Speedy newcomers shine in scrimmage

PULLMAN – SEVERAL YOUNG PLAYERS got a chance to make an impression during Thursday's scrimmage as simulated noise flooded Martin Stadium in preparation for this weekend's battle with the Colorado Buffaloes.

While head coach Mike Leach made his weekly radio appearance earlier in the day, most coaches were not available to talk after practice.

Sophomore Connor Halliday again took every snap with the first team, and looks poised to start against Colorado. The offensive line remained the same, while senior Dan Spitz was again absent from practice.

The receiving corps had another strong day, backed by a good showing by H-receiver Bobby Ratliff. While the position is new to the sophomore, he is making steady effort and production from the inside position. The presumed loss of sophomore Rickey Galvin has opened the door for Ratliff. Galvin left last week's game at UNLV holding his right arm, and did not return.

Ratliff isn't the prototypical quick, shifty slot receiver, but his size and strength will be useful against bigger linebackers that attempt to cover him.

During the Thursday Night Football portion of practice, freshman Austin Apodaca got a majority of the snaps with the offense. Apodaca is still feeling his way around the field, but seems to have a good feel for the offense. His timing and chemistry with the receivers seems to be the crux of most of his problems, but switching wideouts on a week-to-week basis certainly isn't helping the young quarterback develop momentum.

On defense, youth has begun to rear its head as a variety of different players have started to get some time in the two-deeps.

While the offense has yet to fully click on all cylinders, the same can't be said for some of the young players in practice. Leach brought in one of the more talked-about recruiting classes in the history of Washington State football last year, highlighted by a bevy of big-name linebackers.

That group is now starting to settle in.

Freshman WILL linebacker Jeremiah Allison hasn't received much on-field football coverage this fall. The talented, high-motor product from Los Angeles has slowly acclimated himself to college football, and because of it, he's starting to see time with the defense.

It was only a matter of time before his mechanics and knowledge of the game would catch up to his raw ability. Allison has run at the #2 WILL linebacker spot all week, and all signs point to the young playmaker taking the field sooner rather than later.

There's no doubt Allison has all the tools to become a staple of the Cougar defense, is just a matter or when will the consistency come.

On the other side of the defense, freshman Kache Palacio is quietly rising up the depth charts as well. Although stifled by talent ahead of him at the BUCK position, Palacio has drawn rave reviews from coaches in recent weeks, and at some point, may be too fast and too talented not to see the field. Palacio turned in another strong day on defense, consistently getting around the edge.

In the defensive backfield, a plethora of talented corners, coupled with two promising safeties in Feddie Davey and Taylor Taliulu, have many believing the future is bright for this defense.

Freshman corners Alex Jackson and Rahmel Dockery had impressive Thursday performances, the second in as many weeks for Dockery. Being stuck behind a defensive secondary that hasn't exactly produced this season means that the duo may end up getting some playing time.

Saturday's homecoming game against Colorado is sold out. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

The 1's
Running with the 1's 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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