Fall Camp Day 21: Brink, Rogers light it up

PULLMAN -- With temperatures reaching the high 80s, the Cougs took to the turf with a slightly different practice schedule, but the same intensity that has been present since camp opened. The first unit went against the twos and threes, the air game lit it up, and the run defense shut it down as the Cougs head in to their final week of work before the opener Saturday at Auburn.

The starters on both offense and defense -- along with their primary backups -- mostly had their way with their less-experienced adversaries, making a strong case for what a few years in a program can do for a body.

Leading the charge for the first team O were quarterbacks Alex Brink and Gary Rogers, who, when they weren't finding receivers in the field were nimble on their feet. Both QBs showed great agility every time the pocket began to crumble.

In addition, both showed off strong arms, hooking up with virtually every receiver on the roster a litany of times.

Looking especially sharp for the receiving unit was JC transfer Charles Dillon, who has looked impressive all camp. He capped things off with a highlight reel grab in the end zone, pulling in a rope from Brink before hitting the turf.

Also showing good hands were fellow receivers Jason Hill, Benny Ward, Andy Largent, Chris Jordan, Brandon Gibson and Finas Rabb.

Conversely, the first-team D also made it look easy in the session, posting a host of interceptions, pass-break-ups and sacks. They put the offensive back-ups, led by redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Lopina, on their heels all afternoon.

Senior safety Eric Frampton had two picks on the day, while cornerbacks Tyron Brackenridge and B.T. Walker each had one. All four of the picks were given up by Lopina, who was also sacked numerous times. The defensive line, led by Ropati Pitoitua and Fevaea'i Ahmu, was outstanding from start to finish.

The one bright spot for the second, third and fourth string offense was the running game, as RBs Marcus Richmond and Ian Bell both squeezed out some nice runs.

The session drew praise from head coach Bill Doba, who said he was happy with the team's progress. "(This practice) was very good -- they're re getting ready to play."

The Cougs will take the day off Monday and return to the field Tuesday. They'll fly to Auburn on Friday for Saturday evening's showdown on ESPN2.

NOTABLE NOTES:

The Cougs welcomed back two players from injury Sunday -- junior wide receiver Michael Bumpus (knee strain) and freshman running back Skylar Jessen (hamstring).

Unofficial indications are that four true freshmen will make the trip to Auburn: defensive Kevin Kooyman, outside linebacker Andy Mattingly, cornerback Kerry Maddox and running back Chris Ivory.

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