THURSDAY NIGHT: WSU corners make impression

PULLMAN—Coming off arguably his best performance of the season, junior quarterback Connor Halliday showed no signs of letting down during Thursday's practice. He was not the offense's only standout as both freshmen quarterbacks starred during Thursday Night Football and a junior wide receiver scored four touchdowns. Also, the starting defense looked good against the scout team.

Defensive coordinator Mike Breske noted that his defense had a good week of preparation leading up to today's practice.

With the travel team suited up in just helmets and sweatpants, the defense went up against the scout team and put in a solid session.

Senior cornerback Nolan Washington continued to have a great week of practice.

Washington was aggressive while going up against sophomore wide receiver Drew Loftus and junior wide receiver Daniel Lilienthal. Even though the team period of defense was relaxed, Washington swarmed to the ball and didn't give them a chance to catch passes. He had one deflection and almost pulled in an interception.

Sophomore SAM Tana Pritchard also did a fine job in coverage. He had an interception off of freshman quarterback Tyler Bruggman and one "tackle-for-loss" on freshman running back Jamal Morrow. Senior SAM Cyrus Coen has been a limited participant all week and Pritchard has been filling in with the 1s at SAM.

At the safety position, senior Casey Locker has continued to take advantage of his reps with the 1s. He had an interception and two batted down balls.

On the defensive line, the standout was senior Ioane "Junior" Gauta
. He continues to be a tough guy to fend off for the scout-team offense. Gauta notched two "sacks" on Bruggman along with a "tackle-for-loss."

At the other side of Martin Stadium, Halliday breezed through the team period while running against the scouts. With Martin's public address system rattling off crowd noise, he completed 22 of 25 passes. Halliday should have had 23, but junior wide receiver Isiah Myers dropped a catchable ball.

Among the receivers, freshman River Cracraft had an excellent day and made two sensational grabs in the team period.

DURING THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL, it was all Daniel Lilienthal. Lilienthal, who walked on for the Cougars this season, put up some outstanding numbers and had one of the best performances of the year during Thursday Night Football.

On the first drive, Bruggman connected with him three straight times. That possession culminated with a 15-yard touchdown run by freshman Jamal Morrow.

During the ensuing drive, Bruggman hit Lilienthal for a 25-yarder that eventually set him up for a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Lilienthal didn't stop there.

His second touchdown grab could be nominated for play of the year in Thursday Night Football if there were one.

Freshman quarterback Luke Falk dropped back from the 32-yard line and tossed the pigskin up for Lilienthal to grab in one-on-one coverage. With freshman cornerback Kahmel Green all over him, the ball was a bit underthrown. Lilienthal reached back for the ball and secured it by catching it on Green's helmet in the end zone as they both fell to the ground.

Lilienthal finished with nine catches and four touchdowns.

Bruggman shared the pigskin with other receivers, as well. Freshman wide receiver Robert Lewis had a quiet, but good outing with six receptions. One of those went for 25 yards.

The ground game has been great the past few weeks on Thursdays. It wasn't as breathtaking this evening, but Morrow did have one run where he almost scored. With help from his offensive lineman, Morrow juked out a linebacker and hit the third-level before he eventually was brought down by sophomore linebacker Feddie Davey. The run went for 64 yards.

Sophomore running back Jeremiah Laufasa had a few reps during Thursday Night Football for the Cougars. Running backs coach Jim Mastro was asked about Laufasa participating in Thursday Night Football, something he never does.

"(Gerard) Wicks couldn't go tonight," Mastro said. "So, we needed to have another guy and plus he gets carries so that was good."

As far as the quarterbacks go, Bruggman and Falk each threw two touchdown passes and did not have any interceptions.

Bruggman finished 10 of 12 and Falk was 12 of 13.

The defensive line struggled a bit for the Cougs, but freshman defensive lineman Emmitt Su'a-Kalio recorded a "sack" on Bruggman.

Freshman cornerback Charleston White was the easy favorite for most valuable player Thursday evening.

He led the defense in tackles with six, had an interception and recovered a fumble.

CF.C asked Breske about White's great day on defense and his progression.

"Yeah he did (have a great night)," Breske said. "He had a pick at the end. He's been on scout team. His big opportunity is going to come this spring."

The Cougars will have the day off tomorrow before taking on the Utah (4-6) at Martin Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network.

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—Tana Pritchard
MIKE—Darryl Monroe
WILL—Justin Sagote
CB—Nolan Washington
CB—Damante Horton
S—Deone Bucannon
S—Casey Locker

OL Jacob Seydel
DL Moritz Christ
LB Chester Su'a
S Bennett Bontemps
S Isaac Dotson
S Taylor Taliulu
LB Cyrus Coen
OL Andy Agen
QB Domenic Rockey

CB Alex Jackson
LS Ryan Saparto

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