PULLMAN-- The Cougs had a productive practice Saturday -- both the offense and defense had their moments. On the D-line, DE Adam Coerper is trying his level best to impress the coaching staff and Chris Ball let him know he liked what he saw from the the redshirt junior on Saturday. Coerper tells CF.C he's ready to make a strong claim for the starting job.

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The defense looked to have the offense's number early on Saturday with the D-line putting constant pressure on QBs, and stopping RBs at the line.

The front four was made up of DEs Adam Coerper and Travis Long, and defensive tackles Anthony Laurenzi and Kalafitoni Pole.

"I think we're on pace and we're growing real well," Wulff said. "You can tell everyday guys are taking in the coaching and improving so I couldn't ask for more from that standpoint."

Coerper shined for the defense on Saturday, consistently flying into the backfield and getting past the offensive line. During one series where the first team defense was faced up with the second team offense, Coerper schooled OL Jake Rodgers twice and put his body on a Coug RB.

Following his second straight tackle, defensive coordinator Chris Ball let him hear it, and yelled out "Making us better out here, Coerper!"

"Well he's getting a lot of reps and he's getting an opportunity," Wulff said. "He's showing a presence of being pretty physical right now and we can't get enough of that obviously on our defensive line."

Coerper told CF.C he's been working hard to earn time and show his skill set to the Cougar nation, and he won't let this most recent opportunity go to waste.

"I'm feeling really comfortable out there," Coerper said. "I've waited three years for this right now and it's my first time starting for a while and I'm going to hold down this spot.

"Through these last few practices with (d-line) coach (Rich) Howard, it's been night and day since day one of camp for me. I'm doing better with my techniques and it's coming together for me."

As sharp as the defense looked early, the offense was able to bounce back towards in the latter half of practice. As usual, it all started with the play of QB Jeff Tuel.

Tuel continues to impress this fall, and he had two plays against the 1s that left spectators shaking their heads in amazement.

The first was the play of the day -- Tuel stayed in the pocket and fired off a dime to RB Carl Winston. Tuel lobbed a perfect spiral 15 yards that LB Sekope Kaufusi dove for and missed by less than six inches. The ball hit Winston perfectly in stride, and he was able to get a foot in bounds to complete the reception.

The second great play by Tuel came when he fired a perfect 25 yard strike down field to WR Jared Karstetter, placing it right where it needed to be.

Tuel has yet to throw an interception thus far in camp, and he's been threading the needle on some plays and completing the majority of them.

Tuel and his receivers were in a rhythm and one reason, unfortunately for the defense, could have been due to two potential CB starters were on the shelf.

Both Nolan Washington (ankle) and Daniel Simmons (hand) were riding a stationary bike for the majority of practice and did not play in any live action. Washington and Simmons injuries don't appear to be anything serious however, and both aren't expected to miss a lot of time.

CBs Damante Horton and Brandon Golden saw the action running with the 1s in their absence, while Travion Smith and Anthony Martinez were running with the 2s.

The ground game was, overall, also on point for the offense, with RBs Rickey Galvin and Logwone Mitz continuing to share the time running with the 1s.

Galvin is the speed back who can burst through the hole and gives the Cougars a homerun type play option. Meanwhile Mitz is a big-bodied back who can gain those extra tough yards, and has also added some speed to his game.

"Obviously we're splitting up the time pretty evenly and it's more situational so as long as we go out there and not make any mistakes we're both going to be out there on Saturday's contributing to this team," Mitz said.

True Freshman Marcus Mason also enjoyed a solid afternoon in his work running with the 2s.

Mason has very quick feet, and his ability to turn up his motor and fly up field is quite impressive. He had a few big runs of 15-yards, and on one in particular, he made several defenders miss with a quick jab step.

Wulff told CF.C back before fall camp he expects Mason to be one of three freshman to compete for playing time right away along with LB Chester Sua and WR Henry Eaddy, though there could be others, such as LB Darryl Monroe and WR Isiah Myers.

Taking in practice today was 2013 Class QB prospect Isaac Dotson out of Newport High, who was in Pullman along with his dad. Built sturdily at 6-3, 205, he looked more like a linebacker than a quarterback.

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