Jeremiah Allison and Peyton Pelluer, 3 & 4 in Pac-12 tackling, owe some thanks to defensive line

PULLMAN -- The Cougars ran through some 11-on-11 work against scout teams on Sunday, and there was also an emphasis on punt work. But the most interesting aspects were about who lined up where. Also, in considering a pair of WSU linebackers in the top five in Pac-12 tackling stats, you have to look at the d-line. We asked DC Alex Grinch about that and more.

Jeremiah Allison (9.5) and Peyton Pelluer (8.6) are 3-4 in the Pac-12 in tackles per game this season.

That doesn’t happen without the ‘backers sticking to their gaps and trusting the hogmollies in front of them to take care of their assignments, Grinch notes in the video above.

Rush players Kache Palacio and Ivan McLennan are among the top Pac-12 leaders in sacks with four apiece.  

And they’ve had opportunities for even more, said Grinch.

Meanwhile, on Sunday during the 11-on-11 work, some interesting moves on the defense: Logan Tago was working with the second team at the RUSH position.

Palacio was taking reps at backup defensive end. Treshon Broughton worked with the twos in the nickel back position.

Daniel Ekuale and Robert Barber split reps with the ones at nose tackle. 

Speaking of Ekuale, Grinch said Ekuale’s day in Eugene (five tackles, forced fumble, TFL) was a pretty good representation of  how Ekuale is starting to round into what the staff thinks he can be on a consistent basis.  

The forced fumble, by the way, coming with a nose tackle in hot pursuit of a downfield pass catcher, was not lost on Grinch.

Grinch noted the difficulty WSU has had in finishing. While the Cougs certainly did that on Saturday against the Ducks, the number of explosive plays they gave up must improve, he said.  

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