PRACTICE REPORT: Pole sustains knee injury

PULLMAN -- Perhaps one of the most pleasant surprises for Washington State through the early portion of the season has been DT Toni Pole. But Pole, a redshirt freshman, went down early during Tuesday's practice and was not able to return with what appeared to be a knee injury.

Pole, who has started both games at DT along with Anthony Laurenzi, went down during some live drills against the No. 2 offense. He appeared to suffer a left knee injury, but it did not appear to be too serious. Pole had ice applied to his left knee and CF.C will have more on Pole as soon as information becomes available. With Pole out, DT Brandon Rankin filled in with the 1s.

Meanwhile, starting center Andrew Roxas, who suffered an ankle injury in Saturday's win against UNLV, missed his second straight day of practice. Roxas entered the practice field late, but looked to be walking fine.

As for the action on the field, C Taylor Meighen filled in for Roxas for the second straight day, and with the rest of the starting offensive line, did a fine job of protecting QB Marshall Lobbestael in both their action against the starting defense and scout team.

San Diego State coach Rocky Long, a former defensive coordinator at Oregon State, likes to apply pressure. In preparation for that, the Cougars' defense seemed to blitz more frequently during practice. Lobbestael seemed to handle it fine. When it became hectic, Lobbestael would get out of the pocket and throw the ball out of bounds.

The offensive line has gelled quite efficiently this fall and Lobbestael said he feels secure behind the unit.

"I'm extremely confident in them," he said. "They're working really hard in the film room and out here with all the looks. I know they're going to prepare as hard as they can so that gives me confidence."

Lobbestael was able to make some completions against the starters, but the defense was able to close out practice with a victory. Lobbestael fired off a screen for WR Marquess Wilson that went off his finger tips and right into CB Daniel Simmons bread basket. Simmons then return the intercepted for a touchdown as the defense celebrated.

THE DEFENSE THIS WEEK is getting ready for an offense in San Diego State that has more weapons than what the Cougars have seen in the previous two weeks. Starting SAM linebacker Sekope Kaufusi told CF.C after practice that the run game is the team's major focus right, which they expect to be a big-time challenge come Saturday.

"This game I feel like their o-line is going to give us a much bigger challenge," Kaufusi said. "They're much more run happy of a team so all we have to do right now is focus on our run defense."

The Aztecs have starting RB Ronnie Hillman, whose explosiveness has him averaging 158 yards per game, which is No. 2 among Football Bowl Subdivision players. Kaufusi added that although his numbers are impressive, the team knows what they can control and are ready to see how the linebackers can handle the back.

"The biggest thing we want to do is fit where we're supposed to and read our keys," Kaufusi said. "We can't go in there thinking he's the No. 2 running back in the country. Hype is hype and we can only go out there and play ball."

  • This weekend's game will mark the team's first road game of 2011. Lobbestael said the team's mindset has not changed going on the road and that the team is mentally prepared to go out and play. "We want to approach this week knowing it's on the road, but we're taking it one week at a time and control what we can control this week in practice," Lobbestael said. "We're going to do the same thing when we're on the road on Saturday and just go out an execute." Kaufusi added the thought of going 3-0 is exciting and the team is happy to make WSU faithful happy. "This program has been down for a little while and now we're 2-0 and that just gives the fan base a little more courage to root for the team," Kaufusi said. "We're just really excited to get down there."
  • TE Andrei Lintz had the play of the day on Tuesday while working with the 2s. QB Connor Halliday fired a ball in traffic between CB Tracy Clark and safety Tyrone Duckett and Lintz reached high and wrestle the ball away from Duckett to come down with a 25-yard reception. RUNNING WITH THE 1s
    QB: Marshall Lobbestael
    X receiver: Marquess Wilson
    Flanker: Isiah Barton
    Z receiver: Jared Karstetter (Note: Bobby Ratliff also seeing reps with 1s)
    TE Andrei Lintz
    LT: David Gonzales
    LG: John Fullington
    C: Taylor Meighen
    RG: B.J. Guerra
    RT: Wade Jacobson
    RB: Rickey Galvin (Logwone Mitz and Carl Winston also saw substantial action)
    LE: Adam Coerper
    LT: Brandon Rankin
    RT: Anthony Laurenzi
    RE: Travis Long
    SAM: Sekope Kaufusi
    MIKE: C.J. Mizell
    WILL: Alex Hoffman-Ellis
    CB: Nolan Washington
    SS: Deone Bucannon
    FS: Tyree Toomer (Note: Casey Locker also seeing action running with the 1s)
    CB: Daniel Simmons (Damante Horton also getting plenty of reps)

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