Cougs share memories from Martin, bowl hopes

PULLMAN — Sunday afternoon was short and sweet for the Cougs as they suited up in shorts and helmets and spent most of a one-hour practice focusing on special teams, individual drills – and memories from Martin Stadium. Toward the end of the session, the first-team offense ran a brief team session against the defensive scout team.

Junior quarterback Connor Halliday breezed through the team session and hit all of his intended targets. Redshirt freshman Austin Apodaca had a few throws and completed all of his passes.

At the other end of Martin Stadium, it was scout team work for the defense as they ran through various sets and formations in preparation for Colorado State.

And several players reflected on what this year has meant to them – what could be the first winning season of their collegiate careers, and, for the seniors, their last moments in Martin Stadium.

"What sticks out to me is probably the Idaho game when we shut them out," said senior safety Deone Bucannon. "That was the biggest thing that sticks out to me. I just feel like we were playing with a lot of passion that game and we just refused to let them get in the end zone. That was the hugest thing that stood out to me. The fans were great. I loved the atmosphere and I love playing with our defense."

Senior kicker Andrew Furney mentioned the Battle of the Palouse game, as well.

"I think Idaho was fun," he said. "Just getting to play them and they are across the way. I remember in previous years we played 7-on-7 against them and there was always a lot of crap talk. They're so close and I've got some friends that go to school there, so it was pretty fun."

Junior running back Marcus Mason also weighed in on the importance of the Idaho game.

"All those guys would always come over here and always talk smack and everything," he said. "That last goal line stand where we completely shut them out was good because we don't have to hear about any nonsense from them trying to talk trash to us."

While linebackers coach Ken Wilson didn't have a specific favorite moment, he cited Cougar Faithful as a key component in 2013.

"I was really surprised at how the whole experience is here at Martin Stadium," Wilson said. "The students are in here early to games and they sit behind your bench and are very vocal. They like football here. I think just the whole experience of the community and the campus in this stadium was beyond my expectations. I mean, they are really ready to blow up and love football here and we just have to keep winning and give them a reason to come out every week."

Securing a bowl will help that.

Now, it is just a matter of going down to Albuquerque and taking care of business – but having some fun along the way.

"As long as it's not football time," said head coach Mike Leach. "If it's football time they need to enjoy preparation and focusing exclusively on football with virtually no distractions. After that, we want them to have a heck of a time."

Deone Bucannon said he plans to enjoy the moment and soak it all in, but that his main focus is capping off the season with a victory.

"I feel like a part of the experience is whatever they have planned for us," he said. "But the biggest thing to me is the game and getting the victory for our team ... I'm definitely going to have fun bonding with my teammates. That's the biggest thing, the bond we will share going into the bowl.

"I feel when we go down there we are going to have our fun, but at the same time we are going to stay focused on our goal, which is to win the game."

Furney said that he, too, expects to make some great memories.

"It's going to be some free time to hang out with some guys on the team and hopefully get some cool bowl gifts," he said. "I've always heard about them and being able to enjoy them myself might be kind of cool.

"I think it will just be fun to hang out with the guys and I'm sure it's something we will remember for the rest of our lives."

Running with the 1s:
OFFENSE
QB- Connor Halliday
RB- Marcus Mason
X Receiver- Dom Williams
H Receiver- Rickey Galvin
Y Receiver- River Cracraft
Z Receiver- Isiah Myers
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- Tana Pritchard
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote
CB- Nolan Washington
CB – Damante Horton
S – Deone Bucannon
S – Casey Locker

LIMITED PLAYERS:
OL Jacob Seydel
DL Moritz Christ
LB Chester Su'a
S Bennett Bontemps
S Isaac Dotson

NOT IN ATTENDANCE:
CB Alex Jackson
LS Ryan Saparto

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