Updated WSU spring ball practice schedule

THE FIRST SPRING BALL practice at Washington State will get underway Thursday at 2:30 pm out on the Palouse, WSU SID said in a release.

The Cougs will practice Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, with the weekday practices kicking off at 2:30 pm. The Saturday session times are TBA with the exception of the spring game April 22 at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane - that's set for a 2 pm start and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

*Crimson & Gray Game (Joe Albi Stadium – Spokane, Wash.)

Entering Mike Leach's sixth season at Washington State, the Cougars return 44 lettermen from last year's 8-5 Holiday Bowl team -- 20 on offense, 23 on the defense and one on special teams (primary punter Kyle Sweet, who lettered as a wide receiver, is also back).

Offensively, the Cougars return seven starters from 2016, including QB Luke Falk, RB Jamal Morrow, RT Cole Madison, as well as unanimous All-American LG Cody O’Connell. WSU also returns running backs Gerard Wicks and James Williams (pictured above at Joe Albi last year) -- the trio this past season combined for 1,660 rushing yards, 1,034 receiving yards and 31 total touchdowns, one of only four schools nationally with 1,000-plus yards rushing and receiving. The Cougars under Falk led the Pac-12 in passing offense (362.5 ypg, third nationally) and completion percentage (.703, second nationally) as well as first downs (340, seventh nationally).

Defensively, Washington State begins its third season under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Last season the Cougar defense allowed 26.4 ppg and 405.9 ypg (compared to 27.7 and 416.8, respectively, in 2015).  The Cougar rushing defense finished third in the Pac-12 at 134.2 ypg -- the fewest ground yards allowed by WSU's stop corps since 2006.  

WSU’s turnover margin also took another jump in 2016, improving over a three-year span from minus-1.42 in 2014 to minus-0.08 in 2015 to plus-0.46 last season.

NOTABLE: CF.C will have wall-to-wall team coverage of the spring season. Veteran reporter James Lindsay, out of Boston, will serve as our daily beat writer while Skyler Cracraft will serve as an analyst and Zach Anders as a correspondent. In addition, new columnist Chris Anderson plans to jump into the fray a bit.

RELATED: WSU Football Spring Fast Facts

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