The first scrimmage is out of the way, with the defense dominating yet again. This shouldn't come as a surprise, but even missing two big presences on the line -- Brandon Rankin and
Kevin Kooyman Bernard Wolfgramm -- the defense held the first and second team offenses in check all day.
The one thing I cannot stress enough is the need for the Cougs to avoid injuries. It's not like avoiding getting banged up is a skill, but it's imperative this team stays healthy, especially in practices. Getting nicked up and having some aches is one thing, but serious or nagging injuries could seriously hamper WSU's chances this season.
For the most part, the team made it out of the scrimmage unscathed. However, Grippi reported that both Jamal Atofau and Jordan P'uu Robinson went down with knee injuries. Atofau's was a sprain, while P'uu Robinson got tangled up and may have something more serious. We'll know more later, but these are things the Cougs can ill afford.
For a full report and notes, check out Vince Grippi's blog post. It's excellent as always.
After the jump, some bullet point analysis using the stats and reports from Pullman. Grippi's report is a required prerequisite for this class.
- The first thing that jumped out at me was the lack of rushing. Grippi quickly filled in the blank in his report, noting that the emphasis was on passing and getting the young receivers reps.
Gino Simone and Jared Karstetter were held out today, allowing the newcomers a chance to get some reps. Another sign that Jeff Tuel is maturing and showing some leadership came from this quote, when asked if the absence of his top receivers hurt the offense.
"I’m real comfortable with those guys and I have a lot of confidence in them," he said. "But there’s no excuse. We shouldn’t miss a beat when those guys aren’t in there."
- Marquess Wilson and Kristoff Williams continue to string together strong performances. Wilson lead the team in receiving yards and Williams made a touchdown catch that sounded like it would've been cool to see.
- Connor Halliday hooked up with Austin Ehlo for 28 yards and a touchdown. I smell a secret weapon of the future.
- The offense gave up four sacks. It's not time to panic yet. It's much easier for the defense to throw in some blitz packages than it is for the offense to fully wrap their heads around the blocking scheme. Remember, the scheme is new and the line is still gelling.
- On the defensive side, Anthony Carpenter and Nolan Washington both had interceptions. Like I mentioned, these two will be pushing the starting cornerbacks and are ready to see time on the field.
- CJ Mizell said "hello world" with two "crunching" hits at the middle linebacker spot. He still has to shake off the rust from not playing last year, but when he does it's likely he sees a lot of time at the middle linebacker spot this season.
- 24 plays, 67 yards, 2 turnovers. The defense dominated the first string offense.
- It's encouraging the defensive line played very well without Rankin and
KooymanWolfgramm. The more depth, the better.
- Reid Forrest is still awesome. Two punts, both 53 yards. Talk about consistency. That's Heisman level stuff.