SPRING BALL DAY 14: Big plays becoming routine

<b>PULLMAN--Thursday, the final practice before Saturday's annual spring game, provided a microcosm of the spring sessions to date. Cody Boyd turned in his highlight reel grabs, Alex Brink completed a high percentage of passes, Scott Davis took away a sure touchdown from the offense and Eric Frampton came through with another memorable play. And Jerome Harrison, ho-hum, turned in another one of his mind boggling touchdown runs.

Talk about dependable. If Jerome Harrison (5-9.5, 208, Sr.) doesn't break off a 50-yard plus touchdown run at least once a practice, it was an off day.

On Thursday, "the ghost" -- a moniker given to him by his Cougar teammates -- struck again. Harrison took the handoff, bounced outside, and five wicked cuts later, found himself in an all familiar place this spring, the end zone. Michael Bumpus (6-0, 185, So.) provided the final block down field and congratulated Harrison after he reached pay dirt.

It was a spectacular play, executed by steady offensive line blocking and Harrison's amazing lateral speed.

The other player who stood out on Thursday, as he has all spring, was Eric Frampton. During a live overtime drill, Frampton (6-0, 206, Jr.) did something seen very rarely this spring. He stopped Jerome Harrison.

The ball was on the five yard line, Harrison got the call and glided outside. Frampton went right along with him and this time, the ghost didn't get away. There was nothing between Harrison and the end zone but Frampton -- that usually means its time to strike up the band. This time, however, Frampton laid a picture-perfect hit on Harrison, stopping him for a minimal gain.

Coach Bill Doba lauded the San Jose native's play this spring earlier in the week. Frampton, the ghost and the rest of the Cougars are scheduled to take the field this Saturday at 1pm for their final scrimmage of the spring. It's a pretty sure bet those two playmakers will be tearing it up this weekend.

THURSDAY'S PRACTICE afforded the Washington State football coaches across the board one last opportunity to drill the fundamentals into their crimson charges. And at tight end, Cody Boyd (6-8, 255, Jr) continued to make big plays.

He caught two balls seemingly impossible to grab. Both were over the middle in tight traffic and in typical fashion, downplayed the plays afterwards.

"Most of it is just luck, getting my hand in the right place and hoping it pops up in my direction," Boyd said.

Boyd, who got a late start this spring due to an ankle injury, hopes to maintain his health while working to gain his strength back. He credits the ball drills, game-like speed and working with the quarterbacks for his improvement in catching the ball. The tight end from Ferndale, Wash., added long catch near the sideline from Alex Brink (6-3, 198, So.) towards the end of practice.

Brink has become a much more consistent player for the Cougar Offense this spring than the freshman who guided the Cougs to their season ending Apple Cup victory. Coach Timm Rosenbach had hoped the quarterbacks would complete a high percentage of passes and with the help of Brink, they did.

With Josh Swogger (6-5, 245, Jr.) participating in only non-contact reps this spring in order to allow his foot to heal, there hasn't been a position battle at QB. Doba has said Swogger will be the starter headed into fall camp and that it's his job to lose. Brink's consistency this spring has certainly not hurt his goal of being the No. 1 QB when the Cougs take the field in the opener against Idaho on September 1.

Coach Timm Rosenbach plans on sitting down with each quarterback and discussing what they need to improve for the fall. Rosenbach said the quarterbacks improved every aspect of their game -- which was the goal coming in. Rosenbach also said Gary Rogers (6-5, 228, Fr.) looked very good some days, some days he was still learning. Rosenbach said Rogers will become more dependable with seasoning and will be a good one.

THE COUGAR DEFENSE was much more dependable at the final spring practice and came up with a few big plays of their own. The linebackers played a crucial role in the scrimmage towards the end of practice. Scott Davis (6-0, 230, Jr.) and Chris Baltzer (6-1, 225, Jr.) both had clutch passing defense.

Davis stuck with Troy Bienemann (6-5, 255, Sr.) on a deep ball down the middle and broke it up. The play would have easily gone for six via a Brink toss if not for Davis.

Baltzer also had tight coverage throughout the session, and on one play got up at the line of scrimmage and batted away a pass.

With Norvell Holmes (6-3, 300, Sr.) absent because of a test, it opened up right guard for the day. Spencer Hollison (6-6, 306) filled the void and preformed well. Hollison has spent the offseason in the weight room getting stronger. The junior was listed at 290 in last year's media guide.

Eddie Vickers (6-3, 330, Fr.) sat out today's practice due to a stinger.

Scott Selby (6-5, 226, Fr.) ran crisp routes today, and looked to be absorbing offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller's critiques.

Cougfan Top Stories