longball One last response and I'm done, because I really don't want to fight. (BTW, are you really upset about this? I'm not.)
I just got done dealing with a situation, where someone was upset with me over something I said that concerned them, but that I DIDN'T SAY TO THEM. Nor did I ever intend for them to hear it.
It had to do with giving input on who I felt was more qualified for a certain job.
If I had intended for this person to hear, I would have said it directly to them. I specifically did not tell that person, because I thought they might get their feelings hurt.
Yet it was something that needed to be said through proper channels. Well, somebody through those channels leaked what was said to her, and today I found out that that person is mad at me...still. (I didn't know she was mad at me back then, either, because we rarely interacted).
The point is, I think Choate's sympathies are sincere, that was his true opinion, and he wasn't intending for Idaho players to ever hear him say it. He should've known that even what you say on little/unknown blogs can be found out, but geez! Idaho players can make it bulletin board material of it, but none of them should really be offended. He wasn't trying to show you up. He was talking to a high school sports blog! Get offended when someone tells you off to your face or specifically denigrates you in a very public place.
@Longball And I'm going to give you a like because you haven't been getting enough! : )
@WallaCoug @Longball Well thats where we disagree. his faux concern for the players is just completely rediculous. Guarentee you they don't want his "sympathy" and they certainly don't want to play FCS ball. They all signed with Idaho of their own free will and I suspect they would tell Choate to take his "concern" and shove it you know where. If you think telling the Vandal players and coaches that they are better suited to be playing at the FCS level for their own good isn't condescending and disrespectful than we are just living on different planets.
@Longball In fact, I'm going to double down, now.
I read the CDA Varsity.com interview with Choate. I'm even less offended than I was before. First off, his responses are edited with ... (elipses) to show that there was more said. Second, he seems to have actual concern for the kids at Idaho. He doesn't act like a greater than thou. Third, he is a northern Idaho boy, meaning he knows all about the Vandals, grew up hearing about the Vandals, and remembers how good they were at I-AA. He graduated from po-dunk St. Maries, Idaho, coached at even more po-dunk Challis, Idaho (deep in central Idaho in the upper Salmon River area), then back to northern Idaho. I think he speaks as a native, not a show-you-up Boise Stater who has never lived in the panhandle. And my goodness, he's talking to a northern Idaho high school sports blog--not the Spokesman-Review!
He speaks highly of their Idaho Frosh QB from Coeur d'Alene High (Chad Chalich--who is a stud). He is not dissing the program. He is dissing the decision to stay at the FBS level and rightly so.
Please scroll down to my reply below Sutra. I have no animosity toward Idaho. My wife's whole family are Vandals. Some are season ticket holders who never wanted out of the Big Sky, and now want back in. They loved their rivalry with Montana as much as with BSU. They would rather pay to see games against EWU, Montana, Montana State, Idaho State, Weber State, and Northern Arizona (the old guard of the Big Sky) than watch them tussle with Louisiana Tech, New Mexico State... or those terrible times when they played North Texas, LA-Monroe, LA-Lafayette, et. al. in the Sun Belt.
The only thing insulting was for Choate to publicly say what he said about the kids getting killed by FBS schools. He could have said that with more tact, or left it out, instead focusing on the positives of being FCS.
But, no, it was not "dumb" to comment on Idaho. It was not "arrogant". It could have had more class (tact). And it didn't reflect much of anything on our program.
I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.
And for the record, I don't like Boise State. Go Vandals!
Halliday impressing and looks to be starting again this week. I would say I told you so, but its not final yet :)
@AdamNiehenke I am really interested in who starts, but I don't have much opinion on it. Personally, I like the way Halliday plays, but when it comes down to it, if Leach sends Tuel out on Saturday, in my mind Tuel is the guy for the job.
In my mind Tuel is a waste of time that has to grow into the system and by the time he has grown into it he'll be injured or there is 4 games left and he is gone at year end, so why? Halliday grows and you have a guy who passes better now and it back for 2 more years after year end. Its getting to the point now that saying Jeff gives you the best chance to win is emotional and no facts to support it. The release time of holliday is almost 2 second less than Tuel and for twice the yardage. I'm not a complete homer and realize the comparison will be completely hosed with Halliday playing two horrid teams. but sometimes things are just meant to happen and someone else is looking out for us :)
Ratliff had a good year last year. I remember him catching a lot of big 3rd down balls from the slot. I was actually surprised he wasn't already starting on the inside. Having him line up as a TE is a bit shocking though. I just wonder what happened to the Williams'? I was expecting one or both of them to break onto the scene this year, but have not seen anything out of them. Lintz hasn't shown up in a game yet either really. I'm really looking forward for these guys to get it all figured out and start clicking. I hope it happens against Colorado because it gets a lot tougher after that.
@Selahcoug Sounds to me like there's a big emphasis on establishing the underneath stuff in practice right now. We'll see if we improve in that area this week. I think both Ratliff and Lintz will step forward this week as long as Myers/Marks stay sharp on the outside. Should be fun to watch..