Fall Camp: Day 11

PULLMAN — It was back to basics for the Cougar offense on Thursday as they worked to correct some of the miscues that marred Wednesday's scrimmage. And the results in the trenches, where so much of the scrimmage's badinage was centered, were noticeable.

The hosses did a much better job protecting the quarterbacks and run blocking. That gave Josh Swogger and Alex Brink more time to make better reads. There was nothing fancy, just workmanlike efficiency, highlighted by short passes and patience.

As they've done all camp, the QBs spread the ball among a host of receivers, who as a group appear to have turned what some thought would be a team weakness into a strength.

After looking at film of Wednesday's scrimmage, head coach Bill Doba said, "It's never as bad as you think and never as good as you think."

Doba said great summer conditioning helped prepare the players for the rigors of August workouts, but now is the time they need to prepare for the execution of a game. There is still some inconsistency from a focus standpoint with the younger players.

INJURY UPDATE: Offensive lineman Calvin Armstrong, nursing a sprained ankle, is back in action. Safety Hamza Abdullah (thumb surgery) will probably miss the season opener at New Mexico. Defensive tackle Aaron Johnson (strained abdominal) is back.

ACADEMIC UPDATE: The on-again/off-again academic status of incoming freshman receiver Charles Dillon is off again. The NCAA clearinghouse has ruled him ineligible. Whether he follows classmates Randy Estes and J.T. Diederichs to the JC ranks or aims for a grayshirt and January enrollment a la three other classmates -- Michael Willis, Letrell Myers, Benny Ward – is not clear at this point. Another member of the new recruiting class, defensive end Lawrence Ball of Fresno, was cleared by the NCAA but not by the academic board at WSU so has cast his lot with the Arizona Wildcats.

TALK ABOUT TELEGENIC: The Cougars' first four games of the season will all be televised live -- Sept. 3 at New Mexico (ESPN), Sept. 11 in Seattle vs. Colorado (ABC), Sept. 18 at home against Idaho (Fox Sports Northwest) and Sept. 25 at Arizona (ABC). If all goes well in those games and Oregon performs as advertised in the early going, don't be surprised if the fifth game – Cougars vs. Ducks in Pullman on Oct. 9 – earns a TV nod as well.

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