Following a sluggish Tuesday workout, the Cougars continued to play with a little weight in their shoes. The defense was attempting to practice the tempo and speed of a quick-paced offense, as they’ve done before, but some players weren’t as quick to the ball to take snaps. Multiple times DC Alex Grinch needed to prod the players to pick it up, and get to the line.
Even the scout team needed occasional reminding to run a quicker tempo, which made the defensive coaches even angrier.
There were spurts of struggling on the offensive side, too. During the opening 11-on-11 drill with the scout team, the offense didn't perform up to the coach's expectations, and the result was a series of up-downs. I didn’t see anything outlandishly bad, but they struggled enough to get the punishment. There were more up-downs later after the scout team made more plays on the ball, and threw several incompletions or had plays stopped for minimal gains.
There were positives. In skeleton, the offense dictated the action in a lot of plays. Luke Falk and Peyton Bender did a good job finding holes all over the field. Though it was bittersweet for Bender, who threw another pick, this one on a ball swatted by Willie Roach and intercepted by Hunter Dale.
The defense performed well during their scramble drill, as there were passes defensed by Marcellus Pippins and Willie Roach.
When the team came together for their customary five-play series, Bender struggled to get his completions. He finished 2 of 5, with one catch requiring a diving effort from Tyler Baker. His three incompletions were all over the place, one low, one swatted away from the receiver and one that flew over everybody.
Among those who had some good moments: Daniel Lilienthal continues to thrive, once taking a short play for a touchdown after leaping a defender. Gabe Marks (pictured above) ran some nice routes that got him open on several occasions. Even with his issues, Bender did throw some nice passes, including a number that had a ton of zip on them.
On defense, Treshon Broughton appeared to have a good day reading the offense and covering his man. Pippins did an excellent job during an interception drill, making sure to snag the ball at its highest point, something Grinch emphasizes on a regular basis.
Notable Notes: Check out the video above for Wednesday’s Notable Notes.
Also: WSU's sports information department informed CF.C and other media today that interview access to defensive coaches would be cut off unless we refrained in our practice reports from noting which players were limited in their participation. We don't believe the broader context of our practice reporting will be compromised if we refrain from listing limited participants and that the alternative -- not being able to talk with Alex Grinch, Joe Salave'a and others -- would be a far greater sacrifice to you, our loyal readers.
QB: Luke Falk
RB: Gerard Wicks / Keith Harrington / Jamal Morrow
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
DE: Darryl Paulo
NT: Daniel Ekuale
DT: Destiny Vaeao
Rush LB: Ivan McLennan
WIL LB: Jeremiah Allison
MIKE LB: Peyton Pelluer
NICKEL: Parker Henry / Treshon Broughton
CB: Darrien Molton / Charleston White
CB: Marcellus Pippins
FS: Taylor Taliulu
SS: Shalom Luani