Coug O comes out fighting

PULLMAN -- With <B>Chris Hurd</B> leading the way, the Cougar offense picked up Monday morning where it left off Sunday afternoon, making for a dynamic start to the first round of two-a-day practices on the Palouse.

In fact, for the first time since the waning moments of the Crimson and Gray game in April, the offense seemed to be running on all cylinders. And with the defense playing like its usual intense self, the combination was electric -- so much so that a fight ensued at the end of practice between opposing linemen, drawing the ire of head coach Bill Doba.

"We are not going to fight," he said. "We play football out here. If this were a real game, both of those players would be put on the bench and suspended. We are not going to tolerate it."

Aside from some OL letdowns picking up the blitz, there was little else to complain about.

All three QBs played well, with Hurd looking exceptionally sharp. He had zip aplenty on his passes and pulled the trigger on a nifty 20-yard aerial to Trandon Harvey that sailed just over the top of defenders.

Hurd, a redshirt sophomore from Northern California, completed nearly all of his passes and made few, if any, miscues.

All three quarterbacks looked somewhat sluggish in earlier practices, largely due to new information they're trying to digest. But this morning, Hurd, Matt Kegel and Josh Swogger each looked to have reached a comfort zone.

And it may have had something to do with the rush of full contact, said Hurd. "I really liked getting out here and being able to hit. It's more of a game tempo. I love how the intensity picks up."

Making the signal calling easier is a stout offensive line and four healthy running backs. The OL opened up one hole for running back Jonathan Smith that looked like a page out of Ohio State's book of execution: A picture-perfect carry right up the gut for 10-yards.

"Our offensive line is really, really talented," Hurd said. "We've got a lot of guys with experience. And there's a lot of talent at running back, especially with Allen Thompson healthy. Having so much depth just gives you so many more weapons. You know the line will block and you know your running backs will put some yards on the ground for you."

The top four RBs figure to be all-Pac-10 contender Jermaine Green, Smith, Thompson and JC transfer Chris Bruhn.

On the flanks, redshirt freshman receiver Chris Jordan continued to impress this morning. Like yesterday, he grabbed pretty much anything thrown anywhere near him.

Notable Notes:
• Wide receiver Sammy Moore did not practice this morning because of a sore hamstring. He could be back for tonight's 7:30 practice.

• In assessing the state of his offensive and defensive lines, Doba said, "We'll know more after Wednesday's scrimmage, how much more tackling we need to do and how crisp we are."

• Tight end Troy Bienemann has looked good over the last week and this morning made several catches for short yardage.

• DE Adam Braidwood blocked a Kegel pass during practice.

• Hurd and Josh Swogger are receiving an equal amount of time with the second and third string offenses.

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