PRACTICE: Coug DL going at 'quadruple tempo'

PULLMAN — The Cougar offense might be peaking at the right time. Connor Halliday and Co. continued a dominant week against the scout team D, zinging the pigskin to multiple targets. The o-line won both the run game and pass protection battles and there was some shifting on the OL – Clay McGuire lends his insight. Meanwhile the DL is moving fast, fast, fast. And Joe Salave'a talks d-line and more.

Later in the scrimmaging portion of Wednesday's practice, senior John Fullington was working at right tackle, with sophomore Joe Dahl over at left tackle. And Matt Goetz and Riley Sorenson were in at the guard positions. McGuire was asked about the moves.

"Those are just, you know precautionary things," McGuire stated. "At any given time we are going to try and get our five best guys on the field at a if someone were to go down, who is the next guy?"

So Fullington and Dahl are certainly in the conversation if LT Gunnar Eklund or RT Rico Forbes goes down. CF.C asked McGuire if something did indeed happen to the tackle starters, if there were any freshman he might consider throwing in there -- or if he would pretty much stick with Fullington or Dahl.

"We prefer them (Fullington and Dahl)…we kind of have a top eight in our head," McGuire noted. "From there, we work from there."

Earlier in camp, McGuire listed his top eight and senior Zach Brevick was on that list. He took some snaps with Halliday after senior center Elliot Bosch worked with the ones.

Brevick has had a very good camp, said McGuire. According to the depth chart released yesterday, Brevick is the back-up center and long snapper.

"Brevick has been great…he has really became a solid football player," McGuire said. "I would not hesitate to put him in."

IT WAS A day where not only the backup OTs got some reps "just in case." Redshirt freshman QB Austin Apodaca began under center with the No. 1 offense running against the scout team defense in the 11-on-11 session.

Among the plays he was in on, Apodaca connected with WR Kristoff Williams for a nice gainer and Eklund and Fullington freed up some space for sophomore RB Teondray Caldwell, who ripped off a 15-yard run.

Again, no need to puzzle about Apodaca starting off with the ones. Junior QB Connor Halliday is the starter and received the majority of snaps during the team session overall.

FROM OUR VANTAGE point high above the field, it is tough to hear what exactly the coaches are saying at times. However, it is easier to tell what the down and distance is in 11-on-11.

Halliday tallied three third-down conversions in the team session. On one play in particular, with a perfect pocket surrounding him, Halliday stepped into a throw on third-and-nine and connected nicely with sophomore WR Brett Bartolone. The result was a 15-yard gain and a chain-mover.

Later during 11-on-11, Halliday rifled a pass to Bartolone downfield for a 40-yard TD pass. But the play of the day went to junior WR Rickey Galvin during 1-on-1. Galvin showcased his athleticism by sliding across the turf for a low pass and pulled in a TD catch with DB Damante Horton all over him.

The block of the day, and he's making a habit of this, went to Isiah Myers. Myers displayed pure fundamentals by driving the DB up field and creating space for the man with the ball to zip by for a 10-yard gain.

ON THE DEFENSIVE SIDE, the Cougs continued their prep for Auburn and the scout team offense. Auburn is going to snap the ball as fast as they can on offense and WSU has been working on tempo, tempo, tempo.

D-line coach Joe Salave'a has been making his guys grind hard the last few days. CF.C asked if he felt his troops were fully adjusted to the speed which is to come from the Auburn offense on Saturday.

"I do not know we can ever get acclimated to the tempo. Under duress …you are forced to think a little bit," Salave'a said. "We have been under the gun. It is one thing to go against the Air Raid, but now we are manufacturing tempo.

"Now our guys are really having to think because now they are winded. I think our guys are getting the hang of it, but we are starting to quadruple the amount of tempo that goes in because you'd rather be over-prepared than not."

We followed up with asking Salave'a about the rotation during these fast-paced sessions.

"Sometimes we do not substitute," Salave'a said. "That is the way it is going to be. There is not going to be mass substitution. So, we are trying to manufacture those situations right now."

SECOND-STRING SOPHOMORE BUCK linebacker Kache Palacio had one heck of a hustle play on defense Wednesday.

The 225-pounder came hard from one side of the field on the rush, then managed to chase down sophomore RB Jeremiah Laufasa on the other side of the field for a two yard loss. Fun stuff to watch.

Meanwhile, Mike Leach has shuffled receivers in and out more than a deck of cards since fall camp began. On the very first play of scrimmage, these were the receivers that took the field:

X- Dominique Williams
H- Brett Bartolone
Y- River Cracraft
Z- Gabe Marks

That differed from the depth chart released yesterday only in that Williams was at the X rather than Isiah Meyers. There are several receivers who will see time this year for the Cougs and it's possible a number of them will get starts over the course of the year.

On special teams, the majority of the punt return reps went to senior RB Leon Brooks, as expected. On kick return, the first guy out was Caldwell followed by freshman CB Alex Jackson.

• Leach was not available to the media because he had his radio show tonight.

• The Cougs will have a short walk through tomorrow which will be closed to the media. They will then travel to Auburn following the walk through.

Running with the 1s:
QB- Connor Halliday
RB- Teondray Caldwell
X Receiver- Dominique Williams
H Receiver- River Cracraft
Y Receiver- Brett Bartolone
Z Receiver- Gabe Marks
LT- Gunnar Eklund (some Dahl)
LG- Joe Dahl (some Goetz)
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- John Fullington (some Sorenson)
RT- Rico Forbes (some Fullington)

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 Villarrubia
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
OL Jacob Seydel

Not in attendance:
OL Matt Meyer
DL Paulo Lepua
LB Chester Sua
S Darius Lemora
LS Ryan Saparto
S Bennett Bontemps
DE Logan Mayes
(CF.C reported earlier that Mayes is leaving but will stay in school this semester at WSU before heading to FCS school Cal Poly in january.)

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