Oct 5, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars players Theron West (24), Daquawn Brown (25), John Thompson (85), Wes Concepcion (44) and Jeremiah Allison (8) celebrate at the end of the game against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. Washington State defeated California 44-22. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
5: The Punting Game?
Last season we saw two shanked punts into the Spokane-wind before Leach and Co. put the kabosh on that idea for the entire day. This season there’s really more to know in both the kicking and return game, so perhaps Leach let’s it play out this time around?
Wes Concepcion is your punter but he will be pushed hard by walk-on Jon Weilbacher in the Fall. A solid outing in the C&G game today is key to his chances of being the day-1 starter against Rutgers in four months. He did take over against Washington and Colorado State to end 2013, but he’s been inconsistent as much as anything and doesn’t really possess a huge leg.
If you’re wondering who the kicker is, it’s walk-on Erik Powell, a 6’1, 180 lbs rs freshman from Vancouver, WA. Powell hasn’t been deadly but he’s been very serviceable and has come on strong the second half of Spring. He does have a decent leg and is generally pretty accurate, especially for a freshman.
The return game will feature newcomer (transfer) Sebastian LaRue, whom many fans already know about, along with fellow rs freshman Rob Lewis. Both are lightning quick and could add a spark to the return game, though LaRue has yet to be reinstated by the NCAA after his appeal for eligibility despite his transfer. That would make Lewis the starter at this point, but he has to show a capability of holding on to the football, something that kept him from playing time last season when he first arrived.