PRACTICE: Cougs come out crisp and fired up

PULLMAN – The Cougs came out looking crisp and fired up Monday, just three days away from kicking off their season at BYU on Thursday night. There was a lot of special teams work, a pair of true freshmen continued to impress on offense, a couple new packages got a talented true freshman on the field with the No. 1 defense -- and the kickoff team still has questions.

"No matter who wins this game, both teams are going to have a lot of work to do," said Mike Leach following Monday's practice.

Leach added that he's not so much worried about BYU's dynamic quarterback Riley Nelson -- as he is concerned BYU has the edge in physical stature.

"He's ok," said Leach of Nelson. "…but (the defense is) big, the biggest thing is they're big. They put you in a position where you have to be patient."

ONE THING THAT has become increasingly impressive has been the physical shape the incoming freshmen are in this year. Freshmen receivers Gabe Marks and Brett Bartolone have shown no signs of fatigue throughout camp, and continue to showcase their talents on a day-to-day basis.

"With Bartolone, I've been really impressed with how he's pushed through camp," said inside receivers coach Eric Morris. "Usually you see freshmen with a big drop-off 10-12 days into camp and for the most part, you haven't seen it."

Bartolone has seen his reps in practice increase on a daily basis, and figures to have a prominent role in the offense this season.

ANOTHER TRUE FRESHMAN WHO saw time with the 1's tonight was linebacker Jeremiah Allison.

An explosive linebacker got in on a couple occasions this afternoon in packages that highlighted his athleticism.

THE COUGS WORKED their special teams units thoroughly Monday, ensuring their coverage teams are ready to go for BYU.

Kickers Mike Bowlin and Andrew Furney shared kickoff duties, although Bowling is the assumed starter.

The Cougs also focused on ball security.

After every catch during skeleton drills, defenders were instructed to strip the ball. Plays would last three or four seconds longer than usual to give defenders time to get to the runner and take a rip at the pigskin.

Only Bartolone fumbled on the afternoon, in a drill that lasted nearly a half hour.

Injury Notes
--Freshman cornerback Ray Ford fully participated but sported a club on his right hand throughout practice. Ford even made a couple nice catches while dragging around something reminiscent of Thor's Hammer.

--Freshman nose tackle Xavier Cooper did not participate.

--Junior linebacker Darren Markle did not participate.

The 1's
Running with the 1's for the scrimmage:

LT- John Fullington
LG- Wade Jacobson
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- Jake Rodgers
RT- Dan Spitz
QB – Jeff Tuel
RB – Carl Winston/Teondray Caldwell/Leon Brooks
X-WR – Marquess Wilson (Dominique Williams got extensive time)
Y-WR – Andrei Lintz (Brett Bartolone got extensive time)
Z-WR – Gabe Marks
H-WR – Rickey Galvin (General rotation of receivers)

LT- Matthew Bock
NT- Ioane Gauta
RT- Steven Hoffart
BUCK- Travis Long
SAM- Eric Oertel
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Chester Sua
CB- Nolan Washington
CB - Damante Horton
FS- Taylor Taliulu
SS- Deone Bucannon

LS -Alex Den Bleyker
P - Mike Bowlin
KO - Bowlin/Andrew Furney rotation
FG - Furney
KR - Leon Brooks
PR - Leon Brooks

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