Fall camp for Washington State thus far has seen, as I like to call it, some shuffling of the deck on both sides of the ball. Players have been moving from one position to the next, back and forth, searching for a new place in the Cougar lineup.
Mike Leach is taking full advantage of camp practices to give players a chance to earn a place on the field.
Today was a continuation of coaches evaluating guys at a number of positions. That process included third-year sophomore Keith Harrington being moved out of the backfield and lining up with the slots at H.
“We’re going to check him out – I thought he looked really good today” Leach said. “We’ve got four running backs and obviously he can play that, but we want to get as many playmakers as we can on the field – I thought he looked pretty polished there today.”
Harrington looked very solid at H today. The only issue with him at that position would be his size. Yes, he’s fast, elusive, and very powerful – but at 5-8, the quarterback doesn’t get much of a target. My guess is that he will likely be used in mesh concepts, fly sweeps, and as a dominating blocker in the screen game.
Leach said after practice that he's not certain if H receiver will be a permanent home for Harrington at this point.
The offense stalled at times during team period but still managed to get down the field and score.
On a big touchdown play today, Luke Falk sat in the pocket for a good 4-5 seconds without being touched. He was waiting for red shirt junior receiver Robert Lewis to beat one of the safeties deep with his speed. As he broke free behind the secondary, Falk hit him in perfect stride and Lewis took off for nearly 60 yards finally jogging into the endzone.
Lewis has taken his game to the next level. He is constantly gashing the defense with big plays. Though only tipping the scale at 165 and standing right around 5-9, he’s very fluid and super fast. Lewis' hands have improved immensely since arriving on campus. He's now one of the most reliable targets on this team.
Isaiah Johnson and Tavares Martin continue to make impressive catches on the outside as well. Both are really fast out of their cuts and it seems as though Falk really likes them on post routes over the middle.
As in the past three seasons, senior River Cracraft is one of the go-to receivers, especially on third down situations. He looks like he’s earned a lot of trust and confidence from the two quarterbacks. It's commonplace for either Falk or Tyler Hilinski to see Cracraft down field with just one man on him. Knowing that he’ll come down with the ball, they just throw it up for him to make the play.
The offense has been very productive in team period lately, but today the defense gave them a much tougher time. Motivated by having to run sprints after practice yesterday, the defense showed a lot of improvement and much more discipline.
I’m sure after having meetings and watching the film with defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, players and coaches learned where a lot of mistakes were being made. It's likely that it also gave the coaches a reason to justify the extra running the entire unit was given.
Yesterday I mentioned that the running backs haven’t fumbled once all camp. Well, if you didn’t knock on wood as I suggested it might be why that very thing happened today. Peyton Pelluer (pictured above) stuck a run for no gain at the goal line and forced Jamal Morrow to fumble on the play.
Pelluer is really becoming a key leader on the defense right now. He’s not the most vocal guy on the field, but his body language and attitude speak volumes. You can always count on Pelluer to give his best on every play.
The defensive backs and nickels did a good job of getting their hands on the ball today. There weren’t any interceptions, but good coverage put players in position to break up several passes.
Once again the Cougar D was swarming to the ball as they did earlier in camp and had great periods in skelly and in team.
SOME FUN NEWS:
When the Cougs took the field for their second practice in Martin Stadium, coach Leach announced to the team that red-shirt senior Colton Teglovic was put on full scholarship. Teglovic received a huge cheer from his teammates along with some helmet slaps as well.
“It was just a blessing – I felt so happy, just really excited – then they let the whole team know during bull-in-the-ring so it was awesome to get that reaction out of everyone,” said Teglovic.
Walking on at WSU in 2014, Teglovic has played on special teams in almost every game since he’s been in Pullman. He contributes to most of the special team units and has solidified his role as one of the gunners on the outside of the punt team.
Teglovic also talked about his favorite play that he’s made as a Cougar.
“My favorite play would definitely be during the (Sun Bowl) game. I was playing gunner on the punt team – I ran down and had a tackle – I came off my block and basically became unblocked and got the return guy right when he caught the ball.”
- Second-year walk on freshman quarterback Christian Jorgensen is no longer listed on the football roster. Jorgenson showed some talent last year in Thursday night football, but had lost reps this camp to incoming junior college transfers Trey Tinsley and Anthony Gordon.