FALL CAMP: DAY 15 REPORT

PULLMAN -- Intensity generally has not been an issue during fall camp for Washington State. Until Now. Coach Paul Wulff and linebacker Sekope Kaufusi agreed that the team wasn't prepared for Tuesday's practice. Meanwhile, one player changed positions and much more.

Missed assignments, overthrows and botched snaps were among the mental mistakes during the Cougars' latest practice.

"It wasn't very good," Wulff said. "It didn't surprise me, but you don't want to waste a day.

"Our focus level wasn't good enough. Typical for young guys who had a lot of distractions the last few days and didn't come out like they had been all the other practices. Again, it's not uncommon but it shouldn't sit well with any of us and we just have to respond and use tomorrow to get better to make it up."

Players on both offense and defense were sluggish in their first practice since school started Monday.

"I think it was just us not being here mentally," Kaufusi said. "We were banging, but the leadership wasn't there. Neither was the talking or communication."

Kaufusi was one of the few bright spots for the defense as he hauled in one of the unit's two interceptions. When the first team defense was matched up against the 2s on offense, Kaufusi show his athleticism and versatility. Kaufusi, a sophomore, made a leaping interception on a Connor Halliday pass intended for WR Bennett Bontemps.

"It feels good, especially when you have your teammates rallying behind you celebrating with you," Kaufusi said.

ANOTHER POSITIVE NOTE for the defense was the return of CB Nolan Washington to practice after he has missed about a week with a hamstring injury. Washington was running early with the 1s, but fellow CB Daniel Simmons saw the majority of the action late. Simmons had several pass deflections and nearly intercepted Tuel.

The second interception of the day came when the 1s on offense were lined up against the 2s on defense. QB Jeff Tuel tried to fire downfield for WR Jared Karstetter, but the ball sailed over Karstetter's head and safety Kyle McCartney didn't give up on the play and dove backward to record his first interception of camp.

The offense failed to get into any rhythm and the passing game was the worst of camp. The usual sure-handed WR Marquess Wilson had several dropped passes, while Tuel had a few balls that got away from him, including that INT to McCartney. Tuel was able to bounce back and did get in his usual TD passes, but the chemistry was not their for the junior QB with his receiving core.

On the ground game, it was the players running with the 2s who provided the highlights. A position change has come for former LB Eric Oertel, who is now on offense with the running backs. Oertel had a phenomenal run against the 2s when he rushed up the middle and used a nice spin move to break outside and burst for 20 yards. Oertel played both RB and LB at Wisconsin's Lutheran High. Meanwhile, freshman Marcus Mason also had a pair of big runs for the 2s that were both in the 20-yard range.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • DE Ian Knight had a nice outing with the 2s, and ended practice with a fumble recovery for the D.

  • CF.C spoke with Wulff after practice regarding the eligibility status of WR/CB Rahmel Dockery and OL Alex Mitchell. Wulff said that there have been no updates as of right now, but from what he's been hearing, he expects to hear an answer from the NCAA Eligibility Center no later than by the end of the week. Mitchell watched practice, while Dockery was not spotted.

  • Backup center Taylor Meighen suffered a concussion during Sunday's practice and did not participate on Tuesday. With Meighen out, Brent Anderson stepped in with the 2s.

  • The Cougars will look to bounce back during tomorrow practice, which will be their last before their second scrimmage scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Martin Stadium.


  • Cougfan Top Stories