Wulff, Galvin break down Cougar scrimmage

PULLMAN — Rickey Galvin, equal parts humble and excited on Saturday after his work on the ground in Washington State's second scrimmage of the spring football season, cut straight to the chase when asked about his big day: "Like I always tell everybody, it's truly a blessing to have a quick recovery," he said.

Paul Wulff and the Cougar offense are no doubt feeling that same old-time religion, too, because the freshman running back from Berkeley looks fully recovered from the arm break he sustained on the very first carry of his college career, last season in the opener at Oklahoma State. On WSU's seventh offensive snap of the game, Galvin ran two yards and after getting tripped up tried and to stay on his feet by putting his right arm down. The arm snapped and his season was over before it had begun.

On Saturday he looked like he was making up for lost time. And he didn't waste any time doing it. With the No. 1 offense facing the No. 1 defense, the 5-8, 162-pounder took a hand-off from quarterback Jeff Tuel, busted through the middle of the line, fired up a juke that froze several defenders and hustled up field for a 54-yard TD run.

"He's got some quickness and the ability to make you miss," Wulff said. "He's done well."

Galvin added another hip-turning run – this one covering 17 yards – and scored again, on a 3-yard scamper, in one of the final drives for the first-team offense.

"It felt good to get going with the offense and get a feel for it and finally get the timing down," said Galvin, who appears to be a dogfight with Logwone Mitz for a starting job. "For me to break out and have a good day, it felt good."

He finished the day with 77 yards on only nine carries (8.5 per).

"I'm working hard out here just like every other running back and I encourage all of the running backs to come out here and compete. The coaches will have the final decision on who's going to be the starter and all I can do is work hard and let the coaches handle the rest," Galvin said.

Mitz saw limited duty, carrying just three times for eight yards. Carl Winston was the only other running back to get in the mix, carrying the ball seven times for 39 yards.

The ground game wasn't the only part of the offense that was clicking Saturday. Tuel, who has looked sharp all spring, was on point again, going 13-for-19 for 112 yards and throwing one TD, a 25-yarder, to Isiah Barton on the closing series of snaps for the first string O. Tuel threw no interceptions.

Meanwhile, Marshall Lobbestael made a clear statement he doesn't plan to relinquish his backup role to Connor Halliday. He went 9-for-11 for 160 yards with two touchdown strikes and one interception. Lobbestael's first TD came when he connected with Bennett Bomtemps on a 75-yard strike after cornerback Anthony Carpenter bit on a double move by Bontemps. His second scoring aerial was a 13 yarder to Blair Bomber that capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive.

Halliday had a day to forget. He was 4-of-13 for 21 yards, while David Gilbertson was 2-of-5 for 21 yards. "Our passing game we think is going to be a big positive for us," Wulff said. "We're starting to accumulate receivers and quarterbacks with some experience under their belts so more plays will be made and we're doing that."

Another receiver who had a strong showing for the 2s on offense was freshman Isiah Myers. Myers finished the afternoon with four receptions, including a 17-yarder from Lobbestael on a third down play that set up one of the touchdowns. Another piece of Myers game that has been strong thus far has been his blocking ability. On several plays Saturday, Myers was able to get to his spots quickly, and lay some lumber to open up the field for his fellow receivers.

As explosive as the offense seemed, the defense also made some plays as well. CB Aire Justin, who has tremendous leaping ability, picked off Lobbestael late when Lobbestael tried to hit Bomtemps in the back of the end-zone. Justin had a near interception earlier when he climbed the ladder and jumped sky high for a Lobbestael throw but couldn't secure the ball as he hit the turf.

"They did a good job," Wulff said. "They gave up a couple big plays early but other than that they settled down and our tackling was better than a week ago. From the naked eye it looked pretty good."

However the five allowed touchdowns by the defense we're a little deflating, and safety Tyree Toomer looked visibly upset following the scrimmage and was not happy with the play of his unit.

"The first drive we did pretty good but I felt like we got kind of satisfied with that," Toomer said. "Overall I felt like we gave up way too many big plays on defense and that's inexcusable, we have to get these things fixed."

Last week the defense looked a bit more consistent with their reads, and although Wulff thought the D played well on Saturday, Toomer said he felt the defense took a step back this week.

"Actually I liked the way we played last week compared to this week," Toomer said. "Last week we played a lot better and scored two touchdowns but today we gave up too many touchdowns. We're a lot better than this to basically lay an egg."

NOTABLE NOTES:

  • On the offensive line, RT Wade Jacobsen and LG John Fullington remained at their new positions after switching for the first time during Thursday's practice.

  • The field goal kicking for the Cougars was inconsistent for the second straight scrimmage. Andrew Furney was 2-of-4, connecting from 42 and 47, but missing from 49 and 52.

  • The Cougars are off Sunday and Monday and then back in action Tuesday.
  • For video highlights of the scrimmage, head here ....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U1HYLrAyTA

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