Leach shakes up offensive line

PULLMAN -- Washington State's offensive line appeared to be one of the few highlights of Thursday's 30-6 season-opening loss at Brigham Young. But that did not prevent coaches from making some significant changes with that unit during Sunday's practice. The day also included a shake up at cornerback, and a little jostling in the trenches. Oh, and ‘Sunshine' is no longer.

Senior Wade Jacobson spent the entire day running at the right tackle position, a position he dabbled at last season. Even more surprisingly, the former right tackle, Dan Spitz, ran at the right guard position –- effectively swapping the their positions on the line.

Spitz was benched during Thursday's game, replaced by Matt Goetz midway through the contest.

Another switch on the field came in the defensive secondary. Junior corner Damante Horton was on the bike all day, unable to participate because of a left arm injury. The dread-headed ball hawk had his left elbow stabilized by a soft cast. As always, coach Mike Leach does not discuss injuries.

Taking his place on Sunday was a bevy of candidates. Running with the 1s at the corner spots Sunday were senior Daniel Simmons, juniors Nolan Washington and Anthony Carpenter, as well as sophomore Tracy Clark.

Carpenter, formally a safety, was a surprise in the secondary as he hasn't played a down at the position all fall.

Clark, who has been hit-or-miss on a daily basis, had a very strong day, breaking up several passes.

Leach said he wasn't happy with the performance put forth Thursday, but that there is a growing curve with this offense.

"I don't think any of us played up to our potential," Leach said. "It's still no excuse, you go out and do the best you can. We didn't do the best we can."

HE ADDED THAT senior quarterback Jeff Tuel did some good things, but can't be as apprehensive -- he has to pull the trigger.

"He got out of some stuff I didn't ever think he'd get out of," Leach said. "He just has to do what he does in practice."

On that note, Tuel chose to cut his hair and no longer sports the ‘Sunshine' look he donned during fall camp –- much to the dismay of the offensive line.

Leach expects a much stronger performance at noon Saturday against Eastern Washington at Martin Stadium, but not because they're an Football Championship Subdivision opponent.

"They're a high-tempo team, they do a lot of good things," Leach said. "They never have been average. They had a bit of an off year last year, but they win or play for it a lot."

Overlooking Eastern shouldn't be a problem, as Leach was emphatic in the notion that it shouldn't matter who you're playing -- you play the full 60 minutes.

"I can't fathom how (overlooking an opponent) is possible for our team," Leach said. "It shouldn't matter if you're playing against the scouts, if you go against some little high school, some junior high school, it doesn't matter if you go against the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers, none of that should matter. You step out there and you do what you can do. You develop a habit and you do it over and over."

  • Freshman cornerback Ray Ford fully participated.

  • Freshman nose tackle Xavier Cooper did not participate.

  • Junior linebacker Darren Markle did not participate.

  • Freshman linebacker Darryl Paulo did not participate.

  • Junior Corner Damante Horton did not participate.

    Running with the 1s for the scrimmaging:

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

    LT- Matthew Bock
    NT- Ioane Gauta
    RT- Steven Hoffart
    BUCK- Travis Long
    SAM- Eric Oertel
    MIKE- Darryl Monroe
    WILL- Chester Sua
    CB- Anthony Carpenter, Daniel Simmons
    CB– Tracy Clark, Nolan Washington
    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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