Practice: Sulaiman Hameed to start at Utah

PULLMAN— True freshman safety Sulaiman Hameed has gone from being a substitute and getting his first college reps against Oregon to being the projected starter against Utah -- that's quite the ascension in the WSU program. Indeed, d-coordinator Mike Breske said to expect Hameed to start on Saturday, which aligns with the safety’s participation with the first-team defense throughout this week.

Breske also revealed that freshman linebacker Frankie Luvu is on the travel squad, and will perhaps get some reps on Saturday at the BUCK linebacker position as he has done in practice this week. He would be the fourth true freshman to play for the Cougs this season, joining Hameed, Patrick Porter and Calvin Green. The starting safeties figure to be Hameed and second-year freshman Darius Lemora based on practice, with Taylor Taliulu first off the bench.

The usual BUCK’s, Kache Palacio and Ivan McLennan switched out at that position in various scenarios on Thursday. Both practiced at times with the first-team defense.

Breske said the defense as a whole was fun to watch in Thursday Night Football. The youngsters rallied in the red zone, Breske clearly enjoyed, not allowing any scores.

The Thursday Night defense forced a couple of turnovers during the "game," and the veterans caused a couple more outside of it. Junior linebacker Kyle Newsom intercepted Peyton Bender during the Thursday Night game, and on a long completion from Bender to Daniel Lilienthal, Jeff Farrar forced a fumble that Skyler Cracraft recovered.

Lilienthal carried Farrar for about five yards before Farrar was able to bring the receiver down. Before hitting the ground, Lilienthal coughed up the ball and Cracraft was there to scoop it up.

Earlier in the practice, Daquawn Brown picked off Gabe Marks twice during a team period against the scout offense.

The Cougars could have their hands full against a Utah defense ranked second in the Pac-12 in sacks and fourth in rush defense. Offensive line coach Clay McGuire said the guys in the trenches for the Cougars will have to attack the Utah defensive line the same way they did against Oregon.

“With what they do schematically, and how hard they play, they do a great job,” McGuire said of the Utah defensive line. “Every week in the Pac-12 is going to be a challenge. Every week is going to be a different type of challenge because of the different types of defenses you see, but these guys do as good a job as anybody in the country, and we’ll have to be focused in and ready to go.”

Comparing the offensive and defensive linemen in Thursday Night Football, McGuire said the young defensive linemen are tougher than the young offensive linemen right now.

However, McGuire said the O-line was able to open up some good holes for freshmen Squally Canada and Keith Harrington, who each gained significant yardage on multiple plays. Many of their runs went for more than five yards, and Canada broke one for about 40 yards toward the end of practice.

Following that long run, a large fight broke out that dissipated into a few smaller fights. When the dust settled, the coaches made the players do up-downs, and McGuire said that was simply to discipline the players that those fights cannot happen in games. Unsportsmanlike conduct like that leads to penalties, and while sometimes the dust-ups in practice are worth it, sometimes they go too far, McGuire said.

NOTABLE NOTES
  • Quentin Breshears made a field goal from about the 30-yard line during the special teams period. The kick sailed through the uprights and had plenty of distance.

  • Gabe Marks completed passes during the team period to John Thompson and Dewan Lee Thompson for touchdowns, which were defended by Daquawn Brown and Sulaiman Hameed, respectively.

  • Destiny Vaeao, Isaac Dotson, Chester Sua, Nick Begg, Mack Hopkins, Drew Springfield, Sherman Hutcherson, and Nate DeRider were inactive on Thursday.

  • Kristoff Williams was absent from practice on Thursday.

    Primarily taking reps with the 1’s
    OFFENSE
    QB: Connor Halliday
    RB: Jamal Morrow
    X: Vince Mayle
    Y: River Cracraft
    H: Rickey Galvin
    Z: Isiah Myers
    LT: Joe Dahl
    LG: Gunnar Eklund
    C: Riley Sorenson
    RG: Eduardo Middleton
    RT: Cole Madison

      DEFENSE
    E: Darryl Paulo
    NT: Kalafitoni Pole
    T: Xavier Cooper
    BUCK: Kache Palacio, Ivan McLennan
    WILL: Jeremiah Allison
    SAM: Cyrus Coen
    MIKE: Darryl Monroe
    CB: Daquawn Brown
    CB: Charleston White
    FS: Sulaiman Hameed
    SS: Darius Lemora

      Primarily taking reps with the 2’s
    OFFENSE
    QB: Luke Falk
    RB: Gerard Wicks, Theron West
    X: Dom Williams
    Y: Robert Lewis
    H: Calvin Green
    Z: Drew Loftus
    LT: B.J. Salmonson
    LG: Jacob Tweten
    C: Sam Flor
    RG: Cody O’Connell
    RT: Jacob Seydel

      DEFENSE
    E: Ivan McLennan, Lyman Faoliu
    NT: Robert Barber
    T: Daniel Ekuale
    BUCK: Frankie Luvu
    WILL: Dylan Hanser
    SAM: Paris Taylor, Mitchell Peterson
    MIKE: Peyton Pelluer
    CB: Patrick Porter
    CB: Marcellus Pippins
    FS: Taylor Taliulu
    SS: Beau Glover


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