WSU Fall Practice Report: All Is Quiet

It was a rather uneventful practice in Pullman on Tuesday, with few big plays to speak of. The safeties has a solid day, picking off multiple passes, and a freshman wide receiver continued to dominate on the outside. Oh, and it's still very hot out.

The Cougars practice for about two and a half hours, spending the first hour at Rogers Field before heading down to the stadium for special teams work and team drills. It was basically the same format as last week. The most entertaining part of practice came at the end, when Mike Leach went off on a pretty great tangent about sharks. You can read that transcript over here.

For more on practice, including the few big plays there were to speak of, read on.

  • The Gabe Marks Show continued, and I really don't see it stopping. He catches just about everything, and if he gets into a one-on-one situation with a corner, it's over. During the one-on-one drills, he was being dragged down by Ray Ford and still hauled the catch in while getting a foot down in the back corner of the end zone. The next time the two faced off, Ford had Marks' hand pinned, and Marks still snared the ball with one hand in the back of the end zone. After that play, Ford screamed ... frustrated by his inability to slow Marks down. Kid can flat play.
  • Deone Bucannon had a nice day, picking off two passes. The first was a pretty bad read and throw by Jeff Tuel, that Bucannon easily hauled in. The second came late in practice, with Bucannon stepping in front of a Connor Halliday throw in the end zone.
  • Taylor Taliulu was, once again, running with the first-team defense. He made a nice interception on a tipped ball that appeared to bounce off Gino Simone and Eric Oertel on a short route. Taliulu looks like he's in line to play quite a bit at the safety spot, if the practice rotations are any indication (or he could just be getting a look).
  • The first-team defense for the day: Matt Bock, Steven Hoffart, Ioane Gauta, Travis Long, Chester Su'a, Darryl Monroe, Eric Oertel, Nolan Washington, Damante Horton, Taylor Taliulu and Deone Bucannon. The second team: Destiny Vaeao, Austin Brown, David Davis, Logan Mayes, Justin Sagote, Jared Byers, Cyrus Coen, Daniel Simons, Tracy Clark, Casey Locker and Tyree Toomer.
  • The starters on offense were the same as usual: John Fullington, Matt Goetz, Elliott Bosch, Wade Jacobson and Jake Rodgers from left to right. Jeff Tuel as the quarterback -- and he had more reps with the ones on Tuesday. At wide receiver, Marks, Marquess Wilson, Andrei Lintz, Gino Simone and Rickey Galvin all saw time with the ones in different formations.
  • Practice ended in a different way on Tuesday. The team huddled up around Leach for quite a few minutes as Leach explained how overtime works. They then ran back out onto the field for one play -- a quick screen to Marks -- before huddling up again. It was, presumably, to simulate the end of the game and a coin toss. The second-team offense then went three-and-out against the first team defense -- ending with the aforementioned Bucannon interception -- and the first-team offense scored a few plays later on a slant to Wilson to "win."
  • As far as injuries go, the usual suspects were on the bike: Kristoff Williams, Toni Pole, Xavier Cooper and Darren Markle. Isiah Myers was also in street clothes. Robert Barber and Rico Forbes were also on crutches, wearing bulky knee braces.
That's it from practice. The Cougars get back out on the field at 9:15 tomorrow morning. I'm told it'll be a simulated travel day, hence the early practice.

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