PRACTICE REPORT: Cougs wrap things up

PULLMAN – The Cougs on Tuesday held their final full practice before they play for real Thursday night at BYU. The WSU coaches preached fundamentals and technique in a session highlighted by numerous drills and non-contact scrimmaging for the starters and key reserves. Mike Leach emphasized that the BYU tilt is just another game, and there's no reason for the Cougs to feel overly anxious.

"You're going to get out there on the field and it's going to look remarkably similar to this one," Leach said. "The biggest thing in the end is just make the most routine plays."
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  • Leach, who is 9-1 in his career in season openers, said he looks forward to facing off against his alma mater.

    "We've gotten better virtually every practice," Leach said. "We're excited to go out and play a game."

    THE MAJORITY OF Tuesday's practice focused on individual drills.

    The receivers were running routes and the running backs were hitting the holes. It was a non-contact affair as the coaches continue to look to keep everyone healthy.

    There were some pads popping late, however.

    The practice concluded with the freshmen and scout teams in a full-on, contact scrimmage.

    Freshman quarterback Austin Apodaca has progressed every day since arriving to campus, and looks much more comfortable on the field.

    The jury is still out as to whether he or junior David Gilbertson represents the third-string quarterback on the depth chart – something that could be cleared at BYU (assuming WSU doesn't travel four quarterbacks on the road.)

    LEACH HAS SAID he expects to play a good-sized number of true freshmen this season. He hasn't identified them all (heck, he still won't say who the starting QB is) but WRs Gabe Marks and Brett Bartolone, RB Teondray Caldwell and Taylor Taliulu are locks.

    Some other players who look Pac-12 ready from this chair include linebackers Kache Palacio and Khalil Pettway, as well as safety-turned-linebacker Feddie Davey.

    Freshman cornerback Ray Ford has also looked strong this fall -- the guess here is that he sees some playing time this season.

    Another freshman linebacker who might also see game reps, Jeremiah Allison, was once again in pads Tuesday. Contrary to a report posted by the LA Times this morning, Allison wasn't in Los Angeles and has been a full participant this past week and in every practice this fall. Allison lost his mother on Thursday due to health complications resulting from a heart attack suffered last December.

    The Cougs take off for Provo tomorrow and will do a quick walk-through at some point before the game.

    Washington State kicks off its 2012 schedule on Thursday at 7:15 p.m. PT in a nationally televised game on ESPN.

    --Freshman cornerback Ray Ford fully participated.
    --Freshman nose tackle Xavier Cooper did not participate.
    --Junior linebacker Darren Markle did not participate.

    Running with the 1's for the no-contact scrimmaging session:

    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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