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Luke Falk and Gabe Marks stole the show during spring practice Day 6

PULLMAN -- Day No. 6 of spring practice was another extremely competitive session, but from start to finish the connection between quarterback Luke Falk and receiver Gabe Marks proved to be too much for the defense to handle. Many players from both sides of the ball played well today, but these two were on a different level.

Once all of the individual drill work was complete the offense and defense came together for the wide receiver/defensive back 1v1 period. It was here that the Falk-to-Marks connection began to shine as Falk fired passes to a wide-open Marks for the entire period.

It was not just Falk and Marks who looked good during this period. Several receivers ran great routes as the offense put together its best overall 1v1 period of the spring.  Cornerback Treshon Broughton and safety Jalen Thompson both put together nice periods, but they could not do enough to overcome the Cougar offense.

X receiver Tavares Martin looked good in this period; particularly with his goal line fade routes. He caught several of these for touchdowns by using excellent releases from the line of scrimmage, creating a lot of separation.  This is very encouraging to see because he is replacing graduated senior Dom Williams, who really excelled on these routes.

Another bright spot of this period came from a guy who Cougar fans may not be familiar with, but could be soon. Second-year freshman Kainoa Wilson ran some very crisp routes during this period and won every rep that in which he was a participant. He also had the most impressive play of the period, making a fingertip grab as he laid out for a ball near the sideline.

The 7v7 period was Falk’s most impressive of the spring. If it were not for two drops by receivers, he would have completed his first 15 passes. Charleston White had an interceptions late in the period, as he continues to flourish in his new role at safety, but aside from the one mistake Falk did an excellent job of finding the open man for the entire period.

Quarterback Peyton Bender took second team reps in this drill. He did not match Falk's completion percentage, but he made some really nice throws and put together a solid performance. He threw two touchdowns of 40 yards to receivers Martin and Robert Lewis that highlighted his period performance.

Safety Thompson looked good again in this period, and particularly on one play. Thompson made an excellent break on a dig route ran by Lewis, allowing him to make a giant hit on the receiver, sending the ball flying to the turf for an incompletion.

The 11v11 period started with Hilinski leading the second team offense against the Cougar defense. The defensive line really did a nice job during this period and held the run game in check. Defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa and Robert Barber gave the offensive line and running backs fits all period long. Defensive end Logan Tago also had a nice period, as he got to Hilinski twice for sacks.

Frankie Luvu also made a really nice play in his period as he continues to try to make his case to be the starting Will linebacker. He used his athleticism to fly across the field to put a big hit on running back Jamaal Morrow as he tried to catch a pass over the middle.

Hilinski ended his drive impressively as he found two different receivers for touchdowns on his final two plays. He threw a strike to the flat, a pass caught by running back James Williams who made two defenders miss with one move, then ran into the end zone.  Hilinski then perfectly placed a lofted pass near the back pylon as Martin put together another great goal line fade route.

It was then time for Falk, Marks and the first team offense to take the field against the Cougar defense. On the first play Falk found Marks deep down the sideline for a gain of more than 30 yards, then kept the momentum going by hitting Y receiver River Cracraft over the middle for a gain of 15. Falk continued to make good decisions and throws for the majority of the drive, including a nice catch and run on a slant route by receiver John Thompson, who ended up with a gain of 20 yards.

This got the momentum going for the offense and they never looked back. On the next play, Marks dove and caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Falk.  As expected, Marks gave the ball a nice spike and did a little trash talking. A few plays later it was Martin’s turn as he made an amazing catch with a defender near him and while dragging one foot just inside the out of bounds line near the back corner of the end zone.

Falk and Marks then connected for another touchdown on a goal-line fade route, proving again why they are one of the toughest quarterback-wide receiver combinations to deal with in the nation.  

On the final play of practice, Falk showed that even though he is known for his arm, that he has just enough mobility that it cannot be ignored. He could not find and open receiver and scramble left around the end and capped off his impressive day with a 5-yard touchdown run.

Falk and Marks stole the show in day 6, but the entire team improved after another solid day of work.

NOTABLE NOTE:

  • Isaac Dotson, Keith Harrington, Suli Hameed, Daniel Ekuale, and Marcellus Pippins were all inactive. 

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