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An anonymous Pac-12 offensive coach compared Washington State's defense under Alex Grinch to Washington's.

The Cougars improved from 38.6 ppg allowed in 2014 to just 27.7 last year in Grinch's first year as defensive coordinator. Meanwhile, the school's touchdown passes allowed fell from 33 to 13. "[They're] similar to Washington, where they made you earn every yard," the coach said. "The biggest difference I noticed is that they did a much better job of not giving up the big play."
Source: ESPN
Jun 24 - 4:54 PM

Washington State redshirt junior QB Luke Falk's decision-making was lauded by an anonymous Pac-12 offensive coach.

"He's in a great system where they put a lot of stuff on the quarterback," the coach said. "They give him a lot of decisions at the line of scrimmage. He does a great job of understanding defenses and where to go with the ball. I think he's talented. But the mental aspect -- that has made him such a good player." Falk threw for 4,561 yards and a 38/8 TD/INT ratio last season.
Jun 23 - 5:19 PM

Pro Football Focus' Jeff Dooley expects Washington State redshirt junior QB Luke Falk to play even better this fall than he did during a prolific 2015.

Considering that Falk threw for 4,561 yards and a 38/8 TD/INT ratio last season, that's quite an endorsement. Falk wasn't just accruing inflated stats in Mike Leach's pass-happy scheme. He earned PFF's 12th-highest passing grade among returning quarterbacks and the No. 1 adjusted completion percentage overall and when under pressure. PFF grades Falk out best on throws 10 or more yards downfield. Get excited Pullman.
Jun 20 - 4:40 PM

ESPN's Tom Luginbill noted that Washington State four-star 2017 QB Connor Neville has shown a consistent ability to hit the deep pass.

"[Neville] is an extremely accurate deep ball thrower," Luginbill wrote, "not just a dink-and-dunk shotgun spread player. His accuracy and timing is excellent as is his anticipation and feel for the position." The analyst believes the 6-foot-2, 185-pounder is "a nice piece of the puzzle" for the Cougars. Neville ranks as ESPN 300's No. 261 overall prospect for the 2017 cycle. He opted to commit to Washington State over Boise State and Hawaii.
Jun 15 - 2:30 PM

Washington State redshirt sophomore QB Peyton Barber has been ruled academically ineligible for the 2016 season.

Barber started the school's game against Washington last season for an injured Luke Falk, completing 36-of-58 passes for 288 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Bender reportedly will remain in school to improve his grades but he will not be eligible to practice with the team. Now it makes sense why the school added JUCO quarterback Anthony Gordon.
Source: Scout.com
Jun 7 - 11:19 AM

CBS Sports' Tom Fornelli questions whether Washington State will be able to live up to preseason hype.

"Because of a shaky defense, I'm just not as convinced that Wazzu will be able to win nine games again," Fornelli wrote. The analyst highlighted some potential scheduling demons for the Cougars, citing a tough road schedule that will see HC Mike Leach and company heading to Boise State, Stanford and Arizona State (among others). Last season, Washington State finished 9-4.
Source: CBS Sports
May 22 - 12:28 PM

Washington State returns 60-percent of its defensive snaps, led by star redshirt sophomore DE Hercules Mata’afa.

The Cougars are PFF's No. 23 team heading into the summer. The high-flying offense led by QB Luke Falk and WR Gabe Marks will be backed by what should be a strong defensive outfit. Mata'afa was named to the USA Today Sports Freshman All-America First Team in 2015 after posting 32 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 7 sacks as a redshirt freshman (he was also honorable mention All-Pac-12).
May 19 - 6:43 PM

ESPN's Chantel Jennings expects Washington State senior WR Gabe Marks to lead the Pac-12 in receptions this coming season.

"It'll be surprising if Gabe Marks (15 touchdowns, 104 receptions, 1,192 yards) doesn't repeat as the conference leader in receptions in 2016 considering Luke Falk is back and their chemistry has only gotten better," Jennings wrote. Last season, the 6-foot, 176-pounder notched four games with double-digit receptions. He caught at least six passes in all but two games.
Source: ESPN.com
May 14 - 2:08 PM

When asked by the Orlando Sentinel how he liked playing in the Air Raid offense, Washington State redshirt junior QB Luke Falk said, "It's awesome."

Given that Falk threw for 4,561 yards and a 38/8 TD/INT ratio last season, yeah, we would say it is fair that he call the system "awesome." Falk elaborated beyond the initial Ninja Turtle language, saying, "The ball is in your hands to make plays and you wouldn’t want it any other way. You get to throw the ball around probably more than any other school in the nation." The 6-foot-4, 208-pound redshirt junior isn't joking about the pass attempts. He led the nation in that statistical category last season, flinging it 644 times. Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes finished a distant second with 573 attempts. As for the Cougars' work over the last few months, Falk told the Sentinel, "Our offense made some good strides going into the summer that we can pick up in two weeks. It was a good spring."
May 13 - 10:05 PM

Eagles signed Washington State DT Destiny Vaeao.

There was whispered scuttlebutt early in the process that Vaeao (6’4, 298) could rise as high as the middle rounds, but that did not come to pass in Chicago. He impressed with his athleticism on Pro Day, where his 35.5-inch vertical jump would have stood as the second-best for a defensive tackle in Indianapolis. His athletic upside should provide him a shot at landing on the 53-man roster out of camp. Fellow UDFA DT Connor Wujciak (Boston College) could be his primary competition in August as he looks to claw out a role in the NFL. Vaeao has the edge there, both in terms of size and overall ability.
May 12 - 2:43 PM

At a rally in Spokane, Washington State HC Mike Leach endorsed presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

We interrupt your dissection of Team X's draft grades to bring you one of those strange sports-politics crossovers. "It’s time for Mr. Trump to assist us together in our country…making America great again," Leach said at the Spokane rally. This isn't coming out of the blue. Leach and Trump have been friends since the former's time coaching at Texas Tech. For his part, Trump called Leach "an offensive genius." The reality television star/somehow-politician has said many, many, many things, but that one is actually true. You may now resume reading draft grades.
May 7 - 6:53 PM

Chargers signed Washington State WR Dom Williams.

Williams (6'3/198) was a deep threat in Wazzu's vertical attack, finishing his career with 2,889 yards and 30 touchdowns on 192 catches (15.05 YPR). He was named honorable mention All-Pac 12 as a senior. Williams helped himself at his Pro Day, running 4.4-flat with a 40 1/2-inch vertical. Extremely drop prone in college, Williams may be worth trying at defensive back.
May 1 - 1:27 AM

Lions selected Washington State OG Joe Dahl with the No. 151 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Dahl (6'4/304) took over as Wazzu's starting left guard as a sophomore before transitioning to left tackle as a junior and senior and earning second-team All-American honors in 2015. Concerns include Dahl's small hands (8 3/4") and short arms (32 3/4), but the latter metric matters less if Dahl kicks inside, as expected. Dahl's nasty play demeanor, toughness, and drive-blocking ability will all go to good use at guard, where he has NFL starting potential.
Apr 30 - 2:37 PM

In the coming weeks, Washington State T Joe Dahl will visit or work out for the Jets, Patriots, Bucs, Eagles, 49ers, Chargers, Vikings, Panthers, Ravens and Colts.

Hat tip to TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline for providing us Dahl's busy itinerary. The analyst reported, in addition, that his sources in the league now believe Dahl will go on Day 2 (Rds. 2-3). Dahl graded out as PFF's No. 1 pass-protecting tackle in each of the past two seasons. Some see him as a G.
Apr 11 - 1:19 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline notes that "there’s a belief [Washington State T Joe Dahl] could land in the second day of the draft."

Dahl has been building momentum as the draft nears. To wit, NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt pegged him as one of his favorite players in this pool in late March. The 6-foot-4, 304-pounder has versatility in spades, having played center, tackle and both guard spots over the course of his collegiate career. He is a likely guard in the NFL, at least in Brandt's eyes. Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus wants to see if he has the chops to stick on the outside. Over the last two seasons, Dahl graded out as PFF's No. 1 pass-protecting tackle.
Apr 10 - 6:26 PM


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