Cougs on a Friday

Happy Friday Cougs!  As we wind down the week (was it me, or was this the “longest short week ever?”), time to look forward to the weekend.  And ahhh, yes, a HOME GAME at that.  While it’s great that football is in full swing, well, it’s not really here until they kick off in the Palouse, know what I’m saying?  And there’s nothing like a Cougar football Saturday in early September to get the juices flowing.

Let’s take a look at a few things as we head into the Montana State game, including more of the EA “Super Sim” for this week’s Pac-10 action, as well some other stuff out there today….

Go ahead and laugh out loud, but the video game dork stuff we did last week?  Pretty accurate if you want to know the truth.  We simmed three games last week, and the old XBox 360 was a perfect 3-0 in predicting the outcomes.  EA predicted OK State, BYU and TCU to win their games, and they were pretty dang close to reality.  I guess the only one that wasn’t very close was the WSU-OK State game.  But at least they were close on the halftime score, as the game said it would be 31-7 OK State, in reality it was 38-10.  But the others were close, as the BYU game was predicted a 28-25 win (23-17 in reality) and the TCU game was a 35-21 win (30-21 in reality).  Not bad.

This week?  We went ahead and simmed most of the Pac-10 games, but because they don’t have the FCS teams readily available we’ll skip over the Arizona schools playing the Citadel and Portland State.  But we did find Montana State available as a downloadable team off of EA’s Teambuilder site, so we grabbed them and matched them up with the Cougs (note – if you want to download Montana State yourself, here’s a link to a pretty accurate version that we used in our matchup).  Here’s some short recaps:

WSU 44, Montana State 17

The Cougs would struggle early, as it was 17-10 at the half in favor of WSU.  But a 17-0 third quarter turned it into a laugher, as James Montgomery scored a couple of TD’s to salt this thing away.  Overall WSU would outgain MSU 454-347, as Jeff Tuel went 24-for-43 for 313 yards and three TD’s.  Monty carried 19 times for 85 productive yards, including a TD, and Marquess Wilson and Jared Karstetter both tied for the team lead with 7 receptions.  Defensively, Kevin Kooyman had a breakout game with 11 tackles, including four for loss and a sack, while Alex Hoffman-Ellis had seven tackles, a sack and an INT, as they harrassed young MSU QB Denarius McGhee into a 16-for-37, 196 yard, 3-INT afternoon.  Let’s hope life imitates art in this one??

Oregon 20, Tennessee 12

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Under the lights in Knoxville, the Ducks slugged their way to a tough victory.  Oregon would total 394 yards of offense, holding Tennessee to just 267 yards and 10 first downs on the evening.  Darron Thomas did OK in his first road start, 17-for-36 for 229 yards and two TD passes, but also threw a couple of INT’s along the way.  LaMichael James came back from suspension to rush for 106 yards on 27 carries.  But the story was the Oregon D, holding Tennessee to two fields goals and a TD.  The Vols scored a TD with 2:44 to play, but failed on the two-point conversion and were unable to stop the Ducks on the last possession of the game, as they ran out the clock to end it.

CAL  28, Colorado 0

A beautiful day in Strawberry Canyon as the Bears dispatch the Buffs with ease. Cal outgains CU 541-294, as the Bears had a balanced attack of rushing (221 yards) and passing (320 yards).  Colorado was just 1-for-14 on third downs as they just couldn’t move the chains effectively all afternoon.  Shane Vereen had 30 carries for 151 yards and 2 TD’s, as Cal scores a big win for the Pac…12.

Stanford 48, UCLA 41

A pleasant evening in Pasadena, as the Cardinal take down the Bruins in a wild Pac-10 shootout.  UCLA actually outgained Stanford 469-462, and both teams combined for nine turnovers, but in the end Stanford was too much.  Andrew Luck was 23-for-40 for 272 yards and a couple of scores, and Jeremy Stewart rushed for 174 yards and a couple of TD’s against the porous UCLA rush D.  Kevin Prince did throw three TD’s for UCLA, but he completed less than 50% of this throws while being sacked five times.  Stanford finally put it away midway through the fourth quarter, as Luck’s last TD pass would put the Cardinal up 48-31.  UCLA added a late TD to cut it to seven, but couldn’t recover the onside kick and that was it. 

UW  28, Syracuse  17

The Huskies pull it out on a cloudy, cool Saturday in September.  The Cuse actually took the lead early, getting a TD on their first possession, and even had a lead into the third quarter.  But Locker would lead a couple of long scoring drives in the fourth quarter, as they turned a 17-14 deficit into a 28-17 victory.  UW would outgain Syracuse 470-376, as Jake Locker threw for 361 yards and three TD’s.  UW also held the Cuse to just 2-of-19 on third downs, and just one first down in the fourth quarter as the Huskies get their first win of 2010.

USC 42, Virginia  17

The Trojans dominate, beating an inferior ACC opponent at home.  Matt Barkley cooled off a bit from last week, throwing for 244 yards and two TD’s, and he added three interceptions as well.  But the SC rushing game was excellent, with 223 yards on the ground and three rushing TD’s.  SC would break open the game in the second quarter, scoring 21 straight points to take a 28-10 lead into the locker room, then ran away from the Cavs in the second half by controlling the game and the clock on the ground.

Moving on, you know, Grippi’s post already has the relevant links for today, so check that out here. 

Cougfan’s latest has a premium article, where Wulff basically calls out all bloggers and message-board types.  Without getting too detailed since it’s premium, in a nutshell, well, when asked about the blog/message board community, we have no accountability or credibility.  Those are his words, not mine.  Take it for what you will.  Personally I don’t think it’s a big deal.  He’s never fully embraced the blogs or message boards, saying they neither help nor hurt what they are trying to do in a chat last year.  But you can understand if he isn’t real thrilled with what’s been said about him and his ability to coach in the last week.  I know it’s “big boy” BCS football, but the criticism must sting.

Finally, Joe Nickell of the official WSU site has this practice report from Thursday.

Enjoy your Friday.  AS always, GO COUGS!

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