PRACTICE: WSU appears to have settled on QB?

PULLMAN -- The Cougars practiced for roughly two hours Wednesday, working through drills, skeleton and scrimmage -- the usual. The quarterback situation became clearer as a ‘fiery' signal-caller took virtually every snap. On top of that, a young corner with a lot of promise was finally cleared to practice.

Connor Halliday it is.

Although not set in stone because the coaches won't speak about it, all signs point to Halliday starting this Saturday against Colorado.

Halliday took 90 percent of the snaps Wednesday, leaving senior quarterback Jeff Tuel only some scraps from the skeleton drill. Halliday did all the work with the 1s in live scrimmaging. Tuel took a few snaps with the second team, but struggled.

Tuel still seems apprehensive, while his timing with receivers continues to lag.

The offensive line was the same. Senior Dan Spitz remained absent from practice. Spitz was removed from the official university depth chart released Monday.

The defensive side of the ball had some impressive performances Wednesday, most notably from defensive end/BUCK linebacker Logan Mayes. The sophomore pass-rusher consistently timed the snap count, frustrating the offensive line and offensive line coach Clay McGuire all afternoon.

Mayes created havoc in the backfield, routinely breaking up run plays. Stopping the run is something outside linebackers coach Paul Volero said the coaching staff has focused on.

"There's a mentality of trying to stop the run around here," Volero said. "It's something we're establishing on a daily basis."

Volero added that this defense is far from a ‘bend-don't-break' mentality. Instead, they're still feeling things out and finding what they have.

"Those guys are persistent," Volero said. "They all want to win and they're hungry to do it. We're gettin' there."

Behind the linebackers, the secondary has been riddled with questions early on this season, something defensive coordinator Mike Breske is looking to shore up.

"[This week] Bucannon will be starting with Casey Locker," Breske said. "That's what I'm comfortable with."

Breske added that senior Tyree Toomer and freshman Taylor Taliulu will both see the field depending on the situation.

At corner, it looks as though the rotation approach is here to stay.

"I think it helps keep a focus," Breske said. "When you're out there on an island and this play you got nothing to do and then that play you got nothing to do and then all the sudden -- bang -- your number is called. You're not involved [like the linebackers are every play]."

Freshman Alex Jackson was back on the field Wednesday for the first time in weeks and it looks as though the NCAA has cleared the former three-star recruit to, at the very least, practice. Coach Mike Breske did not comment on Jackson Wednesday, but CF.C hopes to have a more concrete answer on the matter following Thursday's practice.

Running with the 1s for the scrimmage:

LT- Gunnar Eklund
LG- John Fullington
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- Jake Rodgers
RT- Wade Jacobson
QB – Connor Halliday
RB – Carl Winston/Teondray Caldwell/Leon Brooks
X-WR – Marquess Wilson (Dominique Williams got some snaps)
Y-WR – Brett Bartolone (Andrei Lintz got some time)
Z-WR – Gabe Marks and Isiah Myers
H-WR – Bobby Ratliff

LT- Matthew Bock (Logan Mayes received extensive time)
NT- Ioane Gauta
RT- Steven Hoffart
BUCK- Travis Long
SAM- Cyrus Coen
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote
CB- Damante Horton
CB– Nolan Washington/Daniel Simmons
FS- Casey Locker
SS- Deone Bucannon

LS- Alex Den Bleyker
P- Mike Bowlin
KO- Bowlin/Andrew Furney rotation
FG- Furney
KR- Leon Brooks
PR- Leon Brooks (Rahmel Dockery got some snaps)

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