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Avoiding 800-pound gorillas in Spokane

ERIC RUSSELL

SPOKANE -- Eric Russell, Washington State's first-year assistant head football coach and special teams guru, was the featured speaker at Monday's Cougar Club luncheon in Spokane and did his best to confine his talk to the Cougs' upcoming game with UCLA in Pullman. But the 800-pound gorilla in the room, WSU's pratfall at Utah, kept rearing its head no matter how hard anyone tried to ignore it.

"We're trying, as a staff, to move past the Utah game," Russell said before delving into the intricacies of special teams play. "There's nothing we can learn from that game and we're not showing it to the team." In fact, this was first Cougar Club luncheon this season in which the guest coach did not bring video from the team's most recent game. Instead, Russell rolled through breakdowns of UCLA...

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