FALL CAMP DAY 14: New safety rises; QB choice soon

PULLMAN -- Safety DeWayne Patterson is quickly making up for lost time. The JC transfer missed the first few days of fall camp as paperwork was handled, but the 6-0, 200-pounder is making a rapid rise up the depth chart. The decision on a starting quarterback is one day closer, while the kicking battle continues to be deadlocked after today's action. Plus, an injury news rundown as the Cougs ran through a 53-minute practice on a picturesque Saturday on the Palouse in helmets and shorts.

A QB decision will likely be made by mid next week, so the No. 1 unit has at least a week to work together. "If we ever do decide, which, heck I don't know if we can, but we've got to tell the players first," quipped head coach Bill Doba.

Junior Josh Swogger and sophomore Alex Brink had been neck and neck since camp opened, though Swogger may have earned an edge with a solid scrimmage Friday. There was little in the battle of note Saturday morning, save a scrimmage drill from the 10-yard line in which a Swogger pass to Troy Bienemann went off the big tight end's hands and into the waiting grasp of freshman linebacker Greg Trent.

As for Patterson and his work in the secondary, he has been playing with the No. 2 defense of late, ahead of Michael Willis. Patterson today actually played with the first unit as Husain Abdullah sat out with an ankle injury. Doba said he didn't know if Abdullah's injury was a high ankle sprain or not. If so, Abdullah would likely be out for a long while.

"We thought he (Patterson) was pretty good in junior college," Doba said. "He's a big hitter. He'll run well and he'll hit.

"It just takes a little time. Safety is a tough position in our defense to play, you've got to make a lot of calls and recognize formations. We know two things, he can run and he can hit," he added.

Patterson has been working at both the free and strong safety spots.

Sophomore Loren Langley and senior Graham Siderius went head to head today on one medium range kick from about 30 yards out today. Siderius missed it, Langley made it. Before today, Siderius appeared to have the slightest of edges in the kicking battle.

It's flip flopped throughout camp. Langley is doing better with deep balls, but not as good as accuracy. Siderius has been accurate, but not as consistent on the deep kicks.

Bryan Olson was in for Aaron Johnson on the first team defense. No word was given on AJ's injury. Johnson was on the sideline and in street clothes and appeared to be moving around okay.

Brandon Gibson was in on the first team offense in place of Chris Jordan, who has had issues with knee swelling this fall.

Michael Bumpus and Matt Mullenix also sat out practice today. No details were given but both were moving around fine and might be just taking a practice off.

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