final scrimmage of fall camp is referred to as a "thud" because players are not
allowed to hit each other.
Thud scrimmages go like this: As
soon as a player is touched they are ruled down. Making the action even more of
a yawner was the pitting of the first and second team against the scout team.
Overall the scrimmage was a poor
man's version of the annual Crimson and Gray game (held in April), complete with
the cheer squad, dance team and an announcer. The first and second team offense
and defense dressed in the Crimson uniforms and the scout team wore the white
To the naked eye it may seem nothing
really got accomplished, sacks were more like smacks and the 126 ground yards
chewed up by running backs Jonathan Smith and Bruhn probably would have
translated to twice as much.
What was invisible to the naked eye
though, was that the Cougars were acting out some of Idaho's "defensive
tendencies," in order to simulate what the Vandals would do in their August 30
opener. If the Vandals typically blitz on third downs, the WSU defense was
blitzing on third down during their scrimmage.
"We had bad execution but got a lot
out of it mentally," WSU head coach Bill Doba said.
Doba pointed out that his team had
too many offsides calls and offensive penalties. Both Doba and players admit
that they are sick of playing against each other and it is tough to stay
mentally sharp at this point in the year.
"We just tried to keep the tempo up
even though we were playing the scout team," said junior Devard Darling,
who hauled in three balls for 31 yards on the night. "Right now the real test
(of whether WSU is ready or not) is against Idaho."
Not to say that there weren't any
noteworthy plays. Jordan accounted for nearly half of his yards in the second
quarter as Kegel worked himself out of a jam by cruising a 40-yard pass Jordan's
direction. Kegel was looking at about third and 21 after a series of penalties
and sacks pushed him further back. He then turned that jam into a touchdown
drive, finding Darling for another first down on the 10-yard line and then
zipping a bullet to Trandon Harvey for a touchdown.
On Crimson's next drive Kegel again
manhandled the scout team defense, putting a scoring drive together in
44-seconds. The QB first found Darling for a five-yard hook up. Next it was
Harvey again to secure the first down. Then Kegel quickly found the 6-foot-8
redshirt freshman, Cody Boyd in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown.
"Boyd gives us a good big body in
there that can come off screens from the linebackers and defensive backs," Doba
Doba also liked what he saw with
running back Smith. The senior has largely improved his running game — carrying
just nine times for 66 yards Saturday — but what Doba liked was his ability to
play receiver, also. Smith caught two balls for 16 yards.
having Smith as a wide-out on the spread," Doba said.
Doba has also been impressed this
fall with the raw skill of Bruhn. With starter Jermaine Green sitting out
with a tight back, Bruhn and Smith filled in adequately.
"If it'd have
been live, we would've gotten a lot of yards rushing," Doba said.
As far as progress Darling and
senior defensive tackle, Jeremey Williams — both team leaders — think
this team is definitely comparable to the one that went to the Rose Bowl last
"I love the offense," Williams said. "We've got a lot of weapons and a lot of key guys coming back. Everyone is just anxious right now to get the season started, to hear that crowd again or just to hit someone other than your teammate."