Let's see - Pizza, beer, angry fan AND the Cougs in Vegas?? Sounds about right.
Happy Tuesday Cougs, and a warm good morning to you and yours. As you can see by the pic above, some of you might still be moving a little slowly after the Vegas trip? All accounts have been that the Cougs did what Cougs do, and that's to just have a great time. That's just what we do, that's just how we roll, that's just who we are. DEAL WITH IT. :) As Longball said in the podcast on Sunday night, is there ANY WAY we could get like a five year deal with UNLV....with every game played AT UNLV??
Of course, there is a line of what we can do in public and sometimes, well, those lines get crossed.....
Anywho, here's hoping you were able to make the trip and are now home safely and back in the weekly grind. Lots of links today, so here we go.....
Christian Caple has the latest on this week's depth chart, and there are some notable notes. The obvious one is the "OR" is now back for the QB's - Jeff Tuel OR Connor Halliday - and that Rickey Galvin and Dan Spitz are removed completely from the chart for this week.
I guess it's floating around out there now, but while no official word has been provided at this point, Galvin was reportedly spotted with a cast on his arm after the game on Friday? It's been mentioned in a few places here and there since the weekend so that might explain his absence at the moment. Spitz, meanwhile, remains a mystery. Last week it was either/or a class issue or a personal issue of some kind. No matter what's up there, it is clear that at least for this week Spitz again will not be with the team.
I'm also surprised to see that Chester Su'a has been replaced as a starter. Su'a has been one guy who a lot of people are excited about, at least coming in to this season anyway? He showed a lot of potential late last year and definitely looks the part of a weakside linebacker, so to see him removed was a surprise. Justin Sagote moves past Su'a on the depth chart for this week.
If Galvin is injured or lost for the season, it's definitely a major disappointment for that kid. He was put in a strange situation for this year, moved to a new position that he hadn't played before in a brand new offense and all that. It was an exciting thought, getting Galvin in open spaces with his moves and speed. But it just wasn't clicking early on, and now the arm injury that may keep him out for a bit. Good luck to Galvin, and we hope he's back out there sooner rather than later!
The bottom line here is that this team hasn't exactly "blown up", know what I mean? As Caple tweeted out on Sunday, did you know that after three games, WSU is 98th in total offense and 96th in total defense?? I mean it's not like all these changes are happening to a top-ten offense or defense, ya know?? These coaches are still trying to mix and match and find the right fit. Even though we're 2-1 in the young season and just put up 35 points and 400+ yards of total offense, they are still trying to figure it out on offense too. Now that three games are in the books and they have a clump of games to work from, they have a point of reference to make changes. So here we are.
As to who/what we'll see at QB this Saturday? Well, Caple also reports what Leach said to the media yesterday, and there were a lot of positives to take away from Connor Halliday's first start of 2012. But as to who will start? Per Caple, Leach put it this way:
“You’re going to have to stay tuned and watch very closely and the anticipation is killing everybody, including me, but yeah, we’re going to have a good week of practice and see where that all ends up.”
As to the QB's themselves? Even they don't know who's starting, if you can believe that!? Today's practice might help clarify.....or it might not. But if they continue to split the reps with the 1's for the rest of the week, it's purely a guessing game. I don't think anything they decide should be a surprise by kickoff on Saturday though, no matter which direction they go.
Meanwhile, Howie Stalwick's latest from last night has an item on the defense. Did you know that the Cougs are already up to eight sacks in 2012? And that Travis Long leads the Pac-12 with four sacks in just three games? But yeah, there's a downside - all that blitzing and pressure from the linebackers tends to leave your secondary vulnerable, and we've seen it in the first three games. Per Stalwick, the Cougs are now 117th in the country in pass defense, giving up over 344 yards per game through the air.
It's a hard thing to figure out though. DC Mike Breske is about attacking on D and bringing the heat up front, and there is some upside to this approach - the sacks are up team-wide, obviously, already eight in three games after just 17 in 12 games last year. And the rushing defense is vastly improved, as WSU is now ranked #30 in the country in stopping the run. But we are also seeing the downside to this approach as the secondary has appeared overwhelmed so far. Unless there are a bunch of DB's that we aren't aware of on this roster who are ready to play this week, based on what we've seen so far it's hard to expect things to suddenly improve back there? Especially when you look at the schedule and realize that with conference play upon us, things are really going to pick up in teams attacking the WSU D down the field?? Maybe they'll make some personnel changes, or maybe they'll have to dial back the blitzes a bit and give the secondary more help with zone coverages, etc, but for now it is starting to look like a major problem that might not magically solve itself!?!
It's funny though, in one of our preseason podcasts we all to a man said that we welcome this new approach on D. We wanted to see things get back to attacking and blitzing and gambling and all that, just like the so-called "glory days" when Bill Doba was the defensive coordinator and bringing the noise up front. Well, three games in, here we are! And what are people bitching about?? Getting beat in the secondary. So there.
That's it for now. Enjoy your Tuesday morning, and of course, GO COUGS!