Cougar Football: Washington State used last fall camp session to acclimate to stadium lights

PULLMAN – The Cougs wrapped up fall camp tonight as they practiced under the lights for the first time this year in Martin Stadium. I have to say, I think it was the lights that did it. Both offense and defense looked really excited to be out there. There was a sense and feeling in the air that the season is just around the corner.

Fall camp has been full of hot and sweaty summer practices. I’m sure that the cool air and bright stadium lights were a welcome change of atmosphere for the team. Standing out on the field Sunday evening definitely got me excited and simulated that game day feeling.

The practice was short, sweet, and to the point. Periods were much shorter that usual and had both sides of the ball only working against the scout team.

From an offensive standpoint, the attitude and energy on the field was exactly what you would want to see after a somewhat disappointing scrimmage yesterday. The offense looked sharp and focused while putting yesterday’s mess completely behind them.

Highlights? There were too many to count.

It doesn’t look much like real football when the scout teams struggle to put up a fight against starters. The offense completes every pass and the defense picks up a turnover on almost every other play – we get it.

Today was merely a day to run through the playbook, work on communication, make correct calls, and to keep everyone’s minds fresh so that the Cougs are ready for next week: mock game week.

One thing that I noticed tonight was the Cougar defense has a really strong chemistry going for them. There's more than I ever experienced inside of the locker room. These guys are very close with each other and have a lot of respect for their coaches.

The D as a whole has been doing some extra conditioning after each practice that almost looks borderline to punishment. Coaches aren’t all over the players chewing them out. They’re encouraging them and motivating them to work harder to get through the pain. Players are running gassers and doing up-downs with a clear purpose – they want to be the best defense they can be.

The most amazing part might be how much fun these guys are having at practice. When the 1’s and 2’s rotate in and out, guys are excited to go in – high fives, knuckles, screaming, cheering, all that good stuff. They are there to improve every day by getting in quality reps, but also know how to enjoy the process.

It’s been a long offseason, so I think that everyone is getting a bit antsy to find out what the Cougs can do. Only two more weeks of preparation before the team gets rolling this year. Mock game week will get the boys mentally sharp and ready for the real deal on the following week.

RELATED: WSU scrimmage dominated by defense

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