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Cougs get to work as quarterbacks take center stage

Nevada v Washington State Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images

Rejoice! Cougar football is back!

Relax! It’s only Day 1.

The Cougs hit the practice field in Pullman to open the 2018 season and they’ll head to Lewiston tomorrow. Don’t look now but it’s going to be a scorcher next week in the paper mill city.

Having Cougar football back in action is exciting, but you don’t really learn much from the first few practices, especially ones that are helmets-only. But we did learn that quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Trey Tinsley are taking reps as if they’re the two QBs the coaches are focusing on.

You’ll recall Mike Leach mentioned Cammon Cooper and Anthony Gordon alongside Minshew and Tinsley as the quarterbacks who will compete for the starting spot. To probably nobody’s surprise, it appears it’s already two-horse race between Minshew and Tinsley.

Of course, anything can happen. It was only Day 1, after all.

I’m no football coach, but distributing reps equally among four quarterbacks in the limited practice time you have doesn’t seem like an efficient way to find a starter, so focusing on two guys appears to be the right move. We’ll see if the focus shifts to other guys in the coming days.

Check out these video highlights, courtesy of WSU Athletics (including a nice one-handed grab by Easop Winston):

Here are are some post-practice video interviews:

Mike Leach

Gardner Minshew and his ‘stache

Hunter Dale

Andre Dillard


Grad transfer QB Gardner Minshew delivers strong first impression on day one of Washington State camp | The Spokesman-Review
For someone who’ll spend the month of August trying to separate himself from others and distinguish himself in as ways as possible, Gardner Minshew isn’t off to a bad start.

WATCH: Recap of Washington State's first football practice - The Spokesman-Review - Aug. 3, 2018
The Spokesman-Review and KHQ team up to report from WSU's first practice.

Gardner Minshew, Trey Tinsley share snaps with first unit as Washington State opens fall practice
Standout on defense on the first day was CB Darrien Molton.

Dave Nichol says Washington State needs "difference-makers" at inside receiver
Inside receivers coach pleased with effort on an "up-and-down" start to camp.

Washington State football fall camp: Hunter Dale says new coordinator Tracy Claeys different, but with key similarities
Senior nickel says new coordinator more focused on individual play, but still preaches two familiar things.

Race for starting quarterback still neck-and-neck at first day of Washington State fall camp |
The biggest question right now for the Cougars is the quarterback question.

Tyler Hilinski

If you’re in the Everett area, head out to the AquaSox game to support Hilinski’s Hope.

Hilinski’s Hope: Mother who lost QB son brings mission here |
After tragedy at WSU, she’ll be at AquaSox game Saturday to bring attention to mental health efforts.

Q&A: Greg Bishop on a quarterback, a suicide and a search for answers - Nieman Storyboard
Exploring the art and craft of story.

Urban Meyer

What, you thought we’d go one day without a quick mention of the biggest story in college football? There are hundreds of commentaries, articles and blog posts on the situation at Ohio State. I’ll leave you with this one. It’s the best piece I read today on this subject.

Urban Meyer protects Urban Meyer, not Ohio State | Yahoo!
Why did a seemingly disposable position coach get the backing of everyone needed to keep his job? Meyer didn't want to delve into that Friday, but he did want to pass the buck.