FALL CAMP DAY 10: Bruce ready to explode

PULLMAN -- WSU junior defensive end Mkristo Bruce, the self-proclaimed "mouth" of the Cougar football team, rarely runs out of things to say. Despite leading the team with 6.5 sacks last season, Bruce wants more, and plans to let his play do some of the talking this year. Meanwhile, coach Bill Doba is looking for one of the quarterbacks to seize the moment in tonight's scrimmage, Trandon Harvey makes a fine leap and grab plus the injury report.

Tuesday, Mkristo Bruce said he wants 15 plus sacks this season. That would rank him among the better Cougar defensive ends of recent history.

"I am going to beat (Isaac Brown) and D.D. (Acholonu) –- all their records –- that's my goal," he said. "I call (Isaac) up and say, ‘Ike, I'm thirty pounds more than you were here. Bigger, maybe not faster, but I'm stronger than you. I'm going to beat your sack record.'"

Brown and Acholonu made a name for Cougar ends in past years, collecting sacks at an alarming pace. In their four years together, the duo combined for 55 quarterback takedowns.

Bruce and his fellow Cougars will take the field tonight in the second scrimmage of fall training camp. The Renton product said he was feeling better Tuesday morning after the aches and pains of camp on Monday.

"I was a tornado of anger yesterday, I just wanted to beat up on everybody," Bruce said. "Coaches told me to take it out on offensive lineman so that's what I'm going to do. I don't want to hurt my teammates, but I'm going to make sure they know my name by the end of the day."

IF BRUCE is feeling better, it could be due at least in part to the easing of traditionally rigorous training camp formats. The Cougars are working hard, and showing signs of it, but Doba has been looking out for his players' health this fall.

"You start banging two big bodies together, one of them is going to get hurt," Doba said.

To date, the more rigorous practices have been balanced by a light session either directly before or after. With scrimmage planned for this evening, the players went in shorts Tuesday morning.

"The coach who gets his team to the first game prepared and healthy is going to have a good year," Doba said.

TONIGHT'S SCRIMMAGE will run in similar fashion to Saturday's, but will also feature a two-minute drill and an overtime situational drill.

"I'd like to see one of those quarterbacks jump up and be the guy," Doba said of the position battle between Josh Swogger and Alex Brink.

INJURIES AND ABSENCES
Receiver Jason Hill (hamstring) sat out this morning for precautionary reasons, but will play tonight.

Offensive lineman Andy Roof arrived late to practice for unspecified reasons and running back Dwight Tardy was absent from drills, also for unspecified reasons.

Jed Collins fractured his thumb Thursday, finally reporting the injury Sunday after the injury did not clear up. He is being limited in drills, but continues to practice.

BIG PLAYS
Trandon Harvey, who has had an uneven fall camp thus far, made a nifty catch Tuesday. Running a fade, Ian Bell was with the senior receiver all the way but Harvey went up to get a finely tossed Swogger pass. A textbook leap and catch.

True freshman receiver Brandon Gibson continues to make textbook catches of his own, displaying fine hands. The Puyallup standout used those hands and his size (6-foot, 195 pounds) to snare a 10-yard touchdown pass from Alex Brink in light scrimmage drills. What made the play more impressive was the double coverage being applied from safety Christian Bass and cornerback Wally Dada.


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