PRACTICE REPORT: T-Long is baaaaack

PULLMAN -- One Washington State starter's return to the gridiron was so seamless that it almost appeared he never was gone. Meanwhile, coach Paul Wulff discussed the cornerback position and other factors in detail as the Cougars prepare for Saturday's season opener against Idaho State at Martin Stadium.

Defensive end Travis Long, a junior, needed just one play to show his presence as the offensive and defensive 1s lined up. Long bulled his way through the line and stopped running back Rickey Galvin at the line of scrimmage.

Long, who injured his right knee during Thursday's scrimmage, appeared to have no problems getting through Wednesday's practice. The starting defensive line was rested more than usual during the practice, but Long was out on the field as long as they were.

AS FOR THE rest of the team, energy would be the best way to describe the feeling of practice. Wulff said he was excited about the energy level displayed by players during the practice.

"It was a better day," he said. "It was a work day and they came out and were focused."

The action was dominated again by position groups, but there was a little more time spent with the first teamers battling against one another. Both sides has success with the offense making some big plays toward the end of practice, but early on it was the defense that shined.

On the third play of the last period, WR Jared Karstetter leapt for a lob in the end zone from QB Jeff Tuel. The latter was so confident that Karstetter scored a touchdown that he threw both hands up to celebrate. But CB Damante Horton somehow managed to wrestle the ball away from Karstetter for an interception.

Horton, who has run with the 1s for several weeks, appears to have secured a starting job. CB Nolan Washington suffered a hamstring injury a few weeks back, but returned to practice and has been splitting time with CB Daniel Simmons on the other side since his return.

Wulff said all three will play against Idaho State, but the coaching staff has not selected starters at that position.

Another CB that has come on strong of late has been freshman Spencer Waseem. He has been running with the 2s for the last week. Wulff said the Florida native also could see the field against the Bengals.

"Yeah, I think he might play," he said. "We'll see how it's going and what's going on in the game, but there's definitely an opportunity that could happen."

As for the rest of the lineup, Wulff said he has his unit set up for who will play in the opener.

"We know what we're going to do in terms of our X's and O's," Wulff said. "We know what guys are going to play and when they're going to play."

QB: Jeff Tuel
X receiver: Marquess Wilson
Flanker: Isiah Barton
Z receiver: Jared Karstetter
TE Andrei Lintz
LT: David Gonzales
LG: John Fullington
C: Andrew Roxas
RG: B.J. Guerra
RT: Wade Jacobson
RB: Logwone Mitz (Rickey Galvin also saw substantial action)
LE: Adam Coerper
LT: Toni Pole
RT: Anthony Laurenzi
RE: Travis Long
SAM: Sekope Kaufusi
MIKE: C.J. Mizell
WILL: Alex Hoffman-Ellis
CB: Daniel Simmons and Nolan Washington split time evenly
SS: Deone Bucannon
FS: Tyree Toomer (Note: Casey Locker also seeing action running with the 1s)
CB: Damante Horton

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