Once the practice shifted to 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, members of both the offensive and defensive units took to battling through the air.
The drills went back-and-forth between the two sides, with quarterback Alex Brink opening the first set of drills with two incompletions before connecting with Brandon Gibson. Brink also made the play of the day, with his feet.
Possibly the finest show of athleticism of the Tuesday drills was seen in a Brink scramble up-field. After rolling out of the pocket, the yellow-shirted captain danced around defenders and ripped off about 20 yards before senior corner Don Turner finally got a hand on him.
With first, second and third team units moving in and out, virtually every receiver got his hands on the ball, with a few pass-break ups thrown in, and one interception by safety Husain Abdullah recorded for the D.
The Cougs also ran through a number of position-specific drills Tuesday, each unit working on basic footwork, strength and strategy techniques.
After the team practice concluded, the rookies took the field alone to run through yet more drills. Redshirt QB Kevin Lopina was on target, finding receivers Charles Dillon, Andy Largent, and Keith Rosenberg for big gains.
Without the benefit of pads it is difficult to gauge all the units on the field, especially the offensive and defensive lines. Everyone looked lively, however, and the practices will see the intensity ratcheted up when the Cougs don full pads for the first time on Thursday. Tomorrow and Wednesday the Cougs will go helmets and shoulder pads following today's helmets-only session.
Practice began a little before 9 am with the kicking and punting units sending balls through the uprights on one end of the field, and into the arms of return men Chris Jordan, Michael Bumpus, and junior transfer Derrell Hutsona on the other.
Joining kickers Loren Langley and Romeen Abdollmohammadi was invited walk-on Carlin Birrell, a freshman out of Skyline high school. Although he practiced mostly before the official start of the session, Birrell looked to have a fairly strong, albeit somewhat inconsistent, leg.