After the special teams session, the offense and defense took to their respective end zones and went through their scout team sessions as normal.
The PA system was rocking once again at Martin Stadium with crowd noise and Top 40 hip-hop. Junior QB Connor Halliday and redshirt freshman QB Austin Apodaca participated in a short team session against the defensive scout team that lasted 15 minutes. Both signal-callers looked solid by hitting their targets and not turning the ball over.
In pass protection, the offensive line has looked much improved during both practices and games this season. Thursday's session was more of the same as they provided the quarterbacks with plenty of time to throw.
"I thought they practiced well," McGuire said. "I would like to see them be a little more up-tempo and faster, but it was a pretty clean Thursday."
McGuire has been diligently working to improve the unit's consistency and technique. CF.C asked McGuire who he believed has been his most consistent linemen after three games.
"Elliott Bosch," said McGuire, without hesitation. "Anything you coach him up or tell him to do … it's done. You coach him up on something first day of the year; he is still working hard to master that coaching point at the end of the year. He continues to improve his skills every day."
LATER, FRESHMAN QB Tyler Bruggman started Thursday Night Football under center. He completed his first pass to freshman WR Robert Lewis for a 10-yard gain on the first snap. On the ensuing play, Bruggman launched a well-placed ball to sophomore WR Tyler Baker for a 25-yard touchdown and the first score of the session.
Bruggman finished the session completing 5 of 8 passes for two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Freshman QB Luke Falk took over after Bruggman and played well. He completed 7 of 10 passes. QB Connor Ennis, another freshman, also practices and completed 4 of 7 attempts.
The offensive line only allowed two "sacks" during the entire session.
"They are getting better," McGuire said. "They are doing some good stuff. We have a bunch of kids out there playing; we didn't have that last year. We are actually able to play some football out here and execute some plays so that's a good thing."
CF.C asked McGuire who he thought played well in the team session.
"I thought Cole Madison played well," he said. "Riley Sorenson, Eduardo Middleton, Brent Anderson played well."
Sorenson played his first collegiate game during Saturday's 48-10 win against Southern Utah.
"It's kind of a pleasant surprise," McGuire said. "Usually it's hard for a freshman to come in and play at this level at any school. He comes from a great high school program. (He) was very mature and ready to play, had a great camp and worked his way into the top eight."
Even though the quarterbacks and offensive line played well, the defense still came out on top Thursday evening.
On Wednesday, linebackers coach Ken Wilson mentioned freshman DL Daniel Ekuale as one of the guys on the scout team they were watching.
Ekuale helped his cause Thursday by "sacking" Bruggman and two tackles.
Another freshman got in on the action, too. LB Nathan Hundeby darted through a gap and got "sacked" him Falk.
Freshman S David Bucannon had the tackle of the day on Lewis.
Lewis went down the middle to catch a pass from Bruggman. After Lewis completed the catch, he turned up field and Bucannon used his perfect pad level to apply a hard hit.
The Cougars will have their Friday walk-through tomorrow before facing Idaho at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
"It just depends if he is back in the few weeks," McGuire said. "It just depends on how quick he comes back."
Running with the 1s...
X Receiver—Dominique Williams
H Receiver—Rickey Galvin
Y Receiver—River Cracraft
Z Receiver—Gabe Marks
NOT IN ATTENDANCE