PRACTICE REPORT: D-line gets talent infusion

PULLMAN -- Depth on the defensive line has been a concern most of the season, particularly when injuries began to affect Washington State's pass rush. But the Cougars received an infusion of talent during Monday night's practice when two players returned, including a starter who has been out the last three weeks.

DEs Lenard Williams (neck) and Adam Coerper (knee) both were fully suited up Monday and saw some action with the 1s. Williams, who took over for Coerper when he was injured Sept. 17 at San Diego State, saw the majority of the action with fellow DE Travis Long on the opposite side.

Both players were unavailable to go during Saturday's 44-14 loss against Stanford, which seemed to hurt WSU's ability to attack the backfield and put pressure on standout quarerback Andrew Luck. Coerper looked like his knee wasn't bothering him much in his work against the scout team, and he was showcasing some speed off the edge. But he still isn't completely healthy and Wulff said he still hasn't determined whether Coerper will play Saturday against Oregon State.

"He's moving around obviously better than he was," said Wulff, adding that Coerper is rusty, but he remains hopeful that he can play.

As for Williams, he also was moving around well in his return to the practice field and was putting pressure on scout QBs. DT Brandon Rankin said the return of Coerper and Williams to practice this week is significant because the Cougars rotated a lot against Stanford.

"That's going to help us big time if Lenard is back because he's one of the best pass rushers on the team," he said. "Just having him next to me, I feel more comfortable."

Rankin added that he wasn't very pleased with how the defensive line performed against Stanford. Rankin said the line must focus on their execution and make sure to fight harder every down this week.

"We just have to work harder," Rankin said. "The things we did against Stanford, we still have to do this game but much harder. I don't think their offensive line is better than Stanford's so if we work harder and execute we'll be fine."

Another positive return for WSU's defense was starting SAM LB Sekope Kaufusi. Kaufusi missed Saturday's contest with a shoulder injury, but was a full participant Monday and was out of the yellow no-contact jersey he wore all last week.

There were some players missing Monday night, including starting MIK C.J. Mizell and S Tyree Toomer. Wulff said that both players are a little dinged up and resting as a precaution.

"Both are sore," Wulff said. "Dings and I would envision that both would be practicing to a limited degree tomorrow and hopefully they're full by Wednesday."

Freshman WR and punt returner Henry Eaddy also was in street clothes Monday because of a concussion.

Sophomore Leon Brooks, who has been out since he suffered a concussion Oct. 1 at Colorado, returned to practice. He handled the punt return duties Monday night along with WR Gino Simone and RB Rickey Galvin.

As for the offense, it appeared to be running smoothly in its work against the scout team. The chemistry between QB Jeff Tuel and his WRs was much improved, and dropped passes were not an issue during practice.

  • Rankin told CF.C he is very excited for this weekend's game in Seattle's Century Link Field. "I was looking forward to it last year because I thought that's where we were going to be playing the Apple Cup," Rankin said. "I'm looking forward to it. Other than the San Diego State game, I've never played in an pro stadium. I want to see how the atmosphere is." RUNNING WITH THE 1s
    QB: Jeff Tuel
    X receiver: Marquess Wilson
    Flanker: Isiah Barton (Note: Bobby Ratliff also seeing action running with the 1s)
    Z receiver: Jared Karstetter
    TE Andrei Lintz
    LT: David Gonzales
    LG: John Fullington
    C: Matt Goetz (Andrew Roxas also getting reps)
    RG: B.J. Guerra
    RT: Dan Spitz
    RB: Rickey Galvin (Carl Winston and Logwone Mitz also seeing action)
    LE: Lenard Williams
    LT: Toni Pole (Brandon Rankin also seeing reps with 1s)
    RT: Anthony Laurenzi
    RE: Travis Long
    SAM: Sekope Kaufusi
    MIKE: Mike Ledgerwood
    WILL: Alex Hoffman-Ellis
    CB: Nolan Washington
    SS: Deone Bucannon
    FS: Casey Locker
    CB: Damante Horton (Daniel Simmons also seeing reps)

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