Cougars take it easy on Day 15

James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

A day after the scrimmage, WSU went through a light practice on Saturday.

Mike Leach likes to talk about how his teams often have short practices. He prefers quality work from fresh players instead of just drilling them into the ground. That was the case on Saturday with WSU spending slightly more than an hour on the field.

Quick notes:

  • I think the most interesting position watch at this point is at the safety spot next to Deone Bucannon. Casey Locker, Taylor Taliulu and Anthony Carpenter seem to take turns spending the majority of practice with the first team.
  • It wouldn't surprise me if Taliulu got a long look over the next few days. If he can hold down the starting spot and Locker is able to get healthy and be the No. 2, Carpenter can slide back -- or at least provide depth -- at cornerback. Carpenter may be most valuable in a versatile role.
  • Without knowing Horton's status, WSU is moving closer and closer to starting a true freshman at cornerback in the season opener. Off the of top of my head, that hasn't happened since Chima Nwachukwu started against Wisconsin in 2007.

Quoatable:

Some interesting comments from Joe Salave'a in Christian's feature:

"I always take the hard worker guy over the talent," Salave’a said, "but (the size) helps a little bit with what we’re trying to get done up front. We’ve just got to continue to get these guys’ nutrition up and make sure they’re taking care of their bodies, because if they do that, their body will respond accordingly."

Blurb of the day:

He didn't break in half!

Austin Apodaca completed a nice gain to Lewis over the middle when the No. 2 offense took the field. Lewis absorbed a pretty big blow from safety Mitchell Peterson, though he held onto the ball.

Injury report:

Damante Horton sat out again, as did Casey Locker and Jacob Seydel.

Today's schedule:

WSU returns to the practice field and if you enjoy quotes from players, cherish them. Sunday will be the final time players are allowed to talk to the media after practice. Beginning Monday, player interviews will be limited to Tuesday press conferences.

Fall camp links:

WSU defensive line can carry its weight - Spokesman.com - Aug. 17, 2013
In the same breath admitting his bias, Washington State defensive line coach Joe Salave’a, himself a former pro in the trenches, calls WSU’s defensive front "the heart and soul" on that side of the ball.

Ex-Curtis standout Dockery leaves team | WSU Cougars Newsletter | The News Tribune
Washington State redshirt freshman cornerback Rahmel Dockery has left the team and will "make other plans," coach Mike Leach said.

Video: Rick Neuheisel talks facilities, WSU and more - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Aug. 17, 2013
Here's the first part of our discussion today with Rick Neuheisel, who along with Mike Yam is touring each Pac-12 football camp this season for a show that will air on the Pac-12 Networks. You can watch WSU's segment on Monday at 7 p.m.

WSU goes short on Day 15 - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Aug. 17, 2013
It was a brief practice for Washington State tonight, with some truncated drill periods preceding team session. The whole thing didn't last much more than an hour. We do have a few notes, so read on.

My first AP ballot of the season - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Aug. 17, 2013
With the release of today's Associated Press Top 25 poll, I figured it would be a good time to pass along my ballot. It's my first year voting, and as many other writers around the country already do, I plan on posting my top 25 each week when the poll is announced.

Know the foe:

It was a busy day for the Tigers as Auburn officially named Nick Marshall as the starting quarterback while leading-tackler Demetruce McNeal was dismissed from the team.

*****

Auburn Tigers dismiss Demetruce McNeal after arrest - ESPN
Auburn safety Demetruce McNeal was dismissed from the team following his arrest on a marijuana possession charge.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL: Transfer Nick Marshall named Tigers starting quarterback - OANow.com: AU Football
Auburn’s preseason quarterback competition never was conventional. Two weeks into camp, what started as a four-man race dwindled to three when one candidate decided to become a safety. Still advertised as a deep, three-man battle, most expected transfer Nick Marshall would eventually win the starting job for Auburn’s opener Aug. 31 against Washington State.

Question at quarterback answered, Auburn turns its attention to Washington State | al.com
Now that Gus Malzahn has his starting quarterback in Nick Marshall, Auburn can launch headlong into preparations for the season-opener against Washington State.

Auburn notes: Tigers begin planning for Washington State | The Montgomery Advertiser | montgomeryadvertiser.com
Instead of scrimmaging Saturday morning as originally planned, Auburn worked on 7-on-7 drills without tackling and began planning for the season opener against Washington State on Aug. 31. Before naming Nick Marshall the starting quarterback in the afternoon, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn had his team practice in some game-like scenarios, two-minute drills and on special teams during the morning practice.

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