The Washington State Cougars practiced on Rogers Field for about an hour before heading down Martin Stadium for the first scrimmage of the year. It was an up-and-down practice overall, with head coach Leach calling things "disjointed" after practice. Players were seeing a live defense in a scrimmage setting, leaving Leach to surmise the offense was trying to do too much at times.
The scrimmage pitted the first-team offense against the first-team defense, with the same happening for the second teams. As has been the case throughout the spring, players were rotating in frequently, especially at the wide receiver spot. However, we do have a clearer picture of which players are where on the depth chart, and both lines stayed about the same throughout the scrimmage.
Jeff Tuel was 11-of-17 for 95 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. David Gilbertson, working as the backup, finished 5-of-8 for 52 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Each drive began from the 50 and most of the routes seemed to be underneath, with a few verticals thrown in.
More notes from practice can be found after the jump.
- Connor Halliday did not practice again and wasn't even out with the team this time. Leach said, "He's doing great. He's got a family deal he's taking care and we couldn't be more excited. We're going to have a very thrilling film meeting and can't wait to see him back there. Cause I think that's going to be excited for all of us. We're looking forward to seeing him again. He's only been gone for a couple hours, but we miss him."
- The first team offense line, from left to right, was John Fullington, Zack Johnson, Matt Goetz, Elliot Bosch and Dan Spitz. The second team, from left to right, was Gunnar Eklund, Chas Sampson, Taylor Meighen, Moritz Christ and Rico Forbes. These groups stayed the same for most of the scrimmage.
- Marquess Wilson, Blair Bomber, Kristoff Williams, Andrei Lintz, Bobby Ratliff, Dominique Williams, Drew Loftus and Bennett Bontempts all saw time with the first team at receiver.
- Carl Winston, Marcus Mason and Teondray Caldwell all worked with the first-team offense at running back. Rickey Galvin watched from the side and wasn't in pads.
- Kyle Lappano is back on the offensive side of the ball, working at running back. He had a few nice runs during the practice portion of the day, and did the same during the scrimmage while working more with the scouts.
- On the defensive side of the ball, the first-team consisted of Lenard Williams, Anthony Laurenzi, Xavier Cooper, Travis Long, Damante Horton, Daniel Simmons, Chester Su'a, Darren Markle, Eric Oertel, Deone Bucannon and Tyree Toomer. Tracy Clark, Casey Locker and Anthony Carpenter also saw time in the secondary.
- Justin Clayton was rolled up on early in the scrimmage and went in pain, clutching his knee. He was helped off the field after staying down for quite some time and did not return.
- Daniel Simmons had the interception of the day, making a juggling grab before securing the pick. The ball hit him in the hands, the facemask and bounced off another defensive back before Simmons finally made a diving catch.
- Eric Oertel jumped a swing pass in the backfield and, for all intents and purposes, returned it for a touchdown.
- Clark also jumped an out route and picked off the pass. Tuel threw the ball a bit behind his receiver and Clark was there waiting.
- On the next play, Winston made a grab on a swing route and picked up a few yards, only to be lit up by Anthony Carpenter near the sideline. The hit elicited plenty of hoots and hollers from each side of the field.
- Bontempts had a nice little drive midway through the scrimmage, picking up nine yards on a catch and run, then fighting into the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown pass two plays later.
- Today's story of immediate redemption involves Demante Horton. During the practice session, Kristoff Williams went up over the top of Horton to haul in the touchdown. One play later, Horton gave him a shot at the line and kept him from ever really getting into the route.
- Leach stressed physicality, saying the receivers need to be more physical with their blocks. Every receiver, from little Blair Bomber to 210-pound Kristoff Williams, needs to be able to block. If they can't or won't block, Leach said, they won't play. The outside receivers stayed after practice and worked on getting off jams and being more physical with Dennis Simmons.
- There was plenty of special teams work, once again. On the field at Martin, players went through the same weave, stick, hit drill they've been doing every day. After the scrimmage, the field goal kickers worked with holders from extra point distance. Andrew Furney took the first reps, followed by Mike Bowlin and Wes Concepcion. Bowlin still can't sit still and wandered around the sidelines kicking a ball against the concrete when he wasn't on the field.
Marcus Mason 3-19
Teondray Caldwell 3-1
Leon Brooks 1-0
Jeff Tuel 1-8
Carl Winston 1-5
Jeff Tuel 11-17, 95 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
David Gilbertson 5-8, 52 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Andrei Lintz 2-20
Carl Winston 1-9
Drew Loftus 2-30
Blair Bomber 2-22
Kristoff Williams 2-10, TD
Leon Brooks 2-12
Bobby Ratliff 1-9
Bennett Bontemps 2-22, TD
Teondray Caldwell 1-2
Gino Simone 2-11, TD
K. Williams two-yard pass from Tuel
Bontemps 12-yard pass from Tuel
Simone six-yard pass from Gilbertson
That's it for Saturday's scrimmage. We'll be back later with photos and video of the Cougar Football Project. Martin Stadium is growing fast, and the renovation is looking superb.