Pac-12: Kevin Kooyman

Nerds! Pac-10 releases All-Academic team

November, 16, 2010
Oregon running back LaMichael James is not only the Pac-10's leading Heisman Trophy candidate, he's pretty darn smart, too.

James earned a first-team spot on Pac-10 All-Academic Football Team. Stanford QB Andrew Luck, the conference's No. 2 Heisman candidate, is on the second-team.

Also on the team Stanford fullback/linebacker Owen Marecic and California linebacker Mike Mohamed, who previously were named National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award winners and are among the finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy, known as the academic Heisman.

Mohamed earned his third consecutive first-team academic honor. Also on the first-team for the third time are offensive lineman Micah Hannam and safety Chima Nwachukwu -- both of Washington State -- and Oregon State linebacker Cameron Collins.

Washington State led the Pac-10 with seven first-team members. Stanford had four, Oregon and Arizona three, Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA two and Washington and California one. USC didn't have any.

Stanford had seven players on the second-team. Cal and Oregon State had four, Oregon three, Washington and Arizona two, UCLA, USC and Washington State one. Arizona State didn't have any players on the second-team.

To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant substitute.

You can read the full release from the Pac-10 and see the second-team here.


Pos. Name, School Yr. GPA Major


QB Steven Threet, Arizona State Jr. 3.82 General Studies

RB LaMichael James, Oregon So. 3.01 Sociology

RB Owen Marecic, Stanford Sr. 3.47 Human Biology

WR Jared Karstetter, Washington State Jr. 3.55 Zoology

WR Ryan Whalen, Stanford Sr. 3.53 Science, Technology and Society

TE David Paulson, Oregon (2) Jr. 3.66 Business Administration

OL Chase Beeler, Stanford (2) Sr. 3.68 History

OL Micah Hannam, Washington State (3) Sr. 3.58 Civil Engineering

OL Brendan Lopez, Washington Jr. 3.68 Microbiology

OL Chris Prummer, Washington State (2) Sr. 3.90 Zoology

OL Carson York, Oregon (2) So. 3.70 Journalism-Advertising


DL Dean DeLeone, Arizona State Sr. 3.41 Communication

DL Kevin Frahm, Oregon State (2) Jr. 3.25 Political Science

DL Kevin Kooyman, Washington State (2) Sr. 3.18 Management & Operations

DL Casey Hamlett, Washington State Sr. 3.77 Management & Operations

LB Cameron Collins, Oregon State (3) Jr. 3.48 Finance

LB Mike Mohamed, California (3) Sr. 3.43 Business Administration

LB Jake Fischer, Arizona So. 3.42 Pre-Business

DB Kyle McCartney, Washington State So. 3.87 Entrepreneurship

DB Chima Nwachukwu, Washington State (3) Sr. 3.85 Political Science

DB Taylor Skaufel, Stanford Sr. 3.43 Science, Technology and Society

DB Anthony Wilcox, Arizona Sr. 3.05 Religious Studies

PK John Bonano, Arizona Jr. 3.90 Pre-Physiology

P Jeff Locke, UCLA (2) So. 3.57 Economics

ST Danny Rees, UCLA Sr. 3.51 History

(2) Two-time first-team All-Academic selection

(3) Three-time first-team All-Academic selection

Opening camp: Washington State

August, 8, 2010
Washington State opens preseason camp today. Here's a quick look.

Who's back: Eight starters on offense, six starters on defense and both specialists.

Big names: Quarterback Jeff Tuel, defensive end Travis Long, receiver Jared Karstetter and punter Reid Forrest.

What's new: Coach Paul Wulff made two coaching changes. He hired veteran offensive line coach Steve Morton, who's coached five Pac-10 Morris Trophy winners, and special teams/running backs coach Dave Ungerer.

Key competition: The only two "ORs" on the depth chart are on the offensive line between Wade Jacobson and Micah Hannam at left tackle, and David Gonzalez and Hannam at right tackle. The pecking order at running back probably still remains open, too.

Breaking out: Long, a sophomore, and senior Kevin Kooyman should give the Cougars a solid tandem at defensive end. Junior college transfer Brandon Rankin was impressive during the spring. Cornerback Daniel Simmons has all-conference ability, and safety LeAndre Daniels and linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis also will lead the defense.

Quote: Kooyman on the Cougars being picked 10th: “The last two season’s have been really rough. You just kind of have to ignore it. We are going to shock some people ... this season. We don’t really care about the rankings. It is more of a distraction.”

Notes: James Montgomery is back in position to start at running back after a harrowing battle with illness and injury. He required emergency surgery last year for acute compartment syndrome -- which can be life-threatening -- and then missed spring practice because of micro-fracture surgery on his right knee ... Speedy linebacker Louis Bland continues to struggle with a knee problem. He might end up redshirting ... Former Cougars star Chad Eaton is serving as a graduate assistant working with the defensive line ... Backup defensive tackle Dan Spitz will be ineligible for the first nine games because he violated NCAA policy on banned substances. The Cougars previously lost senior defensive tackles Toby Turpin and Josh Luapo because of academic issues ... Redshirt freshman linebacker Andre Barrington is academically ineligible.

Preseason position reviews: defensive end

August, 2, 2010
The best way to neutralize the impressive quarterback talent in the Pac-10 this fall is to get someone in their faces as much as possible. That's what pass-rushing defensive ends do, and there is a solid cast of them coming back.

Even the two teams that fall in the "We'll see" category here don't lack for talent or experience. They just have obvious questions heading into preseason camp.

So how do things stack up?

Great shape
  • Arizona: The Wildcats were in great shape at the spot last year with the same two players, though Ricky Elmore eclipsed Brooks Reed when he recorded 10.5 sacks while Reed was hurt (ankle) much of the season. Word on the street is Reed has been a maniac in the weight room this offseason. Solid depth here, too.
  • USC: Two players worth buying stock in: Armond Armstead and Nick Perry. Perry had eight sacks as a backup in 2009 and Armstead was dominant this spring. Transfer of Malik Jackson hurts depth.
  • Oregon: Kenny Rowe led the Pac-10 with 11.5 sacks in 2009, while Dion Jordan was perhaps the breakout player of the Ducks' spring practices.
Good shape
  • California: Cameron Jordan has been good, but he has a chance to be great: Is 2010 his year? Trevor Guyton is the leader to replace first-round draft pick Tyson Alualu, while Deandre Coleman and Ernest Owusu provide high-quality depth.
  • UCLA: Datone Jones had a great spring, while Keenan Graham looks like the favorite to start on the opposite side. Solid depth with Damien Holmes, Iuta Tepa and touted incoming freshman Owamagbe Odighizuwa.
  • Oregon State: The Beavers struggled to rush the passer in 2009 and returning starter Matt LaGrone quit, but Gabe Miller is a talented athlete who came on late and had a good spring. Sophomore Taylor Henry is No.1 on the other side.
  • Arizona State: The Sun Devils must replace four-year star Dexter Davis. James Brooks and Greg Smith are the likely starters. Solid depth here but no standouts.
  • Washington State: The Cougars are sneaky good with sophomore Travis Long and senior Kevin Kooyman.
We'll see
  • Stanford: The Cardinal is hard to rate because they are switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4, so Thomas Keiser and Chase Thomas, returning starters at end, are now outside linebackers and don't qualify. Meanwhile, Matt Masifilo and Brian Bulcke are experienced tackles but are new to end.
  • Washington: This is as pure of a "we'll see" as you can get. Four-year starter Daniel Te'o-Nesheim is off to the NFL and potential starter Andru Pulu got kicked off the team. If Everrette Thompson and Kalani Aldrich are healthy and ready to play 12 games, the Huskies are solid. Maybe even better than solid. If not, things are iffy.

Pac-10 lunch links: Jeremiah Masoli talks

July, 30, 2010
Happy Friday.

On stage ... Washington State

July, 29, 2010
PASADENA, Calif. -- Some quick hits from media day.

  • Coach Paul Wulff with fifth-year senior DE Kevin Kooyman. The Cougars finished last in 2009 and were picked last in the media poll.
  • Wulff: "We're a very young football team but we have experience.... I think you'll see a dramatic improvement out of our team."
  • Wulff called the Cougars "a surprise team."
  • Wulff noted the Cougars have been to the Rose Bowl twice since 1997, which is more trips than any other Pac-10 team besides USC: "We feel we are on the same path."
  • Wulff said RB James Montgomery has been running around. "We anticipate he will make a recovery and will be able to play." But not in tip-top shape yet.
  • Wulff on QB Jeff Tuel: "He's gotten bigger and stronger."
  • Wulff on hanging with other coaches in New York: "You find out they're pretty good guys when you thought they were not."

New-look Pac-10 ready for its close-up

July, 26, 2010
Want to unscientifically measure the difference between one year of Larry Scott vs. 26 years of Tom Hansen atop the Pac-10?

Do this: Google "Pac-1o commissioner Larry Scott" then do "Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen."

Yeah: Stunning. Nearly two million hits vs. 105,000.

While some traditionalists -- and the Pac-10 still has plenty of those -- might not believe that's necessarily a good thing, what Scott has done in one year is dramatic: He's made the conference big news. Even when his grand plan for a "Pac-16" fell apart due to a Texas two-step, Scott's bold behind-the-scenes maneuvering was the lead story of an usually busy college football summer.

When the machinations finally ended, the conference added two teams, Colorado and Utah, and everyone now waits to see how Scott will parlay that into a media deal that keeps the conference financially competitive with the SEC, Big Ten and ACC.

But that answer won't come until 2011. The present "next big thing" is this week: A bi-coastal showcase of Pac-10 football coaches and players. And new, aggressive Pac-10 marketing.

Danette Leighton, an Arizona alum and the Pac-10's new -- and first -- chief marketing officer, uses terms like "sizzle" when she talks about how the conference plans to present itself to the media and public.

"It's about presenting Larry Scott's vision," she said.

That vision means elevating the Pac-10's national profile and waging war on the "East Coast bias" -- real or mythical -- by reaching out in order to overcome instead of merely complaining about perceived slights. That vision means putting the Pac-10 in front of a national audience as much as possible, even if much of that audience supports other conferences and is inclined to boo an interloper from the West.

Cheering or booing -- that means folks are paying attention. And those eyeballs, Scott believes, will translate to increased revenue and a better position in the college football pecking order.

As for the new stuff this week ... You can see the new Pac-10 website here when it opens at 2 p.m. PT on Tuesday. And you can pose questions to the coaches and players available during Thursday's media day on the new Pac-10 Twitter page.

The Pac-10 blog will be tagging along to all three destinations (image: Pac-10 blog walking up to Pac-10 coaches, "Hey, are you guys playing cards?"). That means lots of stories and videos over the next few days. So you may want to take a few days off.

Here's the media days itinerary:

Tuesday (New York)

5 p.m. ET: News conference at the Manhattan W Hotel featuring all 10 coaches and the unveiling of new Pac-10 logo and football trailer. Pac-10 QBs will visit Times Square -- where the Pac-10 football video will be playing on the Jumbotron -- and the Empire State Building.
6 p.m.: Private cocktail reception at W's "Whiskey Blue" with TV executives, corporate sponsors, former players and other VIPs.
8 p.m.: Coaches eat dinner with ESPN's "GameDay" crew. Coach spouses will see Broadway musical, "Promises, Promises."

Wednesday (New York, ESPN)

Morning: Coaches will ring the opening bell at NASDAQ and then conduct East Coast media interviews.
11 a.m.: Bus to ESPN offices in Bristol, Conn., where players and coaches will do interviews on all ESPN platforms.
5 p.m.: Charter flight from New York to Los Angeles; check in Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel.

Thursday (at Rose Bowl, all times PT)

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Coach and player group interview session (field)
9:30 a.m. - Introduction and format - Dave Hirsch
9:35 a.m. - Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott
9:45 a.m. - Paul Wulff & DE Kevin Kooyman, Washington State
10:00 a.m. - Dennis Erickson & PK Thomas Weber, Arizona State
10:15 a.m. - Rick Neuheisel & FS Rahim Moore, UCLA
10:30 a.m. - Steve Sarkisian & LB Mason Foster, Washington
10:45 a.m. - Jeff Tedford & LB Mike Mohamed, California
11:00 a.m. - BREAK
11:15 a.m. - Lane Kiffin & QB Matt Barkley, USC
11:30 a.m. - Jim Harbaugh & FB/LB Owen Marecic, Stanford
11:45 a.m. - Mike Riley & RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State
12 noon - Mike Stoops & QB Nick Foles, Arizona
12:15 p.m. - Chip Kelly & DT Brandon Bair, Oregon
12:30 p.m. - Pac-10 video presentation

12:30-2:30: One-on-one coach/player interviews during luncheon.

5:30 p.m.: Reception at the Fox Network Studios: Joe Buck and Troy Aikman host Pac-10 presentation.

Pac-10 media day players

July, 21, 2010
Pac-10 media "day" is going fancy pants this year, with a stopover in New York City July 27, the ESPN offices in Bristol, Conn., the next day and, finally, concluding in the Rose Bowl on July 29.

One tradition continues, though. Each team will bring a player to talk to reporters.

This is either a team's biggest star or a senior whom the head coach believes deserves special recognition. Sports information directors also often advise coaches to pick a player who can handle with aplomb the relentless and often redundant questioning.

His this year's list. You can see the complete schedule here.

QB Nick Foles

Arizona State
K Thomas Weber

LB Mike Mohamed

DT Brandon Bair

Oregon State
RB Jacquizz Rodgers

FB Owen Marecic

FS Rahim Moore

QB Matt Barkley

LB Mason Foster

Washington State
DE Kevin Kooyman

Washington State spring wrap

May, 7, 2010
Washington State

2009 overall record: 1-11

2009 conference record: 0-9 (10th)

Returning starters

Offense: 8, Defense: 6, punter/kicker: 2

Top returners: QB Jeff Tuel, WR Jared Karstetter, DE Travis Long, LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis, P Reid Forrest

Key losses: C Kenny Alfred, RB Dwight Tardy, FS Xavier Hicks, LB Andy Mattingly

2009 statistical leaders (*returning starter)

Rushing: Tardy (417)

Passing: Tuel* (789)

Receiving: Karstetter* (540)

Tackles: Alex Hoffman-Ellis* (84)

Sacks: Travis Long*, Toby Turpin, Casey Hamlett*, Anthony Laurenzi* (2)

Interceptions: Xavier Hicks (3)

Spring Answers

1. Solid at QB: Both sophomore Tuel and junior Marshall Lobbestael played well this spring. Both are more skilled, more mature and better versed in the offense than when they were prematurely forced into action the previous two seasons. Tuel is the heavy frontrunner to start, but it's always nice to have two quarterbacks with starting experience.

2. Offensive line improvement: A big area of concern the past two seasons, the Cougars added a pair of JC recruits midyear and the additions greatly enhanced the competition and depth up front. Also, the addition of offensive line coach Steve Morton and his 35 years of experience, which includes five Morris Trophy winners, already has made a big impact. The line lost one starter from last season (center Kenny Alfred) but the return of four starters, along with the JC additions and return of Andrew Roxas, who missed 2009 due to illness, could make this one of the most improved units in the conference.

3. There's some depth: Everyone around the program insists this is by far the best spring for coach Paul Wulff since he took over a beleaguered program two years ago. Part of that success is legitimate competition for starting spots and playing time. Players who redshirted the past two seasons, in particular, made an impact during the 15 practices

Fall questions

1. Confidence? The Cougars have won just three games over the past two seasons -- just one Pac-10 game. Many of their defeats have been blowouts. While the talent looks better heading into 2010, the Cougars have to believe they can compete -- and win -- in the Pac-10. That belief will drive players to work out hard during the summer. That belief will keep games close into the fourth quarter. That belief might even help them steal a few games. But that belief has to be real, which means it will have to block out all the talk about another dreary 10th-place finish.

2. Will the D-line step up? Sophomore end Travis Long should take the next step. JC transfer Brandon Rankin lived up to his considerable hype at tackle. Senior end Kevin Kooyman is back from injury and had a good spring. That's the good news. The bad news is three of the top four or five tackles are either gone -- or close to going -- before their time. Toby Turpin was kicked out of school over an undisclosed academic incident, while tackles Bernard Wolfgramm and Josh Luapo are struggling to remain academically eligible (coaches are more hopeful about Wolfgramm getting back on track). That means youngsters such as Justin Clayton, Dan Spitz, Jordan Pu’u Robinson and Anthony Laurenzi will need to be ready -- and be better than they were in 2009.

3. Receiver depth? The Cougars went through spring with just four scholarship receivers (Jeffrey Solomon, Jared Karstetter, Gino Simone and Daniel Blackledge). The incoming recruiting class features five receivers. JC recruit Isiah Barton is probably the most ready, but at least a couple of freshmen will need to earn spots in the rotation.

Q&A: Washington State defensive coordinator Chris Ball

April, 28, 2010
It's hard to say which Washington State Cougars defense was worse.

In 2008, the Cougars surrendered 44 points per game, ranking 118th in the nation. They again ranked 118th in in 2009, but they gave up "just" 38.5 points per game.

Of course, the 2009 unit ranked last in the nation in total defense, yielding an astounding 512 yards per game, which was 69 more than 2008.

Yes, those numbers will stress out a defensive coordinator.

Fact is the Cougars have been out manned the past two seasons on both sides of the ball but most glaringly on defense. They started out lacking talent and then suffered epidemic injuries. Not a good combination. That forced the Cougars to use young players before they were physically or mentally ready.

Thus the numbers.

Ah, but there is reason for hope heading into 2010. For one, those young players may have graduated the school of hard knocks and are ready to give back some of the rude treatment they received.

For the first time since Paul Wulff took over in 2008, there's legitimate competition for starting spots. Coaches are so bold to even use the term "depth."

While spring practices ended last weekend with some bad news -- defensive tackles Bernard Wolfgramm and Josh Luapo are both struggling to remain academically eligible -- Wulff called the 15 practices "by far the best spring we have had since we’ve been here."

So we decided to check in with Chris Ball, the Cougars assistant head coach who co-coordinates the defense with Jody Sears.

Give me a general assessment of spring practices: Where did you guys get better?

Chris Ball: I think we got better up front. Our defensive line probably was the biggest improvement. We got some good competition going on there.

Give me some players who showed a lot of improvement?

CB: End Kevin Kooyman, tackle Brandon Rankin, the kid we got in here in January. End Travis Long, tackle Justin Clayton. They all had a great spring.

How concerned are you about the academic status of tackles Bernard Wolfgramm and Josh Luapo? What's the pecking order behind them?

CB: We've got Rankin and Anthony Laurenzi, who played quite a bit last year. We feel pretty good about Wolfgramm. Luapo we're waiting to see.

Tell me about tackle Brandon Rankin. Sounds like he may live up to high expectations.

CB: He had a good spring. He's still got to get stronger. He needs to have a good three months here this summer to get stronger and continue to grow. But he ended up about what we expected him to be. He sat out last year so he was a little rusty at the beginning of spring. But he did a good job of coming on. He's got to keep working. He's got a lot of work to do in the weight room this summer.

What about sophomore end Travis Long. Is he a potential All-Conference player?

CB: I'd like to think so. But it also goes back to him still being young, physically. He's got to have a good next three months. He did a good job through the winter lifting, but these next three months are big for him as far as his strength is concerned.

Tell me about the secondary: Who has stepped up back there?

CB: Safety Tyree Toomer, who started as a freshman for us and then got hurt, he had a great spring. Safety Chima Nwachukwu had a great spring. Safety LeAndre Daniels had a great spring. We had two freshmen safeties who did really well: Casey Locker and Jamal Atofau. So at the safety position we've got a heck of a battle going on. At corner, Daniel Simmons has done a great job. And there's Anthony Carpenter and Aire Justin. We've got some good competition going on there, too. We're pretty pleased with the ways those guys are playing. We've got more speed back there right now than we've had in the past.

And at linebacker?

CB: We got a few injuries late and pulled some guys out, but Alex Hoffman-Ellis was doing well before he sprained his ankle. Myron Beck did a great job at SAM [strongside linebacker]. We've got Andre Barrington. He's a redshirt freshman, who had a really good spring. Arthur Burns at WILL [weakside linebacker] had a really good spring also.

What's linebacker Louis Bland's status [he's trying to come back after microfracture surgery]?

CB: He's getting better. He's ahead of schedule. Hopefully ... I'm sure he'll be ready to play come August.

The past two seasons have been a struggle for the entire program. What was it like for you in terms of trying to stop people?

CB: It was tough. The last two years we've been bitten by the injury bug and haven't really been able to get into what you really want to do defensively. It's been tough. Our depth has been poor. We've not had much competition going on at positions. But we finally, for the first time in two years -- going into our third year -- we've got a lot of competition going on on the D-line and at the safety spot and linebacker spot, which makes everybody step up and makes everybody better. We had to play a lot of young players the last couple of years. That's almost a good thing right now because we've now got a lot of guys who have actually played. They weren't necessarily ready to play [the last two years] but they got some game experience. We're still going to be young but we're a young group that has played some snaps in the Pac-10.

What's the most important thing for you guys to improve on in 2010?

CB: We've got to stay healthy. The boat feels like it's finally moving. The kids can feel it. They can feel they are getting better. But these next three months, we've got to keep the momentum we've gained in spring ball. The next three months are very, very crucial to how we start out. We've got to come into camp feeling really good about ourselves, with a little bit of swagger. The kids of done a great job with their enthusiasm in practice. Our chemistry is really good. We've worked hard. We've had good competition at numerous spots. We've got to keep this momentum the next three months. If we can keep it and stay healthy, we have a chance to make some big, big strides.

Arizona State's Nixon leads the smart guys

December, 2, 2009
Let us remember as the season winds down that the teams we follow with such passion are made up of college students.

So, we present this year's Pac-10 All-Academic team, which is topped by three-time first-team selection Mike Nixon, the fine linebacker -- and former professional baseball player -- from Arizona State.

Last week, Nixon also was named a first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American. In addition to Nixon, nine other players were named to the Pac-10 academic team for the second time.

You also will notice that Stanford's Toby Gerhart, a top Heisman Trophy candidate, is a first-team member. Gerhart boasts a 3.25 GPA in management science & engineering, which sounds hard to me.

For those keeping score -- you always do -- Stanford has the most first-team members with eight. Washington State has five and Oregon State four. California has three, Oregon has two and Arizona State, UCLA and Washington have one apiece.

Neither Arizona nor USC had a first-team member.

To be eligible for selection, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant substitute.

To see the second-team and honorable mentions, click here.


Pos. Name, School Yr. GPA Major

  • QB Andrew Luck, Stanford RFr. 3.55 Undeclared
  • RB Josh Catron, Stanford Sr. 3.48 Economics
  • RB Toby Gerhart, Stanford Sr. 3.25 Management Science & Engineering
  • WR Casey Kjos, Oregon State (2) Jr. 3.63 Psychology & Sociology
  • WR Alex Lagemann, California Jr. 3.68 Media Studies
  • TE David Paulson, Oregon So. 3.68 Business Administration
  • OL Mark Boskovich, California (2) Jr. 3.73 Political Science
  • OL Micah Hannam, Washington State (2)Jr. 3.59 Civil Engineering
  • OL Andrew Phillips, Stanford Jr. 3.53 Classics
  • OL Chris Prummer, Washington State Jr. 3.88 Zoology
  • OL Carson York, Oregon RFr. 3.70 Journalism
  • DL Kevin Frahm, Oregon State So. 3.24 Political Science
  • DL Kevin Kooyman, Washington State Sr. 3.16 Management & Operations
  • DL Erik Lorig, Stanford Sr. 3.12 Public Policy
  • DL Tom McAndrew, Stanford (2) Sr. 3.58 Science, Technology & Society
  • LB Mike Mohamed, California (2) Jr. 3.43 Business Administration
  • LB Mike Nixon, Arizona State (3) Sr. 4.07 Political Science
  • LB Will Powers, Stanford (2) Sr. 3.48 Classics
  • DB Victor Aiyewa, Washington (2) Jr. 3.36 Sociology
  • DB Cameron Collins, Oregon State (2) So. 3.37 Business
  • DB Jay Matthews, Washington State RFr. 3.68 Undeclared
  • DB Chima Nwachukwu, Washington State (2)Jr. 3.79 Political Science
  • PK Nate Whitaker, Stanford Jr. 3.38 Engineering
  • P Jeff Locke, UCLA RFr. 3.69 Undeclared
  • RS Taylor Kavanaugh, Oregon State Sr. 3.28 Construction Engineering
(2) Two-time first-team All-Academic selection

(3) Three-time first-team All-Academic selection

Pac-10 injury update

September, 28, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

Updating the worst part about the game.

Arizona is banged up but it has a chance to get much healthier during its bye week and before it visits Washington on Oct. 10. Receiver Bug Wright is out after knee surgery, but running back Nic Grigsby (shoulder), running back Keola Antolin (ankle), defensive end Brooks Reed (ankle), offensive tackle Mike Diaz (concussion), offensive guard Vaughn Dotsy (concussion) and receiver Delashaun Dean (thigh bruise) all could be ready to go after the bye.

Arizona State
The Sun Devils get defensive end James Brooks back from a three-game suspension, which means senior end Dexter Davis can move back to the weak side, where he has a better chance to get to the quarterback. On the downside, the struggling offensive line has issues. The top two centers, Garth Gerhart (toe) and Thomas Altieri (knee) are banged up, as are guards Jon Hargis (shoulder), Zach Schlink (knee) and Matt Hustad (knee). Hustad is doubtful for Oregon State's visit, while the others are questionable. Also, tight end Jovon Williams (knee) is questionable.

Oregon cornerback Walter Thurmond is likely out for a few games with a knee injury. Coach Chip Kelly may provide more specifics during his news conference today, but he typically calls every player "day-to-day" and forces reporters to read between the lines. Kelly did say Saturday that he didn't believe Thurmond would be done for the season. Safety T.J. Ward (ankle) and receiver Rory Cavaille (shoulder) are both questionable.

Oregon State
Receiver Darrell Catchings, who just came back from a wrist injury, is now out for 2-3 weeks with an ankle sprain. Also, linebacker Keaton Kristick suffered a stinger against Arizona and probably won't practice much this week.

Backup tailback Jeremy Stewart hurt is right knee against Washington. It's unclear how serious the injury is.

Defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo (broken leg) and end Marshall Jones (neck) suffered season-ending injuries against Washington State. Linebackers Jordan Campbell and Nick Garratt sprained their ankles and are questionable for the Cal game as is linebacker Malcolm Smith (ankle), who sat out against the Cougars.

The Huskies might get receiver Devin Aguilar back for the visit to Notre Dame. Aguilar sat out the Stanford game with a sprained knee.

Washington State
The Cougars can't stay healthy. They probably lost a starting offensive and defensive lineman against USC: Steven Ayers (ankle) and defensive tackle Josh Luapo (knee). Starting guards B. J. Guerra (knee) and Zack Williams (ankle) aren't expected to be ready to play at Oregon. Defensive end Kevin Kooyman (knee) missed the USC game but might be ready for the trip to Eugene.

Washington State defense banged up

September, 12, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

Just published this list of Washington State injuries. Look at the number on defense.

DE Kevin Kooyman, knee, out
DT Dan Spitz, illness, out
S Eric Block, concussion, out
CB Aire Justin, quad, out
S Tyree Toomer, pec, questionable
LB Louis Bland, knee, questionable

The latest big hit is Kooyman. He, Justin and Bland are all starters.

The Cougars are not deep on defense as it is.

Junior Casey Hamlett will step in for Kooyman. Sophomore Alex Hoffman-Ellis will sub for Bland, if necessary. Freshman Daniel Simmons will replace Justin at corner.

The matchup with Hawaii at Seattle's Qwest Field today is a big one for the Cougars. So guys are going to have to step up.

Pac-10 lunch links: Oregon wants redemption

September, 11, 2009

Posted by's Ted Miller

Never forget.
  • Arizona's "other" defensive end looks like he's finding his rhythm.
  • Arizona State freshman running back Cameron Marshall is earning touches.
  • California's Shane Vereen isn't exactly chopped liver at tailback behind Jahvid Best.
  • Oregon is, not surprisingly, eager to move on.
  • Sean Canfield will lead Oregon State at UNLV, hoping to buck the trend of nonconference road game flops.
  • Chris Owusu is Stanford's big hit. The Cardinal will have to get up pretty early to beat Wake Forest. Literally.
  • UCLA's Courtney Viney is a little guy who will be a big target at UCLA.
  • I agree with Bill Plaschke's take on USC's best running back. Trojans injury update.
  • Washington expects to end a 15-game losing streak this weekend against Idaho.
  • Washington State quarterback Kevin Lopina is growing on Jim Moore. Kevin Kooyman is banged up but hopes to shine against Hawaii.

Ranking the Pac-10 defensive ends

August, 28, 2009
Posted by's Ted Miller

Only Oregon State and USC are replacing both defensive ends. Both, however, have strong traditions at the position, and the Trojans Everson Griffen has started five games and has recorded 11.5 career sacks. California, Arizona and Washington have both starters back. UCLA also does, but Reginald Stokes is out with a knee injury; he may have lost his starting job in any event.

Lots of good players and NFL draft picks here. The competition for first-team All-Pac-10 honors will be intense this fall.

California: The Bears welcome back both starters from their 3-4 defense, Tyson Alualu and Cameron Jordan, and both have All-Pac-10 potential.
Arizona: Juniors Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore combined for 15 sacks last year and both backups, D'Aundre Reed -- who started four games and had 2.5 sacks in 2008 -- and Apaiata Tuihalamaka are back.
USC: Yeah, yeah, the Trojans must replace both starting ends. Yeah, yeah, Armond Armstead got hurt. But the ends have been outstanding in practices, with Griffen looking poised for a breakout and Wes Horton, Malik Jackson and Nick Perry also ready for star turns.
UCLA: Senior Korey Bosworth had 7.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss in 2008, while sophomore Datone Jones looks like a budding star.
Stanford: Tom Keiser had six sacks last year and earned freshman All-American honors while Erik Lorig has started 20 career games. Tom McAndrew provides experienced depth.
Oregon: Will Tukuafu had 7.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss last year. Kenny Rowe has looked good in camp
Arizona State: Dexter Davis had 11 sacks and 15 tackles for loss last season. This ranking takes into account that James Brooks has been suspended for three games. Dean DeLeone, a junior college transfer, and sophomore Jamaar Jarrett will step in for Brooks.
Oregon State: Ben Terry and Kevin Frahm have looked good in practice and past performances by unproven Beaver ends through the years are reasons for optimism, but the lack of experience forces an observer to take a wait-and-see attitude.
Washington: Daniel Te'o Nesheim was second-team All-Pac-10 in 2008 after posting eight of the defense's 16 sacks in 2008. Senior Darrion Jones returns at the other end and youngsters Kalani Aldrich and Everrette Thompson have potential.
Washington State: The Cougars only had 16 sacks in 13 games last year. Kevin Kooyman had a good off-season in the weight room, but youngsters and newcomers, such as Travis Long and Casey Hamlett, will need to step up.

Mattingly believes Cougs will surprise

August, 26, 2009
Posted by's Ted Miller

Washington State linebacker Andy Mattingly is done with the frying pan and has regained his fire.

He's back at linebacker after an ill-fated move to defensive end, and he's eager to put a bad year -- on and off the field -- behind him.

"Last year was tough on me," he said. "It was tough on everybody."

Mattingly got into trouble in January of 2008 when, taking up for a friend, he wielded a frying pan in a fight. The incident was was among many off-field issues that ruined Paul Wulff's honeymoon as head coach, but the use of a frying pan was a colorful detail that, understandably, resonated on the Internet.

When the football season came, it didn't bring much relief. Mattingly found himself uncomfortable putting his hand on the ground and contending with offensive tackles who outweighed him by 50 or more pounds. After recording eight sacks and forcing four fumbles at linebacker as a sophomore, Mattingly was muted, recording only one sack.

He wasn't the only Cougar struggling on defense. Washington State ranked last in the nation in run defense (248 yards per game) and second-to-last in scoring defense (44 ppg).

"Last year, some guys didn't buy into what the coaches were saying," Mattingly said. "This year is completely different."

A big difference for Mattingly is moving back to linebacker, where the 6-foot-4, 255-pound senior can read-and-react and make plays.

So how did it go when co-defensive coordinator Chris Ball informed him he was moving back to linebacker?

"It was like opening up a Christmas present when you are five years old before you were supposed to," he said. "It was a great feeling."

Mattingly is one major component of what should be an improved defense -- if it can stay healthy.

"We're looking really good defensively," he said. "It's night and day between now and the defense last fall -- how we look and in the attitude right now. We know what the coaches want. This year we're taking coaching a lot better."

Mattingly said a strong off-season in the weight room should help the Cougars across the board. He notes that guys who didn't play last year, such as defensive tackle Bernard Wolfgramm, whose persistent back problem has been less persistent, 321-pound tackle Josh Luapo and freshman end Travis Long, not to mention a bigger, stronger Kevin Kooyman at the other end, should make the defensive line far saltier than the crew that got pushed around last year.

A better D-line should make life better for Mattingly and a young linebacking corps.

"I know we won't give up the points we did last year," he said. "The amount of yards rushing -- that's not going to happen."

Of course, Mattingly is aware that many aren't buying it. The defense is replacing six starters, including mainstay middle linebacker Greg Trent and both corners.

A questionable defense is a big reason why the Cougars are the consensus pick to finish last in the Pac-10.

Repeatedly reading and hearing about low expectations is the sort of thing that could beat a team down. Or inspire it.

Ultimately, preseason predictions should have zero affect on how the 2009 season goes for the Cougars.

"It's there. It's on paper. Once you read it, you're going to think about it a second or two," Mattingly said. "Personally, I don't get pissed off about it at all. We don't deserve to be up there. But very year we're picked last and we haven't finished last."



Thursday, 10/2
Saturday, 10/4