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Looks like WSU has reached the dog days of camp

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For the second consecutive day, things were a little ragged.

NCAA Football: Colorado at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

It takes football teams a number of weeks to get themselves ready for the season. One of the biggest challenges for coaches is keeping it fresh when guys are practicing against the same people day after day.

Inevitably, after the initial adrenaline of the start of camp wears off, there are going to be days where things are just not as smooth as everyone would like. It looks like the Cougs have arrived at these dog days.

Wednesday, there was a bit of lethargy that had set in due to fatigue, leading to Mike Leach’s time-honored tradition of using up-downs to wake everyone up. Thursday, the intensity was back, but the play was still ragged.

Gardner Minshew, who seems to have taken the lead spot in the battle to be the Cougs’ starting quarterback, was just 5-for-15 with a couple of touchdowns and an interception during the team portion of practice, according to Theo Lawson’s practice report. Some of that was inaccuracy, some of that was on his receivers, some of that was pressure from the defense.

But the defense, for all of its effectiveness against the pass, gave up five TDs to Minshew’s unit.

It was competitive, but “out-of-sync,” as Leach put it.

That’s to be expected when the same guys are hitting each other and seeing the same plays for two straight weeks. Familiarity breeds sloppy practices.

A few other things caught my eye in the practice reports

  • Max Borghi continues to show why the Stanford Cardinal coveted him late in the recruiting process. That’s awesome.
  • I’m just going to paste this part from Lawson: “I omitted a Lamonte McDougle note from yesterday’s practice. During the offensive line vs. defensive line segement, the redshirt freshman nose tackle bowled over not one, but two offensive linemen before swiping the “towel” that acts as the target for defensive players in the drill. McDougle was a Freshman All-American at West Virginia last season and he’s sitting out this season because of transfer rules. We’ll go out on a limb and say he’ll be one of the best scout team players the Cougars have had in some time…”
  • The punters and kickers seem to be even. I’d guess those competitions will probably go all the way to the end of camp, since there’s really no reason to make an early decision.

The Cougs will have a walk-through practice on Friday before their second scrimmage, on Saturday.

Basketball gets a new-ish assistant

One little piece of basketball news: Ernie Kent has promoted Tim Marrion to assistant coach, filling the vacancy left by Curtis Allen’s departure for Pepperdine. Marrion was the coordinator of basketball operations.

I have no idea if this improves the staff, but I have it on excellent authority that Marrion is a really good dude. Thus, I’m happy for him!

I’ll also be honest: I had no idea Allen’s spot hadn’t been filled. But I digress.

Frankie Luvu tried to murder a man

Links

Observations and notes from day 12 of Washington State camp: Defense takes command late to emerge victorious in 11-on-11 period | The Spokesman-Review
The Washington State football team held its 12th fall practice under sunny and hazy skies Thursday at Rogers Field/Martin Staidum.

Once a 6-4, 210-pound safety, Willie Taylor III now thriving at Rush linebacker for Washington State | The Spokesman-Review
Taylor III is on track to start for the Cougars after spending his redshirt year learning under the tutelage of Frankie Luvu, whose mastery of the position made him an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention choice in 2017 and earned him a training camp spot with the New York Jets.

Joint practices have become staple of NFL preseason. Washington State’s Mike Leach thinks they could also bring intrigue to college game | The Spokesman-Review
The Washington State coach has advocated for mixed practices between college programs within the same geographical footprint – perhaps scrimmages and preseason games, too – and made his case again Wednesday afternoon following the Cougars’ 11th preseason practice in Pullman.

Grip on Sports: More than likely this Mike Leach proposal is just a little too fun to ever happen | The Spokesman-Review
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Washington State football coach Mike Leach likes to play the role of the contrarian. Nothing wrong with that. But usually his contrary views have little to do with his profession. Yesterday, however, he reiterated a proposal he’s made before, one that makes a lot of sense. And would be fun too. Read on.

Biggest freshman class ever expected at WSU this fall | Columbia Basin | ifiberone.com
Administrators, faculty and staff at Washington State University are bracing for what could be a record-setting number of freshman students on the Pullman campus this fall.

Washington State football: Calvin Jackson Jr. compares Wazzu's Mike Leach to Last Chance U coach
Former JUCO receiver says Leach much different than "Last Chance U" coach

Washington State football: Cougs' fall camp comes alive in this photo essay
20 more exclusive pics from the CF.C lens

2018 Season Opens Friday At Lower Soccer Field - Washington State University
The Cougars play two over the weekend against Seattle U and Grand Canyon.

Cougar Swimming Adds Bex Freebairn as Assistant Coach - Washington State University
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State Women's Swimming Head Coach Matt Leach announced the hiring of Bex Freebairn Wednesday afternoon.

Mims Named Preseason All-Pac-12, Cougars Picked Seventh - Washington State University
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Washington State volleyball team was slotted to finish seventh in the preseason Pac-12 coaches poll as announced by the conference office on Wednesday, August 15. In addition, senior Taylor Mims picked up right where she left off her 2017 campaign as the senior was named to the Preseason All-Pac-12 team.,

Baseball Alumni Weekend Set For Oct. 19-21 - Washington State University
Washington State Baseball would like to invite all Cougar Baseball alumni to be part of 2018 Cougar Baseball Alumni Weekend set for Oct. 19 - 21 in Pullman. All former Cougar players and their families are welcome to attend, as well as current players and their families.