Practice Report: Day 3

After the offense scored on two occasions the day before, the defense stepped it up on Tuesday by holding the offense out of the endzone during the 11-on-11 drills. Key to the defensive success were some new faces, who after overcoming some injuries are back, raring to go, and helping out where they can.

"I thought we did well today," said cornerback Brandon Bradley, who is now able to practice for the first time as a Cougar. "We have a lot to work on, but I think we did well today holding the offense in check and keeping them out of the endzone."

Bradley got his first real work today since coming back from an ACL injury sustained just prior to last year's fall practices. Bradley saw time with the second-unit defense and did some good things, but noted that he has a lot to work on to get himself where he needs to be.

"I'm feeling good, but I still have a long way to go," said Bradley. "My knee is fine, but it's about trusting it. I feel I'm still a little hesitant pushing off of it, but it will come. I just need reps and it will come to the point where I don't even think about it."

Bradley showed well during the practice-ending 11-on-11 drills, knocking down a pass to Tyler Kozlowski to help stall the offense just short of the endzone.

"Yeah, I liked that," said Bradley about knocking down the pass in coverage. "It's about making plays and you need to be a playmaker to be in this defense. I need to do more of that every day. Knocking down passes, covering guys real good, it will come. It's already coming, but like I said, I have a real long way to go."

Joining Bradley as a defensive freshman ready to contribute after having his spring practice session cut short is linebacker Austen Jorgensen. Jorgensen is back practicing fully, playing strong-side linebacker as he alternates from the second and third teams during practice.

"I'm not as far along now because of the injury as I'd like to be," said Jorgensen. "But I'm fully healthy now and I'll make up some ground. I have a lot of work to do, but I'll get there."

Jorgensen is playing primarily behind Bryan Kehl on the strong-side and added 10 more pounds during the offseason to help him be more able to take on blockers.

"I want to play like Bryan Kehl," said Jorgensen. "He's just awesome and I have a perfect role model and a perfect player to try and be like in Bryan Kehl. He's just so sharp and fast in all his reads. It's just all about trying to match his play and then I'll do fine."

11-on-11s

-The first set of reps saw the first-team offense go against the first-team defense. Max Hall went 3-for-5 for 14 yards during the set, completing passes to Matt Allen, Harvey Unga and Austin Collie. Defensive lineman Russell Tialavea knocked down a pass at the line of scrimmage to help stall the offense.

-The next set saw the 1s on offense go against the 2s on defense. Hall went 4-for-7 during the set for 37 yards, with passes to Vic So'oto, Allen, Bryce Mahuika and Tyler Kozlowski. It was during this set that Bradley made his aforementioned deflection to stall the offense just short of the endzone.

-The next set of reps had the 1s on defense take on the 3s on offense, and it went about as expected, as an incompletion and sacks by Tialavea and Grant Nelson ended that set.

-The next set saw true freshman Jason Munns at quarterback against the 2s on defense. Munns went 2-for-2 for 16 yards during the set, with passes to Kozlowski and Daniel Tervort. Austen Jorgensen ended the set with a sack.

-The next set had true freshmen Brannon Brooks, G Pittman, Blake Morgan and Steven Thomas in the secondary with the 1s at linebacker and on the defensive line. Later during the set Eathyn Manumaleuna subbed in to get some work with the first-team defense. Hall went 4-for-6 during the set for 27 yards. Harvey Unga had three catches, while the other pass was thrown to Allen. Brannon Brooks made a good play on one of Hall's passes and should have picked it off. Manumaleuna recorded a sack

-The next set had James Lark taking the snaps with the 2s on offense against a mix of first-teamers and second-teamers on defense. Lark went 2-for-4 for 21 yards, with passes to J.J. DiLuigi and Tervort.

-Sam Doman finished out the practice going 3-for-4 for 25 yards, with passes to DiLuigi, Kaneakua Friel and Isaac Taylor. Defensive Lineman Judd Anderton had a sack during the set.

Newbie Watch

As mentioned, the incoming freshmen got a lot of work today with players subbing in and out and getting some work with the first-team defense. The incoming offensive freshmen got most of their work in with the third-team offense.

-DiLuigi was active catching balls out of the backfield, snagging two passes, and looked sharp and promising. He showed in high school that he's an adept receiver and has not disappointed in that regard so far this fall.

-Gary Nagy saw work playing cornerback after subbing in for Brooks as the coaching staff gave the true freshmen defensive backs a chance to work with the first-team defense.

-Manumaleuna saw a lot of reps with the 1s and 2s on defense and saw some success, recording a sack. David Angilau saw some work with the 2s as well.

Practice Notes

-Brendan Gaskins broke his middle finger on his throwing hand during Monday's practice and has no definite time-table to return to practice. Gaskins' best-case scenario is to be out only two weeks. He does expect to be ready for the opener against Arizona.

-Recruit Austin Holt was in attendance and was able to chat with former teammate Jordan Pendleton at length following practice.


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