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More observations from Washington State’s scrimmage

We found ourselves in beautiful Pullman, Wash. yesterday.

I originally had plans to float the beautiful Coeur d’Alene River Saturday, but the weather had other plans. A slight breeze, partly cloudy skies and a temperature of only 70 degrees squashed those plans real quick.

So with my day suddenly wide open, what’s a guy to do? Well, there was a scrimmage happening not too far down the road, so why not make the short trek to Martin Stadium to check things out? That’s exactly what I did.

I witnessed most of the scrimmage. I didn’t see any of Trey Tinsley’s reps, but I saw the entire performances of Gage Gubrud and Anthony Gordon (as well as quick series for both Cammon Cooper and Gunner Cruz).

Before I share my amateur observations, make sure you check out the coverage from Theo Lawson of The Spokesman-Review and Jackson Gardner from CougFan. Those guys have been at just about every practice and have much more insight. PJ recapped the scrimmage happenings that didn’t involve quarterbacks, and Jeff chimed in with a post on the quarterback situation based on Mike Leach’s quotes yesterday.

OK, now that you’ve read all of that, here’s what I saw:

  • You better hope all five offensive linemen stay healthy this season. The second team o-line really struggled, but that’s probably because it was up against the first team defense. Brian Greene should be lauded, however, for centering both the first and second teams with Frederick Mauigoa sidelined. Greene played well for both squads.
  • If one first team lineman goes down, perhaps we won’t see a massive drop-off. But should multiple linemen get injured, those second team guys are going to have to improve real fast because Gubrud and Gordon weren’t given a ton of time behind them. The Christian Haangana situation doesn’t make things any easier.
  • CougFan had a nice breakdown of each quarterback’s performance with each group of linemen, while noting Gubrud only played with the first team o-line once compared to Gordon’s two opportunities:

GORDON 1st o-line: 12-16, 2 TD

GUBRUD 1st o-line: 5-6, 2 TD

GORDON 2nd o-line: 3-7, TD

GUBRUD 2nd o-line: 11-21, 2 TD, INT

  • Leach’s assessment of the quarterbacks is correct: Gordon had the better day. Gubrud had his moments, though, and his first touchdown pass to Rodrick Fisher was beautiful.
  • Tay Martin, this was awesome:
  • Martin’s DISRESPECT was one instance of both sides jawing back and forth. It mostly seemed playful, or at least it didn’t lead to any scuffles. Gordon even had a brief jawing match with a defender early in the scrimmage. As a hockey fan and former hockey player, I like it!
  • Max Borghi had a quiet day, but we know what we’re getting with him so no need to be worried.
  • Leach gave the third team offense and third team defense some time about midway through the scrimmage, and Cammon Cooper looked real good. Yeah, it was against the scout team, but he was clearly the best player on the field, so that’s encouraging. Remember: It’s his team next spring.
  • As for the defense? Tracy Claeys said it all yesterday: There’s more work to be done, particularly in the secondary. Armani Marsh is still in with the first team opposite Marcus Strong at cornerback. He’s an undersized guy at 5’8, and JC transfer Derrick Langford is behind him at 6’2. Marsh was covering taller receivers like Rodrick Fisher and Tay Martin.
  • I was eager to see how Kassidy Woods would play on the inside, but he didn’t record a catch. I can’t remember if he was ever targeted, but he’s still an intriguing player.
  • I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned Rodrick Fisher until now. The redshirt freshman from Spokane Valley is making it really difficult for the coaches to play just two guys at the X receiver position. Fisher scored two more touchdowns Saturday, and him, Tay Martin (1TD) and Calvin Jackson Jr. (1 TD) make for a deep X position. It’ll be interesting to see how they divide the playing time.
  • In fact, both the X and Z receiver positions are stacked. Dezmon Patmon and Easop Winston Jr. both had good days Saturday.
  • The HBO cameras were there but hardly noticeable. I’m sure more cameras will be at future practices and behind the scenes, but I only really noticed them when the boom operator lifted the boom mic over a small crowd of players.

There was plenty more, but that’s what stood out to me. It was a nice day in Pullman, and I’m ready for the season to begin.