PRACTICE: Another halfback entering the mix?

PULLMAN – Washington State's quarterback situation, although seemingly set, became a little clearer during Wednesday's practice. In the backfield, a running back that displayed burst at times last season could contribute when the Cougars play at 3 p.m. Saturday at Oregon State (TV: Pac-12 Networks).

"Clearly they had a great offseason," WSU coach Mike Leach said of the Beavers. "They're playing together really well."

Leach said Oregon State holds something Washington State was missing earlier in the season -- resolve and tenacity.

"They really play hard and take a lot of pride in what they do," he said.

The Cougars (2-3 overall, 0-2 Pac-12) will face a tough task against OSU's stout run defense. The Beavers are ranked second in the country in rushing defense, held up by a big front seven predicated on filling the running lanes.

A new face will more than likely get to prove his worth this Saturday for WSU. Sophomore halfback Marcus Mason got some time with the first and second team today. Mason hadn't received much time with the 1s all season, fall camp included.

According to an interview conducted by the Spokesman Review, running backs coach Jim Mastro said with senior Carl Winston and junior Leon Brooks a bit banged up, Mason will probably get some work in the rotation. Mason had 153 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries last season.

On the other side of the ball, the Cougars defensive line will have their work cut out stopping a Beavers' rushing attack that has put up some good numbers against some good teams early on.

"It's all about attitude," said defensive line coach Joe Salave'a in an interview with WSU athletics. "Ninety percent of what happens to you is attitude. If your attitude is a ‘go get it' and ‘not settle for anything less', then I think good things are going to happen."

OSU (3-0, 2-0) will feature freshman running back Storm Woods, and his name says a lot about his style. Woods averages 5 yards per carry and also has two touchdowns to his name.

Up front, the Cougars will have to rely on junior nose tackle Ioane Guata to fill the gaps this week. Guata has been a pleasant surprise this season after coming into fall camp a bit out of shape. The Anaheim, Calif., product has racked up several tackles-for-loss and has helped WSU shore up a thin front seven.

"I think the more he gets comfortable with our system, the better he'll play," Salave'a said.

At the quarterback position, redshirt sophomore Connor Halliday took a greater majority of the snaps with the first team Wednesday, further solidifying his chances of starting Saturday.

Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel again had a brace on his left knee, but is moving and performing at a high level.

The 1s
Running with the 1s for the scrimmage:
LT- John Fullington (Brevick got some time)
LG- Wade Jacobson (Goetz/Meighen/Brevick got some time)
C- Elliott Bosch (Meighen got some time)
RG- Jake Rodgers (Goetz/Meighen/Brevick got some time)
RT- Gunnar Eklund (Brevick got some time)
QB– Connor Halliday (Jeff Tuel got some time)
RB–Teondray Caldwell/Marcus Mason
X-WR– Marquess Wilson (Dominique Williams got some snaps)
Y-WR– Brett Bartolone (Gino Simone got some time)
Z-WR– Isiah Myers (Bennett Bontemps got some snaps)
H-WR– Gabe Marks (Gino Simone got some snaps)

LT-Matthew Bock
NT-Xavier Cooper
RT-Ioane Guata (Steven Hoffart got some snaps)
BUCK-Travis Long (Logan Mayes got some time)
SAM-Cyrus Coen
MIKE-Darryl Monroe
WILL-Justin Sagote
CB-Damante Horton
CB–Daniel Simmons
FS-Casey Locker (Tyree Toomer got half the snaps)
SS-Deone Bucannon

LS-Alex Den Bleyker
P-Mike Bowlin
KO-Bowlin/Andrew Furney rotation
KR-Marquess Wilson, Rahmel Dockery, and Brett Bartolone
PR-Brett Bartolone (Dockery got some snaps)

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