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QB Luke Falk near full time in Tuesday drills

PULLMAN – If practice is the barometer as to whether Luke Falk will play against Rutgers, signs looked good during Tuesday's practice. Washington State's starting quarterback returned to pads, and participated in most of the practice session, including all of team time.

The Cougars, looking to put the Portland State disaster in the rearview mirror, showed focus and determination during Tuesday's drills.

“You need to keep competing, keep playing, from beginning to end,” running backs coach Jim Mastro said. “We need to focus on the next one go out and play well.” 

Falk started the day throwing normally during the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills against the scout defense. Falk worked with the 1s and Peyton Bender with the 2s. During the quarterback and wide receiver work, Falk just participated lightly when it came to deep throws, only making a throw here and there.

While the offense worked against the scouts, the defense worked on their gap assignments. Gap issues were something coach Mike Leach and DC Alex Grinch addressed as issues after Saturday’s loss. The defense then moved on to position group drills, including stripping the ball and recovering, and intercepting the ball.

The offense and defense then worked against the scout teams. The defense drilled on open field and goal line situations against the scouts, while the offense practiced finding open spaces for receivers and backs to give better chances for easy, open receptions.

“I thought we had a good practice today, a good tempo,” Leach said. 

The receivers and nickel/cornerbacks followed up 11-on-11 with a little 1-on-1. The receivers got the best of the corners and nickels on both open field and goal line situations. There were nice grabs all around including Dom Williams, Gabe Marks and Tavares Martin Jr., though Falk threw a pick. The defense also had some nice plays, just not enough to beat the O; Charleston White and Isaac Dotson had some good plays on the ball.

Following the 1-on-1 time, the team moved into skeleton against the scouts. There weren’t a lot of spectacular plays to begin the skeleton, but near the end the defense had two interceptions, including Paris Taylor and Dotson. Treshon Broughton saw some action during the drill. During skeleton, the O-line worked on their hand placement when blocking, and the D-line worked on getting past blockers using a dummy.

Finally, team time pitted the full offense against the scout D, and the defense against the scout O. The offense was able to rip off big plays with Falk at quarterback. Falk was throwing deep balls on the money, as well as most of his passes. Calvin Green got a read on one ball and intercepted it.. Robert Lewis and Dom Williams scored, and Gerard Wicks picked up chunks of yards on the ground.

“The number of runs all depends on what the defense gives us. We don’t have a set number of runs,” Mastro said. “We focus more on touches in general, not if it's a run or catch.” 

When Bender came in, he struggled including underthrowing a pass, and getting one pass picked off. One one play Bender held on to the ball too long and Nnamdi Oguayo stripped him.

The defense had a good day during team. They were into the backfield quickly on several plays. Taylor Taliulu had a pick, Darrien Molton knocked the ball loose from D.J. Thompson’s hands and Marcellus Pippins hit James Williams so hard he dropped the ball too.

Notable Notes

  • The Cougars worked on several special teams drills including field goals, kickoff vs. return scouts and kick return against kickoff scouts.
  • Suli Hameed, Amosa Sakaria, Mack Hopkins, T.J. Fehoko and C.J. Dimry were limited in practice Tuesday.


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 

Related: Early glimpse, looking at Rutgers

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