PRACTICE: Leach looking for 'good value'

PULLMAN – Mike Leach continued on Tuesday to look for better production from the offensive line during a lengthy practice, though one of the hogmollies struggled in particular. Over on D, the team saw a d-lineman continue to make his way back and a cornerback return, Mike Leach holds court and more...

Sometimes it's a simple answer. What were some of the reasons why the Cougs had trouble running the ball in the season opener?

"It indicates that we're getting beat up front," Mike Leach said.

The offensive line has been a question mark since the first day of fall camp and the issue over a month later hasn't been completely settled. Leach and his coaching staff have been mixing and matching different combinations of guys up front, trying to find some consistency -- hoping one unit will jell and that the Cougs won't be "one guy short" in accounting for defensemen.

"You want to get good value on the play," Leach said. "Whether you're betting horses or (whatever) you're doing, you want good value on the play."

Leach was insistent that although many regard his Air Raid as a pass-first offense, that's an overly simplistic view -- you have to take what the defense gives you each and every down.

"We want a lot of yards per carry and we didn't have a lot of yards per carry," Leach said. "If they want to load the box up, we need to be throwing it. But if they unload the box we need to be running it."

ONE OFFENSIVE PLAYMAKER seeing more time with the 1's is sophomore Isiah Myers.

The Florida native was the leading receiver at BYU, and seems to be getting rewarded for his consistent play throughout camp. Myers and freshman Gabe Marks rotated at the Z-receiver spot on Tuesday.

ON THE OTHER side of the ball, defensive lineman Xavier Cooper looks to be slowly making his way back, though he's not running with the 1s. Until recently, the redshirt freshman had been mostly sidelined since the first week of fall camp.

Cooper was generally seen as Wazzu's best d-lineman when he went down.

Junior cornerback Damante Horton returned to practice, albeit sporting a rather hefty left elbow guard. Horton missed the previous three practices. Although Horton returned, junior safety Anthony Carpenter continued to run with the cornerbacks group.

THE MAKEUP OF the offensive line was similar to what it has been in recent days, but senior Dan Spitz had a tough day across the board.

Running at right guard, he drew heavy criticism from the offensive coaches for his technique and performance during individual drills, and then was chewed out again for sloppy play in scrimmaging.

LEACH SAID he was very impressed once again with quarterback Jeff Tuel's ability to get out of pressure and throw on the run.

"We had some real good scramble drills," Leach said. "(Tuel) got out of some stuff that appeared impossible."

By and large, Leach continues to commend Tuel's performance and although he has been loathe to definitely state Tuel is the starter – both throughout fall camp and after the Week 1 loss – it's never truly seemed like the job is up for grabs.

NOTABLE NOTE: Niu Sale is back with the offensive line after a two-week stint on the d-line.

--Junior linebacker Darren Markle did not participate.
--Freshman defensive lineman Daryl Paulo did not participate

Running with the 1's for the scrimmage:

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 and Isiah Myers
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- Damante Horton, 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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