Breske happy Cougs 'got down to business'

PULLMAN — The Cougars hit the ground running Sunday during a short practice that included freshman defensive lineman Emmitt Su'a-Kalio, who was arrested for second-degree assault of a teammate last week. Quarterback Connor Halliday, who was limping at California, also took the field. CF.C also caught up with defensive coordinator Mike Breske to discuss Saturday's victory and this week's battle.

A zippy Connor Halliday completed the majority of his passes with the No. 1 offense while running against the scout team defense. Redshirt freshman Austin Apodaca had a few reps, as well, and completed all of his passes. Neither had a turnover – or a touchdown – during the shortened session.

Senior Matt Goetz continued to run with the No. 1 offensive line at right guard while fellow senior John Fullington lined up at right tackle.

On the opposite side of Martin Stadium, the offensive scout team gave the No. 1 defense different looks that they might see Saturday evening against the Beavers.

Freshman cornerback Daquawn Brown was a ball-hawk, batting down a pair of balls and picking off freshman quarterback Luke Falk. Brown ran as the No. 1 cornerback alongside senior Damante Horton, while seniors Nolan Washington and Anthony Carpenter ran with the No. 2 defense.

KQQQ Radio of Pullman reported Friday that Su'a-Kalio was arrested for second degree assault for an incident where he allegedly hit a Coug temammate, breaking his jaw, in the locker room last Tuesday. Su'a-Kalio was a full participant at Sunday night's practice.

Mike Breske INTERVIEW

On the defense's effort against Cal:

It was kind of that bend-and-don't-break philosophy. We gave up way too many passing yards, but I was real happy especially with the third quarter. We got down to business and had some key takeaways in the red zone. Toni Pole with the strip and recovery and then he had another recovery on their first drive. Plus the special teams' takeaway on the kickoff, that's five takeaways … three fumbles and two interceptions, so that's key. I think that was one of the major differences in the game. That we took five opportunities away from them and got it for our offense, I thought our kids played hard. They have got to clean some things up with their eyes in terms of what they are looking at. They got fooled a few times. We knew they were going to throw the ball a bunch and that game took forever. I think we scouted 94 plays, not counting penalties, and I think our offense was probably in the high 80s, so a lot of football plays for the fans.

On facing another prolific passer this week:

We saw (Sean Mannion) last year. I believe he got hurt in our game, but he is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound, pocket-style quarterback who will scramble, but throw to scramble which is very similar to what our philosophy is on offense. He will hang in there until the last second. He has taken some shots, but he has got a strong arm and they've got a talented receiver in No. 7 who is kind of their big-play guy. They are running the ball roughly over 31 percent of the time so there is going to be a lot of balls. They've committed to the throwing game. I think our offense is at 25 percent (at running the ball) so there will be a lot of balls in the air.

On Ioane Gauta finally getting sacks against Cal:

I think it's just timing. He has had opportunities earlier this year, but you have got to capitalize. It is kind of like fumbles; they can come in bunches. You work at it, you work at it, you work at it and all of a sudden it hits and a lot of times that is with sacks, too. We left three sacks out there. We had three for the day, but very easily could have had six for the day and we needed that. Our stat for sacks is one per 15 passing attempts and they attempted 62 passes, so we need more than three sacks.

Was the fumble recovery in the red zone on the first drive the turning point in the game?

No, I don't think just on the first drive. The neat thing is we got it in the red zone around the 5-yard line. Our offense goes right down for 95 yards and puts it right in 7-0. Then we go back out and we have a three-and-out. Our offense gets the ball and goes right down and then it's 14-0. I thought we responded, our offense responded, and that's what we wanted to do as a team.

Are you worried about Damante Horton getting beat on some of the deep pass plays?

Well, it was just one. He was leaning and kind of lost his balance on the long one and he's in position; it's just that he kind of lost his footing and he has got to know better. He knew what was coming; he just did not have good football position.

Running with the 1s:

OFFENSE:
QB- Connor Halliday
RB- Marcus Mason
X Receiver- Dominique Williams
H Receiver- Brett Bartolone
Y Receiver- River Cracraft
Z Receiver- Gabe Marks
LT- Gunnar Eklund
LG- Joe Dahl
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- Matt Goetz
RT- John Fullington


DEFENSE:
DE- Toni Pole
NT- Ioane Gauta
DE- Xavier Cooper
BUCK- Destiny Vaeao
SAM- Cyrus Coen
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote
CB- Daquawn Brown
CB – Damante Horton
S – Deone Bucannon
S – Taylor Taliulu

LIMITED PLAYERS:
LB Peyton Pelluer
OL Jacob Seydel
DL Mortiz Christ
LS Ryan Saparto

NOT IN ATTENDANCE:
S Darius Lemora
S Bennett Bontemps
LB Chester Su'a
LB Eric Oertel

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