Fall Camp Day 10: Pullman agrees with Coug D

PULLMAN— It was just another case of the Mondays for the Cougar football team. After smoke from wildfires near the Lewiston area prevented the Cougars from practicing at their usual venue, the team loaded up onto buses and made the commute to Pullman to practice in the Indoor Practice Facility, also known as the Bubble.

The relocated practice was supposed to begin at 4:30 p.m., which was already two hours past the time that the Cougars have practiced for the previous nine days of camp. Unfortunately, one of the buses of players got stuck behind (identity unknown) and so the Cougs who did arrive on time were forced to extend their warmups for another 45 minutes.

Once practice finally began, the team participated in its normal routine, conducting unit-specific drills and then progressing toward the team session. As the 11-on-11 scrimmage drew closer, it became clear that there was one group that refused to let the altered routine change the way it played the game.

The defense looked dominant again on Monday, shedding blocks and moving freely throughout the secondary to make the quarterbacks’ lives difficult.

“We actually had a lot more effort than I thought we were going to,” Brown said. “I thought everyone was going to have dead legs, and get better throughout practice, but the defense started out hot today and it just carried on throughout practice.”

Throughout the 11-on-11 portion, starter Connor Halliday and backup Luke Falk had trouble igniting the offense, simply because the defense was swarming every ball and covering every route. The first-team defensive line was able to “sack” Falk during his turn of taking reps, and there were only a couple of times that the running game was able to gain a significant amount of yards.

Gerard Wicks was able to get around the right side of the field and turn the corner for a decent gain, but the defense was able to track him down before he completely broke free.

All the reps were taken from the 50-yard line and Halliday did find Kristoff Williams early in the scrimmage for a completion that likely would have been a touchdown if Williams had continued running. It was a long gain nonetheless, and was probably Halliday’s best throw of the day.

Brown, who everyone affectionately calls Cheetah, almost had an interception against Halliday, but was unable to pull it in because, he admitted, he started to run up the field before he had control of the ball.

“I baited Connor too good and I was too happy,” Brown said.

Mike Leach said after practice that the secondary has played with athleticism, quickness, and aggression. He acknowledged the need for the unit to build its experience base, but the safeties and cornerbacks remain competitive and physical.

“We’re still making strides. Every day you can get better,” Brown said. “You can’t just say you’re at your best one day and just say we’re ready for the game now. We can always get better so we’re getting better every day and it was a good day.”

There are only two more days left in camp in Lewiston, and it feels as if most of the personnel is becoming solidified at this point, although there are a few players here and there who continue to take reps with both the first team and the second team. As an assessment of the last ten days, though, Leach offered a positive assessment.

“I thought we’ve had really good competitive work. You can really see they embraced the offseason and worked really hard in the offseason,” Leach said. “I think there was a high level of individual commitment and pretty competitive so it’s been pretty good work.”

As of right now, the schedule for the remaining two practices is the same. The team plans to practice at 2:30 p.m. at Sacajawea Middle School in Lewiston on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Charleston White ran with the first team at one of the corners today, with Tracy Clark on the second team. Clark and Brown have thus far in camp assumed the top jobs.

Kristoff Williams and Isiah Myers continue to alternate at the Z, with Williams running with the first team on Monday.

Offensive lineman Riley Sorenson, who has been taking the first-team reps at center of late and for the majority of camp, was disciplined extensively today toward the end of practice for a lack of focus resulting in poor snapping. Sorenson was pulled late in the first-team offense’s portion of the 11-on-11 and replaced by Joe Dahl. Sorenson then had to do conditioning drills for the rest of practice, leaving him drenched in sweat by the end of the day.

The gunners of the kickoff return team were on display Monday. Calvin Green, Taylor Taliulu, Cyrus Coen, and Darius Lemora all participated in special teams drills and were the gunners during today’s practice.

Marcellus Pippins, River Cracraft, and Jamal Morrow all practiced punt returns, although it was limited because of the ceiling in the indoor facility.

During the team session, Luke Falk made a strong pass to Calvin Green that was almost intercepted but somehow found Green’s hands through a tight window near the sideline.

Tana Pritchard intercepted a short pass from Erik Anderson when the scout offense was working against the first and second team defenses during drills.

Isaac Dotson, Gabe Marks, Cody O’Connell, and Brett Bartolone were limited in today’s practice.

Primarily taking reps with the 1’s
Offense
QB: Connor Halliday
RB: Gerard Wicks
X: Vince Mayle, Dom Williams
Y: Robert Lewis
H: Rickey Galvin
Z: Kristoff Williams
LT: Joe Dahl
LG: Gunnar Eklund
C: Riley Sorenson
RG: Eduardo Middleton
RT: Cole Madison

Defense
E: Destiny Vaeao
NT: Kalafitoni Pole
T: Xavier Cooper
BUCK: Kache Palacio
WILL: Tana Pritchard
SAM: Cyrus Coen
MIKE: Darryl Monroe
CB: Daquawn Brown
CB: Charleston White
FS: Taylor Taliulu
SS: Darius Lemora

Primarily taking reps with the 2’s
Offense
QB: Luke Falk
RB: Theron West, Teondray Caldwell
X: Drew Loftus
Y: River Cracraft
H: Calvin Green
Z: Isiah Myers
LT: Devonte McClain
LG: Sean Krepsz
C: Sam Flor
RG: Jacob Seydel
RT: Eduardo Middleton

Defense
E: Darryl Paulo
NT: Daniel Ekuale
T: Robert Barber
BUCK: Ivan McLennan
WILL: Chester Sua
SAM: Paris Taylor
MIKE: Jeremiah Allison
CB: Kevin Griffin
CB: Tracy Clark
FS: Sulaiman Hameed
SS: Beau Glover

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