DAY 17: A good day up front for Cougs

PULLMAN – Classes started Monday and the Cougars moved to their closed practices policy on Tuesday. But from high atop our perch, with WSU's blessing, we can report that some units fared better than others on Day 17. There was some switching of uniform numbers, and Washington State's offensive line looks to be developing a rapport.

The offense had a mediocre day. Receivers who normally have no problem catching the ball were dropping passes and looked a little flustered when running routes.

"It was a typical first day of school, I thought we were a little sloppy," outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons said. "You kind of change around deals in your practice so guys are kind of hesitant on where to go or where does this drill start?"

Junior quarterback Connor Halliday threw the ball around well during the 1-on-1 session. Halliday showcased his accuracy with a perfect pass to wide receiver Rickey Galvin in the corner of the end zone on the first touchdown of 1-on-1. Halliday threw an excellent pass downfield to Galvin for a 35-yard gain, as well.

Later in individual drills, Galvin appeared to sustain an injury as he headed up the bleachers and back toward the locker room. He looked to be favoring his lower back but WSU doesn't release injury information so it's hard to say for sure.

Back in 1-on-1, Halliday completed high-percentage passes to sophomore Marks and freshman Robert Lewis.

Redshirt freshman signal-caller Austin Apodaca, who now wears No. 17, looked great Tuesday. He threw a 25-yard touchdown pass during 7-on-7 to junior wide receiver Kristoff Williams and another one in 1-on-1 to Marks. Apodaca had the better day of the two quarterbacks by throwing no interceptions. Halliday was picked on a pass that was tipped and snatched up by sophomore linebacker Darryl Monroe during the short team session.

THE OFFENSIVE LINE continued to battle Tuesday. The same starters who began camp in Lewiston (running with the 1s listed below) remain intact and have shown more consistency.

Senior offensive lineman John Fullington looked excellent during individual drills going against the No. 2 defensive line. His technique and quick blasts out of his stance allowed him to lay solid blocks and open running lanes.

After being absent the last few days of practice, junior offensive lineman Jacob Seydel was present Tuesday, but had his ankle wrapped up and elevated in a rolling knee walker.

True freshman safety Darius Lemora also was in attendance, but watched from the sidelines in crutches and a boot. That was the case for junior linebacker Chester Sua, as well. He again was in street clothes and was a non-participant.

The play of the day came when junior nose tackle Toni Pole tipped a pass. Monroe then made a beeline for the ball and caught it just before it hit the ground for the only interception of the day.

Defensive coordinator Mike Breske's initiative of working his players into shape must be paying off.

"It is tempo, they have to run to me, they pop their feet and then the offense comes up and they have to sprint back and get the call," Breske said.

According to Breske, part of his practice plan is to use the No. 1s for the first six plays and then the No. 2 for the following three plays.

On special teams, senior kicker Andrew Furney made his first two field goals. His third kick was blocked by sophomore linebacker Kache Palacio. He then made the next two to finish practice 4-of-5.

Lewis struggled returning punts, dropping two. Sophomore WR Brett Bartolone received the majority of the reps catching punts.

On kickoff, the first-team gunners were senior safeties Deone Bucannon and Casey Locker. The second unit consisted of freshman cornerback Daquawn Brown and sophomore safety Taylor Taliulu.

Despite adjusting to the new schedule with classes in session, the Cougars still managed to look cohesive and improved.

"That is the great thing about having a mock first week," Simmons said. "We mocked through today so next week at this time we should be sharper and back where we were on the previous practices."

Running with the 1s...

QB– Connor Halliday
RB – Teondray Caldwell and Marcus Mason
X, H, Y, and Z receivers – Many players receiving reps
LT- Gunnar Eklund
LG- Joe Dahl
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- John Fullington
RT- Rico Forbes

DE- Toni Pole
NT- Ioane Gauta
DE- Xavier Cooper
BUCK- Destiny Vaeao
SAM- Eric Oertel
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote
CB- Nolan Washington
CB – Damante Horton
S – Deone Bucannon
S – Anthony Carpenter

S Paris Taylor
WR Tyler Baker

OL Matt Meyer
DL Paulo Lepua
S Bennett Bontemps

Cougfan Top Stories