Cougs get plenty of scout work in on Thursday

William Mancebo

Thursday Night Football made its return, as the Cougars continued through mock game week.

During the season WSU takes it fairly easy on Thursday's, going through some special teams drills before capping practice off with Thursday Night Football.

It's essentially a scrimmage featuring freshman and other young players buried on the depth chart. Austin Apodaca was frequently the star of Thursday Night Football and Tyler Bruggman is likely to get his share of reps this season.

While there may not have been much happening on the field, Mike Breske did break some news. WSU's defensive coordinator said sophomore Taylor Taliulu will start at safety next to Deone Bucannon. Taliulu, Anthony Carpenter and Casey Locker all saw first-team snaps during fall camp.

If you recall, Taliulu earned the starting job last year during fall camp, only to see his playing time dramatically reduced after two games. Breske called Taliulu a "talented individual" and said he's matured and grown up. Last season, Breske hinted that it was mental issues, not physical limitations, that kept Taliulu off the field. I'm not sure many other players on the roster can match what Taliulu brings athletically at safety, so him playing well and winning the job is a very positive sign.

*****

Today's links feature the usual practice report and usual coverage from Christian Caple. There are a few things on Auburn, including the Tigers getting a key defensive player back from injury. Bud Withers wrote a feature on Connor Halliday which includes this quote:

"It's just so hard to realize what Leach wants, because he doesn't tell you. And he doesn't tell you for a reason. He wants you to figure it out."

Football:

WazzuWatch.com - Message Boards
Washington State coach Mike Leach said after practice on Thursday that freshman wide receivers Robert Lewis, River Cracraft and walk-on John Thompson are likely to play this season and forego a redshirt season.

Pac-12 football: Ranking the schedules | College Hotline
3. Washington State: Week 1: at Auburn. Week 2: at USC. Weeks 3-14: Does it really matter given Weeks 1 and 2? But just to pile on: The Cougars don’t play either Oregon or Stanford at home: They face the Ducks in Eugene and the Cardinal in Seattle.

Connor Halliday learning to adapt in Washington St.’s offense | Bud Withers | The Seattle Times
Of all the curiosities that surround Washington State and its season-opening football trip to Auburn next week, there can be no greater one than this: How will Connor Halliday perform?

AUBURN FOOTBALL: Justin Garrett returns to practice after missing 12 straight - OANow.com: AU Football
After missing 12 consecutive practices with injury, Justin Garrett was back on the field practicing Thursday. Garrett, who is expected to be the starter at the Star position in defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson’s 4-2-5 scheme, sprained his left foot during a scrimmage earlier in preseason camp and has been held out of practice as a precaution.

Auburn notebook: Marshall showing urgency - TimesDaily: Auburn Football
With each practice Nick Marshall’s leadership is being spoken of in increasingly positive terms. In his fourth practice since being named Auburn’s starting quarterback, Marshall has displayed "urgency," according to his head coach.

Auburn not downplaying Washington State offensive line that leans on some walk-ons | al.com
Washington State was unable to protect its quarterback or run the football effectively and consistently in 2012.

WSU adding new scoreboard(s) to Martin Stadium - SportsLink - Spokesman.com - Aug. 22, 2013
A new scoreboard more than twice the size of the old one will be added to the east side of Martin Stadium in time for Washington State's home opener against Southern Utah on Sept. 14.

Oertel, Coen have 'sam' covered - Spokesman.com - Aug. 22, 2013
PULLMAN – Eventually, Washington State defensive coordinator Mike Breske will decide who will start at sam (strong side) linebacker in the Cougars’ Aug. 31 season-opener at Auburn. But one of the key participants in this discussion isn’t really sweating it.

Cougs work on hurry-up defense - Spokesman.com - Aug. 22, 2013
All that sprinting Washington State’s defense is doing between plays at practice this week is intended to serve a purpose greater than simply preparing for an Aug. 31 game at Auburn.

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