PRACTICE: Cougars dialed in

PULLMAN -- Focus. It was a word that Washington State coach Paul Wulff has said frequently this week and his players reiterated after Tuesday night's practice. Senior quarterback Marshall Lobbestael told CF.C that he and offense are intent on improving as they prepare to play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against Arizona State (TV: Versus).

Lobbestael said he was disappointed in his performance -- he completed just 15 of 37 passes for 155 yards in a 30-7 loss Saturday at Cal -- and he wants he has a simple goal for this week -- executing.

"After the Cal game there were a lot of things I wanted to work on these first two days," Lobbestael said. "I feel like I'm starting to make some headway on the things I wanted to get done and I just have to keep going and execute at a high level."

Lobbestael did execute at a high level on Tuesday and was flinging the ball around, although he also saw plenty of action running with the 2s. Redshirt freshman Connor Halliday got a large chunk of the work with the 1s again on Tuesday, as he did the day before. Going against the scout team on Tuesday, he also opened up practice running the 2-minute drill with the 1s.

Halliday struggled early on and the defense owned the tempo out of the gate. Halliday's first pass was an errant toss that was intercepted by safety Casey Locker. Halliday completed 4 of 7 passes during the opening drive and nearly fired a touchdown pass to WR Jared Karstetter.

Halliday went on to lead the offense throughout practice, but Lobbestael was still getting in plenty of reps with the 1s and started out with the first-team offense during the final session of 11-on-11s. The 1s lined up against one another.

As for the defense, they had good tempo. Starting defensive end Travis Long told CF.C that despite a five-game losing streak, the Cougar players have plenty of confidence.

"Our biggest focus is just continuing to fight," Long said. "We have to continue to get better because we have three games left.

"I thought we had a pretty good practice today. "We were flying around, everything was going well and we didn't have to bingo a lot of plays. It was a good practice."

One area of focus -- tackling.

"We didn't tackle last week as we usually do so we need to improve there," Long said. "We need to keep on running to the football as well."

As for ASU, they are coming off a heart-breaking 29-28 loss to UCLA at the Rose Bowl last week, and Lobbestael said he expects them to come into Pullman hungry.

"They're a good team and we're not overlooking them or over-hyping them," Lobbestael said. "We know they're extremely talented and we know we have to take a huge step this week. "I'm expecting it and I think the guys need to expect it. We have to control what we can control and that's our attitude. We can't really worry about how they are going to come out."

QB: Marshall Lobbestael (Connor Halliday also seeing reps)
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: Brandon Rankin (Toni Pole)
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 (Casey Locker also seeing action running with the 1s)
CB: Damante Horton (Daniel Simmons also seeing reps)

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