Whether it was the uptick of the heat in Lewiston or players beginning to be lulled by the grind, the energy level of the WSU team on Thursday didn't match the first five practice sessions.
But make no mistake, guys were flying all over the field.
Enough battles were won again by the defense to take the team period. And it's the defense which dominates my 3 takeaways from Day Six.
1. Taylor takes over at corner
- Junior Robert Taylor, who transferred to WSU from San Francisco City College, got the start at corner today. It took little time for him to make the transition from safety. He looks to be a guy that will take a lot of reps with the 1’s this year. Taylor is a natural leader on the field and has playmaking ability to go along with that role. If Taylor stays at corner, my early take is he and Treshon Broughton are showing themselves as the top early candidates to battle for the corner spot opposite Darrien Molton.
2. The secondary is keeping everything in front of them
- Check down routes were the staple today on offense mainly because of the coverage. Safeties Jalen Thompson and Shalom Luani along with the group of corners rotating in weren't letting anything get by them. There were very few passes thrown deep today and when either Luke Falk or Tyler Hilinski did try to go long they were either intercepted or tipped by the DBs. Thompson had a great day and laid some big hits during the team period. Charleston White had pads on the first time and made his presence known on the field today.
3. Defensive line is doing damage
- The D-line unit has improved the most out of any position group in my opinion through six days. Hercules Mata'afa, Robert Barber, Daniel Ekuale, Nnamdi Oguayo, Ngalu Tapa and Dylan Hanser each had their share of plays in the backfield today. Joe Salave'a looks to have these guys coached up well and they are creating havoc up front. There are some new faces and names unfamiliar to Cougar fans but as a unit, they are playing with great speed and getting after it every single play.
We'll have the complete recap of today's practice for you later this evening on CF.C.