For second consecutive Thursday Night Football session featuring the youth, WSU's defense stepped up and made play after play

PULLMAN -- For the second consecutive Thursday Night Football, Washington State’s defense stepped up and made play after play against the offense. Calvin Green also was highlighted during the practice. He played receiver last season before he made the transition to defense during fall camp. In the last week-plus, he’s made the switch to nickel back and it’s proving to be a good move.

The same couldn’t be said for Peyton Bender as he couldn’t get into a rhythm. Bender was only 1 of 3 on third-down conversions. His first fourth down was turned into a first down to give the offense a chance to get something going, but they couldn’t really get anywhere. After two plays gaining one first down, the Cougars backup QB t threw two incompletions and Green stopped a play short of the line of scrimmage. On fourth down, Kameron Powell separated Kyle Sweet from the ball on a great hit to knock it loose for a turnover on downs.

Tyler Hilinski took over with Bender’s offensive line and had a pretty good showing. As he’s done in past weeks, Hilinski took advantage of James Williams. The young back from Burbank, Calif., had the ball thrown to him four times on the drive. Inside the red zone, Hilinski was able to get a great throw in between three defenders for a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kaleb Fossum.

Hilinski then started a new drive on the 20-yard line and moved the ball a little bit, but fell victim to the opportunistic Cougars’ defense. On a third-down play around midfield, Hilinski tried to force it to D.J. Thompson, but Colton Teglovic made a great jump on the ball. Teglovic sort of looked like he was just falling toward the ball and intercepted it. The defense went into an uproar and almost every player gave Teglovic a pat on the helmet or a smack on the rear.

Hilinski was allowed to stay in following the pick and led the team down to the 4-yard line, but then the defense showed its ability to get stops again. The play to get inside the red zone was a thing of beauty. Hilinski floated the ball out to Isaiah Davis who dove for it and somehow came down with the ball. The offense got pushed back to the 14-yard line after a sack from Nnamdi Oguayo. Hilinski then just missed as the outstretched hands of D.J. Thompson, who got one hand on the ball but couldn’t reel it in. On fourth down, James Williams made an incredible catch -- that he had no business making -- over his defender at the 5-yard line, the defense’s second fourth down stop.

Christian Jorgensen came in and played pretty well to start. His first pass was a beauty to Kainoa Wilson, who was blanketed by the corner for a 20-yard gain. However, a few plays later, Jorgenson tried to get the ball to Sweet, but the ball instead found its way into the hands of Hunter Dale to end Thursday Night Football.

Before Thursday Night Football, the team worked extensively on special teams, including kickoff versus scout returners, scout kickoff against the return team and punting versus scouts and scout punting against returners. The team also worked on the buzzer-beater field-goal attempt. The offense went out and executed a short pass before the field goal unit ran on. Special teams coach Eric Mele started counting down the game clock and Erik Powell hit the field goal before time expired for the simulated win.

Finally, the defense had some success against the scout team in 11-on-11 including an interception Green. Parker Henry almost had one, but it slipped through his hands. Some depth chart fun included Green, Treshon Broughton and Henry playing at nickel back. Daniel Ekuale saw some time at nose tackle and Kache Palacio ran a few plays at defensive end with the 2s.

Notable Notes
Before Thursday Night Football the team was not wearing pads, just helmets, shorts and jerseys.

Suli Hameed, Matt Abramo, Amosa Sakaria, Mack Hopkins, C.J. Dimry and T.J. Fehoko were limited in Thursday’s practice.

Isaac Dotson was not at practice. He hasn’t been at practice all week.

OFFENSE: Thursday Night Football
QB: Peyton Bender / Tyler Hilinski / Christian Jorgenson
RB: James Williams, Alijah Lee
LT: Andre Dillard / Cedric Bigge-Duren
LG: Cody O’Connell / Noah Osur-Myers
C: Sam Flor / Carlos Freeman
RG: B.J. Salmonson / Sam Flor (when Freeman at C)
RT: Brandon Evers / B.J. Salmonson (when Floor at RG)
X: Erik Anderson / Kaleb Fossum
Y: Kyle Sweet / Madigan Taulelei
Z: Xavius Boone / Kainoa Wilson
H: D.J. Thompson / Nick Begg

DEFENSE: Thursday Night Football
DE: Jeremiah Mitchell / Jacob Laird
NT: Ngalu Tapa / Devonte McClain / Austin Brown
DT: Hunter Mattox / Kingston Hernandez
Rush LB: Logan Tago / Dylan Hanser / Nnamdi Oguayo
WIL LB: Frankie Luvu / Paris Taylor
MIKE LB: Chandler Leniu / Triston Brock
NICKEL CB: Calvin Green / Treshon Broughton / Colton Teglovic / Darius Lemora
CB: Pat Porter / Dakota Sinchak / Kyle Torres
CB: David Bucannon / Deion Singleton / Aaron Hecker
FS: Hunter Dale / Skylar Cracraft
SS: Kirkland Parker / Willie Roach / Kameron Powell

Offensive 1s
QB: Luke Falk
RB: Gerard Wicks / Keith Harrington
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 / Kache Palacio
WIL LB – Jeremiah Allison
MIKE LB – Peyton Pelluer
NICKEL: Parker Henry / Calvin Green / Treshon Broughton
CB: Darrien Molton
CB: Marcellus Pippins
FS: Taylor Taliulu
SS: Shalom Luani

Offensive 2s
QB: Peyton Bender
RB: Jamal Morrow
LT: Andre Dillard
LG: Cody O’Connell
C: Sam Flor
RG: B.J. Salmonson
RT: Brandon Evers
X: Kyrin Priester
Y: John Thompson
Z: Tavares Martin
H: Tyler Baker

Defensive 2s
DE: Hercules Mata’afa
NT: Ngalu Tapa / Daniel Ekuale
DT: Reggie Coates / Kache Palacio
Rush LB: Logan Tago / Dylan Hanser
WIL LB: Nate DeRider
MIKE LB: Chandler Leniu
NICKEL CB: Parker Henry
CB: Pat Porter
CB: Charleston White
FS: Hunter Dale
SS: Kirkland Parker


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