Washington State Football: Fall camp winds down with a tug-of-war Wednesday

PULLMAN – Washington State's Wednesday practice showed a lot of explosives on both sides of the ball. Big plays on offense by Luke Falk and a host of deflections by defensive backs led by Parker Henry made the action swing back and forth creating some sort of tug-a-war as to which side could out slug the other.

in his post practice interview, head coach Mike Leach expressed that even though he liked big plays, he wanted more consistency out of his team as a whole.

"I thought we had real good effort at times," said Leach. "I thought it was uneven at times… It was too explosive. If something good happened on defense it came too easy, and if something good happened on offense it came to easy and then of course the explosive stuff I thought was good. We have to be more consistent I think."

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Maybe he’s right, but when Robert Lewis takes a handoff from the 30-yard line and rips through the defense for a touchdown, its hard not to be impressed. Lewis has some crazy-fast speed. If he can replicate plays like that in games this year. he has the chance to make a big name for himself.

Luke Falk had a next level performance in Martin Stadium today. Not only was he completing deep throws, he was selecting his shots with confidence and executed his throws with poise. None of his throws were 50/50 balls. Falk knew where he wanted to go with it and delivered the ball right on the money.

It might be that Falk is testing some of his receivers right now in case he needs to get rid of the ball and throw one up at some point in the season. Whatever the reasoning, he looks good and his guys are making some great catches down field. A couple times Falk wound up and threw a bomb as far as he could. Those throws in particular didn’t work out as well. I still think he’s just trying to see what his receivers are capable of if need be.

Tavares Martin and Isaiah Johnson-Mack seem to be the guys raking in most of the catches. Both players are taller than your average defensive back, and not only that, they have a great range to go up and snag the football.

Dezmon Patmon is also becoming a solid target for Falk. He’s another player that has a lot of size and good hands to match it.

The offensive line is playing lights out in pass protection right now. The starting group only gave up one sack today, but they also struggled to open up any running lanes. Aside from Lewis’ long TD, Gerard Wicks had the only effective run on a 15-yard gain. Other than that holes just weren’t there.

Even though Falk made some spectacular throws today, the defense maintained pretty tight coverage throughout the practice and limited the run game during the team session. The D only managed one interception today, but got plenty of hands on a lot of throws that were in the air.

Pass break-ups are definitely a big deal on defense. They only count as an incompletion on the stat sheets, but it shows how well the defense can cover as a whole.

I know I’m missing a few names, but these are some guys that I saw break-up some passes today: Parker Henry (pictured above) broke up two, Darrien Molton, Kirkland Parker, Jalen Thompson, Marcellus Pippins, and Treshon Broughton had one deflection apiece.

Yeah, the defense did give up some explosive plays as Leach mentioned, but they had their share as well.

Charleston White intercepted Falk on a throw downfield to Patmon. Falk threw an incredible pass that hit Patmon right in the hands, but the ball bounced out and White was right there to make the grab. On the play, White was lined up at the safety spot on the opposite side of the field as Patmon. Post-snap, White ran to cover the middle of the field, and then turned to Patmon’s side once Falk released the ball. He went far hash to the opposite sideline and came up with an interception.

White is arguably the fastest player on the team and today he showed how he can turn that speed into range. I would not be surprised to see White out on the field a whole lot this year after the plays he’s been making in practice recently.

There were a few changes on special teams today.

To begin, Kyle Cellii is the starting long snapper right now and changed his number from 44 to 72. He looked good getting the ball back then raced down the field pretty quickly.

Returning punts today was Kaleb Fossum and Robert Taylor. Both guys show sure hands as returners and are pretty quick once they get a first step. Johnson-Mack is starting to take some reps at gunner.

On the other side in punt protection, the starting jammers look to be Broughton and Taylor. Behind them was Jalen Thompson and Pippins.

The Cougs only have a few more practices left of mock game week before the season gets going. It looks like things are really starting to come together and guys are getting settled in to their positions. Its only a matter of time before the first kickoff goes up in Martin Stadium on September 3rd.


Washington State now has six walk-on players listed on their roster:

53    CASTILLO, Anthony              LB       5-9      218      JR     HS    Kent Wash. (Meridian)

62    PAZ, Chris                             OL       6-4      316      FR*    RS     Bellingham, Wash. (Squalicum)

49    SCHAFER, Brett                    K        5-9      171      FR*    RS     Edmonds, Wash. (Meadowdale)

62    BAUMGARDNER, Jon          LB      5-11     228      FR     HS    Boise, Idaho (Bishop Kelly)

42    CRANE, Jack                         K        6-2      180      FR     HS    Sammamish, Wash. (Skyline)

69    HAROON, Francis                 DL       6-1      246      FR     HS    Bellevue, Wash. (Bellevue)

93    HANSEN, Levi                       LB       6-0      220      FR     HS    Anchorage, Alaska (Robert Service)

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