Coach Mike Leach talked about not doing too much and taking what the defense allows, Falk did that Wednesday. He wasn’t forcing the ball as much into coverage, and seems to take the extra effort to find the open receiver.
“The great thing about this offense is its natural progression,” outside WR coach Graham Harrell said. “If you go through your reads, and don’t force anything, you’ll find the open guys. If you can find the open guy, it won’t feel like forcing it.”
Falk worked with the first team offense throughout the day. At the beginning of practice, the offense drilled against the scout defense, and the defense practiced their gaps. The quarterbacks and receivers switched to different route work without the O-line and scout defense. The defense moved to their positional groups to watch the ball and react to the throws.
The team then went into 11-on-11 pitting the scout D against the offense. Falk looked more patient Wednesday, and he was making great reads all over the field. He went through his progressions, and also had great touch multiple times, including a tight throw to Kyrin Priester On run plays, the offense opened up big holes.
“We tell the receivers 'If you go where you’re supposed to be and get there fast, the quarterback will throw you the ball,’” Harrell said. “We preach to be clear-minded, play fast and just do what you’re supposed to do.”
While the offense was occupied, the scout O took on the defense. The defense was quick to the ball, and kept the scouts out of the end zone on goal line work. One of the best plays came when three defenders converged, causing the ball to pop up, with Darrien Molton coming down with the interception.
The Cougars moved into skeleton work with the same scout groups going against each other. The defense struggled a little bit, but Tyler Hilinski deserves a lot of credit. He was dropping dimes in places you’d never expect, including one to D.J. Thompson. For the offense, Falk had a few plays fall apart with miscommunication, but he also made some stellar plays thanks to good touch and less forcing the ball.
During team time, the second team offense battled the second team defense for a handful of plays. Peyton Bender threw a few incompletions that were either nowhere near the receiver or under-thrown. However, Bender also completed some nice passes to Keith Harrington and River Cracraft. Finally, team time moved to scout offense against the D, and the scout defense against the O. Falk threw some nice passes, including ones to Kyle Sweet and Dom Williams. Bender also saw some reps with the ones. The defense made several big plays during this section of team time. Molton and Kirkland Parker each had an interception, and Ivan McLennan was quick to the QB on multiple occasions.
“We have a new game this week, and we work to just get better every day,” linebackers coach Ken Wilson said. “We’ve got a game plan, and we’re ready to execute it. We just need to perform.”
The Cougars will have one more short practice at 7 p.m. Thursday before flying to New Jersey for Saturday's game against Rutgers.
- The team worked on several special teams drills including field goal blocking, punt vs. return scouts and punt return against punt scouts.
- Suli Hameed, Amosa Sakaria, Mack Hopkins, T.J. Fehoko and C.J. Dimry were limited in practice Wednesday
QB: Luke Falk
RB: Gerard Wicks
LT: Joe Dahl
LG: Gunnar Eklund
RT: Cole Madison
X: Dom Williams
Y: River Cracraft
Z: Gabe Marks
H: Robert Lewis
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