PULLMAN -- For seniors Jeff Tuel and Travis Long, the silver linings no longer carry any warrant.…
Cougs could see repeat at Utah, with a twist
"With the exception of one player and one play," he noted, referring to a blown call by safety Tyree Toomer – a missed corner blitz call that resulted in Josh Nunes' 70-yard touchdown pass to a ridiculously open Jamal Rashad-Patterson in the first half. "That was a kid who was in there (as a substitute). He just missed the call. I would like to think that someone would have said something to him when they saw he was out of position."
Choate hinted that the Cougars may be turning the corner in their 2-6 season heading into Saturday's game in Salt Lake City against Utah.
"For the first time I think this group really felt they were going to win this game," he said. "That's not a new feeling to me because I feel we're going to win every game, but for these guys that's a big step. It shows how the culture is changing."
He showed game film of a number of offensive plays, but made special note of two from the Cougars' final drive: the 42-yard Jeff Tuel-to-Marquess Wilson and the clutch fourth-and-21 completion to Bobby Ratliff that gave the Cougars a first-down at the Stanford nine-yard line.
"You just don't make plays like that on fourth-and-21 and then don't go on and win the football game," he said.
CHOATE ALSO TALKED at length about the play of the defense.
"We're one layer deep for the most part – we're thin," he said. "For the most part, we're playing with about 22 guys on defense right now."
The game plan going into the game against Stanford, he explained, was to stop the run.
"We made the decision to just go ahead and load up against the run and force (Stanford) to beat us with their outside receivers," he said. "They hadn't shown that they were able to consistently do that because their best receivers are their tight ends.
"The other thing we did is that we had Travis Long play middle linebacker. We're a better team when he's playing linebacker than we are when he's playing defensive end."
CHOATE SAID THE play of linebacker Cyrus Coen, too, was key to the success the defense had in stopping the Stanford ground game – and he pointed to a pair of plays to illustrate the point. In the first, Coen took on the block of 300-pound Cardinal offensive lineman and put the bigger player on his back.
"I think that was my favorite play of the game," he said.
In the second, Coen successfully took on two Cardinal blockers on a sweep that resulted in a tackle for a loss.
"Stanford always knows where everyone is, so if you can step up and take on two blockers, that means there's someone else free to make a play," said Choate.
SATURDAY'S OPPONENT, Utah, poses a new series of challenges, said Choate, who came to WSU from Boise State.
"I've had the opportunity to face Utah a number of times and I know a lot of the coaches there," he said. "They run the same plays that Stanford does, but they do it out of completely different alignments."
The Utes, he said, would come into the game committed to running the ball and would have the best special teams units the Cougars will face all season.
"The games they've lost have been the games where they've turned the ball over, so that's something we're going to have to watch for," said Choate.
Cougfan.com Recommended Stories
4-star commit Joyner remains solid with WSU
WHEN AUSTIN JOYNER verbally committed to Washington State, he said he would sign with Wazzu as long as no major changes occurred to the staff. A little over a week ago, his area recruiter Eric Russell…Read More
WSU baseball fall report
THE COUGS’ TOP three hitters turned pro along with a key pitcher and the starting shortstop. Another starting pitcher graduated, as did a relief pitcher who led the team in wins. One season after…Read More
Recruiting: Pair of Hawaii OL set WSU visits
THE APPLE CUP is more than six weeks away but Nov. 29 is already circled on the calendar for Kapolei, Hawaii offensive tackle prospect Pesi Savea, who locked in his official visit to the Palouse on…Read More
Daily Dr. Roto: Week 7 Thoughts
Dr. Roto looks ahead to Week 7 to offer his opinion on three QBs, three RBs & three WRs. For example, Doc thinks Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (pictured above) continues his hot streak…Read More
School of Jock: Which Colleges Make NFL Stars
What college football conferences and programs lead the way into the NFL? Here's a deep look into the numbers and some of these findings may surprise you.Read More