PRACTICE: Inconsistent day for Wazzu defense

PULLMAN- The Cougars came out of the gate with plenty of energy on Sunday, with both the offense and defense making some big plays. However, that wasn't the case for one of units to end today's session. Also, some young players continued to showcase their skills, and head man Mike Leach and inside linebackers coach Ken Wilson provided some insights with CF.C.

After a brief session of individual drills for the receivers and quarterbacks, the offense kicked things off with a session of skelly.

The No. 1 defense lined up against the No. 1 offense for the first five plays and Halliday went 4-of-5, with his lone miss being a drop by receiver Vince Mayle.

After the five plays against the No. 1 defense, the scout team took over against Halliday and company. Halliday connected with most of his targets, but on the incompletions, the receivers were dropping catchable balls. Sophomore WR Dom Williams dropped one pass along with freshman WR River Cracraft.

With those dropped balls, Halliday still went 13-of-18 in skelly and didn't turn the ball over.

REDSHIRT FRESHMAN QB Austin Apodaca had eight total throws in skelly and completed seven of them. Of those seven completions, he hit six different targets and didn't turn the ball over.

In 11-on-11, Halliday went 17-of-19 with no interceptions.

We've had good practices this week," Leach said.

Cracraft made up for his dropped pass earlier in skelly by hauling in a catch that was easily the play of the day.

Apodaca threw a dime over Cracraft's shoulder, but threw it out in front of him more than he intended. Cracraft made the adjustment and dove for the ball and made the grab. Apodaca finished 6-of-8 in team session.

Junior WR Bobby Ratliff had a solid day of practice, bringing in all the balls that were thrown his way.

WITH TEMPERATURES BEGINNING to drop out on the Palouse, the forecast looks to be mildly chilly for kickoff on Thursday (7 p.m. on ESPN). has Halloween listed with a high in the low 50's and a low in the mid-30s in Pullman. The Cougs are used to the cold conditions and many might think that Arizona State will have a difficult time adapting to the frigid conditions in Pullman.

Leach disagrees.

"I don't think it affects it much," Leach said. "I think it's harder to go warm to cold than it is cold to warm. I've always thought the biggest thing that affects games is wind rather than temperature. I think wind does more than temperature."

AS OF LATE, a lot of young guys have been stepping it up during Thursday Night Football. Leach usually isn't available to speak after Thursday's session because of his radio show, but he watches the young guns do battle. Leach listed who he likes on both defense and offense on Thursday nights.

"It bounces around," Leach said. "Feddie Davey typically looks really good, Ivan McLennan looks good, Jamal Morrow looks good."

Leach went on to mention John Thompson, Robert Lewis, Isaac Dotson and Daniel Ekuale as other Cougs have impressed him on Thursdays.

LINEBACKERS COACH Ken Wilson has been very happy with the play of Feddie Davey as well, despite having a few nicks that slowed his progression the last few weeks.

"When he's healthy, he's a force out there," Wilson said of Davey. "So, we just need to get him out there playing like that all the time."

Wilson even mentioned two freshmen who have really impressed him at the linebacker position.

"I'm really excited about DeRider (Nate) and Hundeby (Nathan) right now," Wilson said. "They're doing a really good job right now. They're getting better. It's hard for me to see them any time besides Thursday Night because they are not in my meetings. They don't come to my stuff they are always down here. Both of them have got to travel the games and have been on the sidelines with me. I have got high hopes for those guys."

Hundeby came out on fire last Thursday and was easily the defensive star. He recorded seven tackles, a sack and an interception at the end of last week's Thursday Night Football.

SPEAKING OF DEFENSE, the group came out hot, but finished sloppy on Sunday afternoon.

Senior Safety Deone Bucannon had an interception early along with fellow senior CB Damante Horton.

Towards the end of their session against the scouts, the secondary began to look lackadaisical and kept getting beat deep by the scout team receivers.

The secondary ended up getting burned twice in a row and defensive coordinator Mike Breske let his defense know he was not very happy when they kept getting beat.

Usually, the defense has no problem stopping the run. Today, Morrow was making decent sized gains and freshman QB Tyler Bruggman completed more passes than usual.

On the other hand, senior safety Anthony Carpenter brought the defensive spirit alive with his hit of the day.

Freshman QB Luke Falk dropped back and led Lewis out a little too far and Carpenter delivered a forearm shiver that got the defense pumped up.

Senior kicker Andrew Furney began the day off kicking field goals at Rogers Field. Furney was perfect nailing all four of his kicks. His longest was from 45 yards out.

Running with the 1s:
QB- Connor Halliday
RB- Marcus Mason
X Receiver- Dom Williams
H Receiver- Rickey Galvin
Y Receiver- River Cracraft
Z Receiver- Gabe Marks
LT- Gunnar Eklund
LG- Joe Dahl
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- Matt Goetz
RT- John Fullington

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:
OL Jacob Seydel
LB Peyton Pelluer
DL Mortiz Christ
S Darius Lemora
LB Chester Su'a

Not in attendance:
S Bennett Bontemps
LS Ryan Saparto
CB Alex Jackson

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