Lots of doings in Pullman

PULLMAN -- With the receiving corps at full strength, Jason Gesser found his touch and the Cougars' No.1 offense finally found the end zone. Sammy Moore flashed some of his big-play brilliance, Tomasi K continues his amazing comeback, Kevin Sperry takes over as the man in the middle and Graham Siderius is now a long snapper.

Oh my, things are moving fast on the Palouse.

Perhaps best of all is that Gesser connected on 10 of 16 attempts for 158 yards and two touchdowns in Wednesday's scrimmage, marking his best showing of fall camp.

The Hurlin' Hawaiian, who completed just nine of 26 passes in Saturday's scrimmage, led the offense to three scores, two of which came against the No. 1 defense, which was missing starters Al Genatone and Fred Shavies.

His two scoring strikes went to Troy Bienemann on a 1-yarder, and Mike Bush on a on a perfectly placed 20-yard fade pass.

In addition, John Tippins rushed for a TD on the offense's first series and racked up 57 total yards on 14 carries. Tippins has looked solid all camp -- not flashy, but very solid.

Third-team QB Chris Hurd performed admirably with the No. 2 offense, sitting in for an injured Matt Kegel. He completed 7 of 11 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown, a 33-yard pass to JC phenom Sammy Moore --- Moore's first taste of paydirt as a Coug. Moore showed off his big play capabilities, grabbing two balls for 62 yards on the day.

It was refreshing to see the receiving corps at full strength for the first time this year. Starting receivers Bush, Jerome Riley and Devard Darling, all finally all healthy at the same time, combined for eight catches and 159 yards, as the majority of Gesser's throws went to the trio.

You can't say the same about the health of the running backs, however. Tippins is the only top-tier back who isn't dinged up. Jermaine Green is still rehabbing his knee, Jonathon Smith injured his ribs when he fell on the ball during Saturday's scrimmage, and Allen Thompson injured his shoulder Wednesday.

The backfield is so thin right now that 170-pound speedster Lavell Anderson was forced into goal line action on Wednesday.

A few developments on the defensive side of the ball:

* Sperry has moved into the starting middle linebacker spot, supplanting Pat Bennett. He has been very impressive throughout August, and brings a great intensity to the field. Bennett is a head-cracker, though, so the battle for the starting spot probably isn't over yet.

* Kongaika continued his great comeback from knee surgery, and is shining with the No. 2 defensive line. He had three tackles, including a sack, and seems to be in the backfield constantly.

* With Shavies hurt at the moment, true freshman Adam Braidwood saw extended playing time at end Wednesday, and made the most of it, recording a sack. Steve Cook also added a sack.

* DB Karl Paymah injured his ankle during the final series of the scrimmage. It's not yet known how serious the injury is.

The most interesting development on special teams is the emergence of Graham Siderius as the team's backup snapper on punts. The highly touted freshman kicker, who is still struggling with consistency on his field goals, has looked very good in practice, and is a surprisingly good blocker. For the record, Troy Bienemann has been solid throughout 2-a-days as the team's top snapper.

The team broke out its crimson helmets on Tuesday, and will be wearing them through the Nevada game. Although they will be the home team at the new Seahawks Stadium, the Cougs have chosen to wear their road white uniforms, the more popular look.

Although it will be officially a home game, the team will travel only 65 players to Seattle, so it will have the look of a road game (with the possible exception of a raucous Westside crowd now reported to be at 60,000 and counting). Some surprising additions to the traveling squad are linebackers Doc Farley and Mawuli Davis, and defensive tackle Josh Shavies.

The team's final scrimmage of the fall will be at 2 p.m. this Saturday in Martin Stadium. It will be mostly a scout team scrimmage, full contact, but thud (wrap-up then let go on tackles) on ball carriers.


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