Last week's TNF was a competitive battle between the offense and defense, but that wasn't the case Thursday, as the defense dominated and smothered the offense on all three drives. Nnamdi Oguayo and Skyler Cracraft had good nights on defense.
Peyton Bender's turn was first, but he never really got into rhythm. Bender had two fourth downs come up during his drive, and he had only two completions. Bender's first completion showed promise for the drive, connecting to Kaleb Fossum for 15 yards. But after that, Bender was just 1 of 3 for three yards, and 2 of 6 for 18 yards during the drive.
It never hurts Bender to get the reps, however.
“Thursday Night Football gives him the chance to get some real reps, it’s a scrimmage type situation, so it gives him a chance to go run the offense,” WSU offensive line coach Clay McGuire said. “He gets to sharpen his skills, he had a good throw that I don’t think was caught, but he anticipated it well.”
Up next was Tyler Hilinski. He's been the most consistent quarterback each TNF in terms of scoring, however, even Hilinski couldn’t avoid the tenacious Cougar D on this Thursday. Hilinski was 7 of 10 for 56 yards, with one interception. Hilinski got the Cougars into rhythm with a pair of 6-yard completions to Erik Anderson, and an 11-yarder to Fossum.
Oguayo picked up his first sack to push the offense back, but Hilinski got right back to work. On third-and-10, Hilinski hit Xavius Boone for 19 yards down to the 11. After a 7-yard pass to Boone, Hilinski took a shot at the end zone, but was intercepted by Skyler Cracraft.
Christian Jorgenson stepped in, and tried to continue the success he had last Thursday when he led his first touchdown drive. The defense would not let him get into synch. After three plays, two of which he was sacked (once by Drew Griffin and one by Jeremiah Mitchell), the offensive line was switched out. Jorgenson completed two passes for 12 yards before being sacked for a third time, this one Oguayo’s second of the session. On his final play, Jorgenson had an interception dropped by Deion Singleton.
Needless to say, the offense had to do up-downs as punishment.
“Nnamdi’s a real talented young kid, that we just think is going to get better and better,” McGuire said. “He’s got a great frame, good speed, and before it’s all said and done he’s going to be a good player.”
Notable Notes: Check out the video above for Thursday’s Notable Notes.
Offensive 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 / Chris Paz
C: Sam Flor / Carlos Freeman / Noah Osur-Myers (When Paz at C)
RG: Moritz Christ / Mack Hopkins / Cody O’Connell
RT: B.J. Salmonson / Brandon Evers / Andre Dillard
X: Erik Anderson / Kaleb Fossum
Y: Kyle Sweet / Madigan Taulelei
Z: Xavius Boone / Nick Begg
H: D.J. Thompson / Kainoa Wilson
Defensive Thursday Night Football
DE: Jeremiah Mitchell / Jacob Laird
NT: Ngalu Tapa / Devonte McClain
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: Treshon Broughton / Colton Teglovic / Darius Lemora
CB: Kirkland Parker / Dakota Sinchak / Kyle Torres
CB: David Bucannon / Deion Singleton / Aaron Hecker
FS: Hunter Dale / Skylar Cracraft
SS: Calvin Green / Willie Roach / Kameron Powell
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
DE: Darryl Paulo
NT: Daniel Ekuale / Robert Barber
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