Evening practice a washout

PULLMAN -- Chris Jordan returned to the field Friday night after sitting out a couple days with a sore knee, but the veteran wide receiver and his teammates weren't on the field long. The Cougs pressed on through sheets of rain but when lightning lit up the Palouse sky, the coaches called a halt to the session 38 minutes in.

"Friday Night Lights" took on a whole new meaning during this evening's practice at Rogers Field.

The Cougar players got in a little stretching and running Friday night -- as well as completely soaked during a torrential downpour -- but didn't have a chance to accomplish much of anything else before the coaches whistled the practice over when lightning hit the area.

Freshman receiver Brandon Gibson, who's had a great camp but been moving gingerly the past day, did not practice on Friday, likely due to sore legs. He's expected to take the field for Saturday's scrimmage.

Defensive end Matt Mullenix also did not dress. No updates were given following the deluge, but it didn't appear to be serious. Details were expected to be known Saturday.

As reported in Friday afternoon's CF.C story on the morning practice, Michael Bumpus (hip flexor) was back in pads, practicing with an injury-riddled receiving corps. Receivers Thomas Ostrander (back spasms) and Chris Jordan (knee sprain) sat out the morning session, Brandon Gibson practiced but was visibly suffering from sore legs and Greg Prator (broken hand) is being limited.

New additions to the injury list Friday morning included defensive end Mike Graise, who was out with a hip flexor and Scott Davis, who was limited late in practice after getting a bloody nose. Head trainer Bill Drake wasn't sure exactly what happened to Davis, but dismissed it as nothing serious. Drake said Saturday could be a good "update" day.

TODAY WAS TO provide the first of the fall camp two-a-days, and the list of ‘firsts' will continue tomorrow when Scrimmage No. 1 gets under way.

Saturday's scrimmage will allow the coaching staff one more way to see what it has to work with, but it's a process, along with lightning strikes, that always makes coach Bill Doba nervous.

"It's a terrible job, this head coaching deal," Doba said jokingly.

A FORMER defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, Doba says it was much easier to see progress when he wasn't leading units on both side of the ball.

"I can never come out happy," he said. "If the defense looks good, what about the offense, and visa versa."

Doba noted Thursday that the scrimmage will be nice for the players as they'll get to cut loose and play in a more game-like situations.

"We like to take a look at those young kids, make sure they get plenty of reps and see how the react under fire," he said.

THE SCRIMMAGE will also allow an opportunity for kickers Graham Siderius and Loren Langley to boot some field goals in live action. The placekicking, woeful last year and inconsistent this past spring, is a key area the Cougs need significant improvement in this year. Cougar kickers combined to connect on only six field goals in 2004, as Langley went 5-of-11 while Siderius hit on 1-of-3 last season. Langley, who attended a kicking camp this offseason, altered his technique over the summer.

Doba said Saturday's scrimmage will also provide a nice progress check on sophomore Lorenzo Bursey's transition from JC running back and receiver to Cougar cornerback.

"Seabiscuit", a nickname given to Bursey by secondary coach Ken Greene, has impressed thus far in camp.

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