WSU Practice: Mayle's back & D is fired up

PULLMAN— Wide receiver Vince Mayle returned to practice on Wednesday, but he did not do as much as the rest of his teammates. The redshirt senior participated in drills early in practice but then stayed on the sidelines for the majority of the time. The defensive line also shuffled around throughout the session, and there was a physical altercation that ended with a hurled helmet.

Defensive line coach Joe Salave’a sounded excited several times on Wednesday as his voice bellowed across the field with congratulatory and motivational phrases toward his players.

“You’ve got to do this with energy and passion," he said. "If you don’t, it’s going to be hard for you to have any success, and that was good to see our kids bounce back. The best way to bounce back is get right back on the horse and ride."

Nose tackle Toni Pole ran with the 1’s at the beginning of practice, but toward the end, he stood on the sidelines as well, watching Xavier Cooper (pictured above, right), Destiny Vaeao and Darryl Paulo switch positions on the line. However, because of the short passing game Washington employs, there might be a chance for another unusual interception by one of those men up front. After all, Pole had one in 2012 when the Cougars won the Apple Cup in Pullman.

Salave’a laughed when asked if he was hoping for another play like that, but he didn’t rule it out.

“If you play hard and compete at the highest level you can each play, those things are going to be there, and hopefully those things are going to be there for our guys," he said. "We like to say, to give ourselves a chance in any week, we have to play big up front and that’s the goal this week."

In addition to the short passes, the Huskies utilize plenty of trick plays, linebackers coach Ken Wilson said. Defending such trickery will require the Cougars to remain sound and on the attack constantly, while avoiding being on their heels, he said.

“We give them all the hard stuff on Wednesday, all the stuff that really can surprise us, so there’s always a little bit of teaching going on, but it was good. It was a good, fast practice,” Wilson said.

The defensive front for the Cougars will also face several running backs who can produce. The Huskies use Lavon Coleman, Dwayne Washington, Deontae Cooper and Shaq Thompson to move the ball on the ground, and quartet has scored a combined 10 rushing touchdowns this season. Wilson mentioned the capability of those backs, as well as the importance of first stopping the run.

In the last two games, the Cougars have put significant pressure on opposing teams. They limited Oregon State to 86 rushing yards, and Arizona State, 127 rushing yards, excluding the quarterback. Over the course of those two games, the Cougars have totaled nine sacks. The Cougars had made 19 sacks in the first nine games of the season.

“Sometimes, it’s like real-life situations," he said. "You might do everything right, and it doesn’t result in success. The biggest thing that our kids need to understand is they’ve just got to continue to stay the course, and compete and fight.

"As long as we do that, you’re going to have things work out the way it has for the last couple weeks, and so we’re just going to continue to build on that,” Salave’a said.

The energy from Tuesday’s practice carried into Wednesday, at least in the form of physical aggression. Gabe Marks was in the center of a small fight between the scout offense and the regular defense. Marks participated as a quarterback and wide receiver for the scout team, and it became apparent that he can throw a football as well as a helmet. At the end of the fight, Marks launched the helmet belonging to Darryl Monroe away from the cluster of players who were pushing and shoving.

Marks showed off his receiving skills with an athletic catch near the sideline, but his participation was limited after that.

  • Taylor Taliulu and Kache Palacio each recorded interceptions against the scout offense.

  • True freshman Austin Hall made an incredible catch near the sideline with Charleston White covering him. Hall put his hands on the ball initially, but the ball popped up and he bobbled it while White was draped all over him. While somehow keeping his feet in bounds, Hall pulled in the ball and possessed it before stepping out of bounds.

  • Cole Madison, Nate DeRider, Brett Bartolone and Nick Begg were limited on Wednesday.

    Primarily taking reps with the 1’s
    QB: Luke Falk
    RB: Jamal Morrow, Gerard Wicks
    X: Dom Williams
    Y: River Cracraft
    H: Rickey Galvin
    Z: Isiah Myers
    LT: Joe Dahl
    LG: Gunnar Eklund
    C: Riley Sorenson
    RG: Eduardo Middleton
    RT: Jacob Seydel

    E: Destiny Vaeao, Darryl Paulo
    NT: Kalafitoni Pole, Destiny Vaeao
    T: Xavier Cooper
    BUCK: Kache Palacio
    WILL: Jeremiah Allison
    SAM: Cyrus Coen
    MIKE: Peyton Pelluer, Darryl Monroe
    CB: Daquawn Brown
    CB: Marcellus Pippins
    FS: Darius Lemora
    SS: Taylor Taliulu

    Primarily taking reps with the 2’s
    QB: Peyton Bender
    RB: Theron West, Marcus Mason
    X: Drew Loftus
    Y: Tyler Baker
    H: Robert Lewis
    Z: Calvin Green
    LT: Devonte McClain
    LG: Cody O’Connell
    C: Sam Flor
    RG: Eduardo Middleton
    RT: B.J. Salmonson, Cole Madison

    E: Ivan McLennan
    NT: Robert Barber
    T: Daniel Ekuale
    BUCK: Frankie Luvu
    WILL: Tana Pritchard
    SAM: Paris Taylor, Mitchell Peterson
    MIKE: Darryl Monroe
    CB: Patrick Porter
    CB: Charleston White
    FS: Beau Glover
    SS: Sulaiman Hameed

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