PRACTICE: Coaches change up routine

PULLMAN -- The Cougars came out Sunday night fired up and ready compete on every level. Whether it was individual drills, non-contact scrimmage, or dodgeball -- yes, dodgeball -- the team was out to win. A new face also entered the receiving corps, while another pass-catcher was absent from practice. Furthermore, the quarterback competition is back, and this time it may stick for a while.

"They were down in meetings today," said defensive coordinator Mike Breske of the defense's performance Saturday. "It hurt. They know they didn't play to their expectations."

Washington State surrendered a whopping 318 rushing yards to Cal on Saturday, a disappointing performance given the team's preparation for the three-headed rushing attack the Bears showcase.

"That performance was not what I expected, and I know the kids feel the same way," Breske said. "Our eyes were not well, we couldn't find the ball."

One player who didn't see the field Sunday, junior cornerback Damante Horton, seems to have fallen on the depth chart after stringing together some lackluster practice and game performances in recent weeks.

"Well, I think what we try to do is through the week of practice, in terms of who performs at a high level [determines who plays]," Breske said. "Anthony (Carpenter) had a great week of practice and we wanted to see what he could do. He's a bigger guy, a much more physical guy … We just felt that matchup would be better for us."

As the Cougars enter their bye week, coaches are looking to keep morale and enthusiasm up for a team that is off to an unforeseen 2-5 start. To achieve this, the Cougars played a spirited dodgeball tournament for good majority of the practice Sunday night.

Senior offensive lineman Wade Jacobson played the entire tournament shirtless.

"Well, they're competing, it's a competition drill," Breske said. "We're seven weeks into the season, we've got to change things up. Football is routine, but it can't be so mundane."

Coach Mike Leach echoed Breske's sentiment adding that the team will probably look to keep the players loose with different competitive activities every Sunday night.

AS FOR THE presumptive quarterback competition that will ensue in coming days, Leach said the team would evaluate the two candidates on a day-to-day basis.

"The biggest thing is who moves the offense," Leach said. "I think there are some intangibles that will play into it. The biggest thing is who'll make the guys around him better."

One player not on the field participating, and absent completely for that matter, was junior receiver Marquess Wilson. The All-American took a shot to the head Saturday night and missed the entire second half of the game.

Sophomore wideout Henry Eaddy was able to fully participate in practice Sunday night, the first time the Florida native had practiced with the team since spring ball. Injuries have hampered Eaddy since the fall.

Eaddy clearly was shaking off some of the rust for a majority of the evening, dropping several passes and struggling with some route combinations, but the speedster was able to showcase his explosive speed on some impressive deep balls.

WSU will practice Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, but will then have Thursday and Friday night off as coaches head out on some recruiting trips.

Cougfan Top Stories