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Cougars practice in full pads on Day 9 of fall camp

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The WSU football team came out in full pads on Sunday for the second day in a row. Connor Halliday had an outstanding practice finding targets at ease and not turning the ball over.

Offensive lineman workout on Day 9 of fall camp in Lewiston
Offensive lineman workout on Day 9 of fall camp in Lewiston
Andrew Crookston

From Lewiston -- At some point, one would suspect that the WSU offense would have a breakout day in Lewiston. That day came Sunday, at least for Connor Halliday and the offensive ones, as they moved the ball well with Halliday connecting on almost everything he put up in the air.

Despite Halliday's apparent success, Leach was somewhat reluctant to call it one of Halliday's better days. Still, he seemed overall pleased with what Halliday did out on the field.

"I thought he threw it good and he kept things ignited pretty well," said Leach.

Halliday came out and completed his first four passes including a nice touchdown pass of roughly 40 yards to Vince Mayle. After taking a sack caused by an errant snap from Riley Sorensen, Halliday finally threw an incomplete pass but would go on to connect with Mayle, Calvin Green, and Drew Loftus on a nice series of plays before being replaced by Luke Falk.

It wasn't one of Falk's better days as he struggled getting out of the gate on his first few passes before finally connecting on a nice pass-and-catch to Tyler Baker.

Worn out youth - After nine days in the heat adjusting to using football muscle sets any team is going to start feeling fatigue. That seemed to be the case yesterday with the defensive scout team as they were pulled as a unit from a drill and made to do up-and-downs while the offense continued the drill without them. To be fair to the scout team, it consists of a lot of young players that haven't had the benefit of a full offseason of college level conditioning. That said, it's just part of 'growing up' with coaches instilling the importance of preparing to be ready to practice everyday at a high level.

Long snapping issues - At one point during the practice, Eric Russell became pretty upset with Alex den Bleyker who sailed several snaps at or above the head of punter Jordan Descalo. Enter walk-on long snapper Joe Lang, a recent graduate from Pullman High School, to replace den Bleyker for the final few snaps. I doubt that den Bleyker lost his job over his performance Sunday, but he probably doesn't want to invite competition by having another similar practice.

Sebastian LaRue - Sebastian LaRue was absent as he has been for the last few days tending to family matters. Leach wasn't overly concerned with his absence saying that it's pretty certain that LaRue will have to sit out this season anyway because of transfer rules. However, there is still no official ruling on Larue's eligibility as of yet.

Team session - There seemed to be a little bit more diversity in the team session with players being mixed in with units and some competition between first units and second units.

"It was mostly ones on ones. And then we had a short team period. Our ones went two thirds of it and our twos went two thirds of it and at the end of the session we let the ones go two thirds of the time with the first defense and let the twos go two thirds of the time with the second defense," said Leach.

Of some note was Charleston White starting out opposite Tracy Clark with the one defense. It's safe to say that Daquawn Brown is still solidly locked in at one of the corners, but the coaches seemed to want to give a few players in the two deep looks with the first team. Sean Krepsz was also spotted in the line working with the ones. Clay McGuire expressed contentment the other week with Krepsz progress, but it is uncertain whether or not he might be working himself in the two-deep somewhere.

Despite the bad snap that led to a sack, Leach said that Sorensen still remains in the lead at center. Also on the offensive line, Joe Dahl returned as a full participant today after a couple of days being limited.

Where are things at? Right now is 'crunch time' for a lot of players if they want to see themselves on top of the depth chart when the Cougs take on Rutgers in roughly 18 days. Everybody is physically feeling the effects of nine days straight of football in some pretty intense heat. Unlike professional players in the NFL that have preseason games, these players need to show their worth going against the same teammates everyday in practice. As Leach noted the other day, the competition part of camp will come to an end in a relative short period of time with coaches settling on their first teams in preparation for Rutgers. But for now, there is still dust in the air and some things that need to be settled.