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PRACTICE: WSU set a new benchmark for high octane offense in TNF

PULLMAN – Washington State's Thursday Night Football session was not only lopsided, it was jam packed with highlight reel plays by the offense. One Cougar quarterback, along with three receivers stole the show on just three plays that I am about to describe in further detail. Two of three big plays developed into something that I have never seen throughout my entire career as a WSU football player and probably something that has never been done in a TNF scrimmage.

After the first offensive series of the day ended with an interception near the goal-line, the WSU offense quickly regrouped and flipped the field around to start their second drive from the 25-yard line.

On the very first play of the second drive, backup quarterback Tyler Hilinski (pictured above) took the snap and dropped back looking for freshman receiver Dezmon Patmon deep down the field. Hilinski liked what he saw and quickly reacted by launching a throw that floated about 60-yards through the air. With a defensive back in his face, the ball hit Patmon in perfect stride and right on the numbers. Patmon fought off the DB and snagged the ball out of the air then trotted 15-yards into the end zone. 

It was a huge play, but nothing could have made Hilinski’s day better after what would happened next.

Once again, the offense reversed the field to start the next drive from the 25-yard line going back the opposite direction. Without time to let the nerves settle from the previous play, Hilinski took the next snap and dropped back to scan the field.  This time he was looking for freshman WR Grant Porter down the field.

Porter had his man beat by about three or four strides on a deep post route, and for the second consecutive play, Hilinski put perfect touch on the ball and delivered another bomb hitting Porter in perfect stride. Porter went untouched and cruise in for another 75-yard touchdown pass.

These weren’t magic play calls or some type of trickery concocted by Mike Leach. As cliché as it sounds, these were just guys doing their jobs and making routine plays. They just happened to connect on back-to-back 75-yard touchdown passes – something that has probably never been done in a TNF session at WSU or least not as long as I’ve been around. Even the uber-talented Gabe Marks has never scored on back-to-back 75-yarders when he was playing TNF.

It was a special moment and one that I’m certain Hilinski, Patmon, and Porter won’t forget about anytime soon.

The third play that happened later was icing on the cake for the offense in this scrimmage. It was another big time score from a Coug receiver.

Sophomore quarterback Trey Tinsley hit Brandon Arconado across the middle of the field, who then took matters into his own hands. He did the rest by taking the reception all the way down the field for a score. After hauling in the catch, Arconado broke a tackle then took off in a foot race with defenders coming from different angles. He made a quick cut before taking it up the sideline for a touchdown. I didn’t get the exact yardage on the play, but I would say it was somewhere near a 60-yard scoring play.

As you would expect, the defense was in shock. A few guys made some plays here and there, but they had no consistent answer for the Air Raid attack this week.

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