Thursday Night Football yields mixed success

PULLMAN -- If it's Thursday, it's time for Thursday Night Football at Cougar practice. Tyler Hilinski took the bulk of the quarterback snaps, while cornerback Treshon Broughton got some reps in his first real scrimmage work. But as one Cougar assistant coach noted, the tackling left something to be desired.

It was a mixed bag of positives and negatives during this Thursday Night Football event.

“Some of the guys didn’t tackle really well tonight,” DC Alex Grinch said. “It’s hard for some scout guys going from touch-tackles to full speed play, but they still need to finish their plays.”

Hilinski showed good pocket presence during his time at quarterback. He completed several passes for first downs, but was unable to get into the end zone through the air. Hilinski hit Kaleb Fossum, Nick Begg and Kyle Sweet for first downs. Sweet made a great move to get free to put the offense into the red zone. Finally, Hilinski completed a pass to D.J. Thompson, who then used a nifty move to get free and convert a first down. James Williams punched it into the end zone after the Thompson reception.

Christian Jorgenson took over, and he looked a little anxious in the pocket. It didn’t help that Jeremiah Mitchell caused Williams to fumble during the first few plays. Erik Anderson had a couple nice catches, including one where he was popped pretty hard, and another where he caught a floater in the end zone. Some coaches tried to wave it off, but Anderson was adamant that he caught the pass.

Before Thursday Night Football, the Cougars went through drills similar to most practices, but with increased emphasis on special teams. The team ran through myriad special teams drills, kickoff vs. return scouts, kickoff scouts vs. return team, punt scouts vs. return, punt vs. return scouts, and field goal vs. live defense. During the field goal work, Erik Powell had solid kicking strokes throughout (and showed off his leg, see note at bottom).

The offense took on the scout defense in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. Later, the quarterbacks and receivers practiced their routes, and route combinations. When the offense returned against the scout defense, Luke Falk was reading the openings well and hit his receivers in stride on almost every play.

The defense started practice against the scout WRs and RBs with no O-line to focus on gap work. Later the scout offense joined in full against the D. The defense had several interceptions with Charleston White, Shalom Luani, Taylor Taliulu and Reggie Coates each getting one.

  • Suli Hameed, Amosa Sakaria, T.J. Fehoko, Nnamdi Oguayo and Deion Singleton were limited Thursday. Zaire Andre, whose departure was noted last week, is no longer listed on the official WSU roster.

  • Powell drilled a 62-yard field goal during warm ups, clearing the crossbar by a few yards. He also tried a 67-yarder, but couldn’t quite get that one through the uprights.

    Offensive Thursday Night Football
    QB: Tyler Hilinski, Christian Jorgenson
    RB: James Williams, Alijah Lee
    LT: Andre Dillard
    LG: Cody O’Connell
    C: Sam Flor
    RG: B.J. Salmonson
    RT: Brandon Evers
    X: Erik Anderson, Kaleb Fossum
    Y: Kyle Sweet
    Z: Isaiah Davis
    H: D.J. Thompson
    Defensive Thursday Night Football
    DE: Reggie Coates, Jeremiah Mitchell
    NT: Ngalu Tapa, Austin Brown
    DT: Hunter Mattox
    Rush LB: Dylan Hanser, Logan Tago
    WIL LB: Frankie Luvu
    MIKE LB: Chandler Leniu
    NICKEL CB: Darius Lemora
    CB: Pat Porter
    CB: Kyle Torres
    FS: Kirkland Parker, Hunter Dale
    SS: Skylar Cracraft

    Offensive 1s
    QB: Luke Falk
    RB: Gerard Wicks
    LT: Joe Dahl
    LG: Gunnar Eklund
    C: Riley Sorenson
    RG: Eduardo Middleton
    RT: Cole Madison
    X: Dom Williams
    Y: River Cracraft
    Z: Gabe Marks
    H: Robert Lewis
    Defensive 1s
    DE: Darryl Paulo
    NT: Robert Barber
    DT: Destiny Vaeao
    Rush LB –Ivan McLennan
    WIL LB – Jeremiah Allison
    MIKE LB – Peyton Pelluer
    NICKEL CB: Isaac Dotson
    CB: Darrien Molton
    CB: Charleston White
    FS: Taylor Taliulu
    SS: Shalom Luani

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