Healing up for the Lobos

PULLMAN -- Cornerback <b>Tyron Brackenridge</b> and linebacker <b>Pat Bennett</b>, each hobbled of late with sore hamstrings, are both good to go for Friday's season opener at New Mexico. Bennett, the pride of Forks, Wash., will split time with sophomore <b>Steve Dildine</b> on the weakside, but Dildine will start.

Brackenridge figures to be part of a three-man rotation at corner backing up starters Karl Paymah and Alex Teems. The other backups are Don Turner and Wally Dada.

JC transfer receiver Greg Prator, also nursing a hamstring, is the only travel squad player that didn't practice Thursday. He will be a game-time decision. Trainer Bill Drake said because players are coming into camp in excellent shape it has cut down on the time they have been out with injuries.

Wednesday marked the Cougars' last workout of fall camp, as they head to Albuquerque on Thursday. The practice was nothing more than a walk-through for Friday. There were no pads and most of the drills were fundamental in nature.

Special teams drew considerable focus during the 1 hour, 15 minute session. Everything from kick-offs to punt returns to field goals executed over and over until assistant coach Kelly Skipper's expectations (i.e. perfection) were met.

Defensive Coordinator Robb Akey says the New Mexico offensive line gave the Cougar DL fits a year ago expects another tussle this time around. "They have very good blocking schemes and they do a nice job with talented players," Akey said. He looks for the Lobos to run the ball very well with two explosive running backs led by All-American candidate DonTrell Moore.

On a sad note, defensive back Aaron Joseph of Tacoma has decided to end his football career. After suffering multiple concussions, the redshirt junior is having difficulty recovering from the most recent.

In other moves, the departure of third-team QB Mike Reilly has prompted the Cougars to invite Travis Elisara to walk on. Elisara, son of early 1980s Cougar standout tackle Matt Elisara, starred at Spokane's Ferris High in 2002 and was a walk on at New Mexico last season. He enrolled at WSU this year planning to focus on academics. He's expected to join the team next week.

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