PRACTICE: Halliday and offense take flight

PULLMAN — It was the Connor Halliday show out on the Palouse on Tuesday. The Cougar signal caller was firing the ball with plenty of steam and consistency. Meanwhile on defense, senior Anthony Carpenter continues to show his versatility and d-coordinator Mike Breske offered some insights on the senior defensive back. Plus, Mike Leach tabbed his No. 3 QB.

The offense won the battle Tuesday afternoon. Plain and simple. Halliday has the starting job locked up for Saturday's season opener against Auburn and his confidence was on full display out on the field. His work in the red zone during 1-on-1 drills was noteworthy. He connected on back-to-back touchdown passes in the corner of the end zone to junior wide receiver Bobby Ratliff and freshman wide receiver River Cracraft.

In the team session, the 6-4, 190-pounder also threw two long passes of 40-plus yards to WR Vince Mayle. On both plays, Mayle created separation from defensive backs and had nothing but open field in front of him.

Leach was asked about what had impressed him the most about Halliday so far.

"Leadership and he has continued to progress and he is familiar with the receivers," Leach said.

Where's the ball going? Only Halliday knows. He connected with seven different receivers in the team session and had four TDs to four different targets.

Halliday's strong play also must be credited to the offense line. Despite a few tackles for loss on run plays, the o-line's pass protection was rock solid -- the group did not give up any sacks during 11-on-11 and allowed Halliday enough time to sit in the pocket and connect with multiple targets.

WITH REDSHIRT FRESHMAN QB Austin Apodaca backing up Halliday, Leach hadn't until now revealed who would man the No. 3 spot. Leach was asked today if freshman QB Tyler Bruggman would be redshirting.

"You will just have to hang on to your seat and wait and see," Leach said.

CF.C asked Leach if he considered Bruggman to be the No. 3 QB at this moment and he gave a definitive answer.

"Yeah he is," Leach replied.

THE BLOCK OF the day went to junior Isiah Myers.

With RB Marcus Mason looking for some yards he was set-up with a fundamental, hard block by Myers that sprung him for what would have been a 35-yard score.

OVER ON DEFENSE Sophomore BUCK LB Kalache Palacio looked impressive going against the No. 1 offense. Palacio, the backup to Destiny Vaeao, brings an athletic approach to the BUCK position which is already deep to begin with.

In the team session, he knotted two tackles for loss on sophomore RB Teondray Caldwell and swatted down a Halliday pass at the line of scrimmage.

In the trenches, the DL came out sluggish today, but still got things done against the run game. During an inside running drill, freshman DL Emmitt Su'a-Kalio had a picture perfect bull rush on freshman OL Carlos Freeman, putting him flat on his back and wrapping up the RB for a short loss.

However, that one play did not stop DL coach Joe Salave'a from making his guys run sprints and do up-downs at the conclusion of practice.

AS FOR THE secondary, Carpenter continued to see action at safety with the No. 2 defense and performed well against the scout team offense. He used his speed to make quick breaks on the ball, breaking up multiple passes that were thrown in his direction. Carpenter, however, did not receive any time with the 1s.

CF.C asked Breske about Carpenter and the possibility of him switching between corner and safety this season. The senior has seen action at both positions during fall camp and throughout his career in Crimson.

"Carp will be a dual player for us," Breske said. "I have got a comfort level with him being able to work at the safety and also the corner level."

Carpenter has had a strong camp and is listed as the No. 2 strong safety behind fellow senior Deone Bucannon on the Cougar depth chart released today.

On special teams, senior kicker Andrew Furney connected on all five of his field goal attempts at the beginning of practice. On punts, the gunners were junior WR Rickey Galvin and senior CB Nolan Washington. Galvin looks up to speed and outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons was impressed with his punt return.

"I thought he had a great day," Simmons said. "I thought he was mentally in tune."

The Cougs will have a closed short walk through Thursday before they head off to Auburn Thursday afternoon.

• Junior DE Logan Mayes was not in attendance at practice today. Both Leach and Breske were asked about Mayes today.

"He is doing just what we want him to do and couldn't be happier," Leach said.

"I do not know, I did not see him either," Breske added.

Running with the 1s:
QB- Connor Halliday

RB- Teondray Caldwell
X Receiver- Dominique Williams
H Receiver- Robert Lewis
Y Receiver- River Cracraft
Z Receiver- Gabe Marks
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- Cyrus Coen
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote
CB- Nolan Washington CB – Damante Horton
S – Deone Bucannon
S – Taylor Taliulu

Running with 2s on offense
QB- Austin Apodaca
RB- Marcus Mason
X Receiver- Isiah Myers and Vince Mayle
H Receiver- Rickey Galvin
Y Receiver- Kristoff Williams
Z Receiver- Isiah Myers and Vince Mayle
LT- Pierson Villarubia
LG- Matt Goetz
C- Zack Brevick
RG- Riley Sorenson
RT- Eduardo Middleton

Running with the 2s on defense
DE- Robert Barber
NT- Matthew Bock
DE- Darryl Paulo
BUCK- Kache Palacio
SAM- Eric Oertel
MIKE- Jared Byers
WILL- Tana Pritchard
CB- Charleston White
CB – Daquawn Brown
S – Anthony Carpenter
S – Casey Locker

Limited Players:
WR Austin Baker
S Paris Taylor
OL Jacob Seydel
LB Chester Su'a
CB Darius Lemora
LS Ryan Saparto

Not in attendance:
OL Matt Meyer
DL Paulo Lepua
S Darius Lemora S
Bennett Bontemps

DE Logan Mayes

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