DAY 8: Levy's O analysis; eye on Blackledge

PULLMAN--Mike Levenseller rates among the greatest wide receivers in Washington State history, which may explain why he demands greatness out of the receivers he now coaches. Levenseller also serves as WSU's offensive coordinator. On Sunday morning, following a light practice, Levenseller offered a position-by-position analysis of the offense as the Cougars head into Week 2.

Editor's Note: With a full pad session to come this evening, will bring you a second article, covering this night session, as soon as it is available.

Levy on Quarterback: Starter Alex Brink is expected to help the team "a ton, just like we've always expected, and I think he‘ll deliver that. He's intelligent. He understands defenses. He can get you in a good place." Backup Gary Rogers has "shown he can play. He's got to continue to work on his reads and pre-snap stuff."

Levy on Running back: "We're real solid with Dwight (Tardy). He's got to get back out there (hamstring). We need him to practice, period. Chris Ivory has shown he has the ability to play in this conference. Marcus Richmond and Kevin McCall are depth."

Levy on Wide receiver: " (Michael) Bumpus and (Brandon) Gibson they are exceptional. They are just great players. I can count on them all the time. Charles (Dillon) has improved greatly. He's a guy who's got to make big plays for us, and he's starting to do that … plus, he's an aggressive blocker. He'll help the running game. He blocks hard. He brings a lot of aggressiveness to the game. … Jeshua (Anderson) has shown he's courageous and fast. He just needs to learn. He just needs reps. He needs to keep building his body. … The (Daniel) Blackledge kid is a young Bumpus. That's a very nice compliment. And with the same work ethic. One thing about Michael Bumpus: He has a phenomenal work ethic. And he's a great leader."

Levy on Offensive line: "Obviously, we're solid with the inside guys -- (Kenny) Alfred, (Dan) Rowlands and (Bobby) Byrd," (center, right guard and left guard, respectively). We must stay healthy, and we must get tremendous growth from some kids who haven't played."

Levy on Tight end: "Jed (Collins) is a jack-of-all-trades guy. He can do so much for you. He really gets this offense going, I think. He has the ability to do so many things. Woody's (Ben Woodard) improved. Devin (Frischknecht) just needs to keep going and getting better. He has some skills. … Tony Thompson, he's doing a nice job, but we're kind of guarded because he's so important to the team (as a snapper, potentially on all three types of kicks)."

Levenseller also offered up additional comments, as well as a smiling demur, on the topic of special teams.

Levy on Kickoff returns: "Charles will be the main guy. The thought is obviously there (to try the speedy true freshman Anderson). I'm just trying to get his feet on the ground, not give him too much."

Levy on Kicker: "Talk to Dave (special teams expert Dave Walkosky) … I stay out of that. I was a holder. I was around those guys too much (smiling)."

COUGAR TRIVIA: True or false: Jack Thompson holds the WSU career record for passing yards (answer below).

DOBA PLEASED: After reviewing tape of Sunday's scrimmage, Doba singled out four newcomers for praise: True freshmen Anderson and cornerback Chima Nwachukwu and Texas junior college transfers Alfonso Jackson (safety) and Ken Dunn (outside linebacker).

Jackson and Dunn, friends growing up together in Hearne, Texas, played for undefeated JC national champion Blinn College last season.

"Jackson played really well (in the scrimmage)," Doba said.

SCHEDULED TO BE a full pad practice this morning, the Cougs were already showing some heavy legs in Saturday's scrimmage following three full pad sessions over two days. So Sunday's morning session was changed to a light, helmets and shorts only affair.

Not wearing full pads, however, did nothing to slow the interception total of senior Husain Abdullah. The Cougs' starting free safety ended the short scrimmage at the end of practice with his fifth interception of the fall camp. Abdullah picked off Brink, as did defensive end Kevin Kooyman, who grabbed a poorly thrown pass over the middle deep in the offensive end and ran it back for a touchdown.

Meanwhile, on the plus side of the ledger for Brink and the Cougar offense, Keith Rosenberg, Bumpus and Gibson all made dazzling catches.

Reserve cornerback Ryan Kensok remained out after missing Saturday's scrimmage following the death of a friend in an auto accident.

The Cougars put the pads back on for Sunday night's workout, then get their first day off Monday before going at it twice on Tuesday.

INJURY REPORT: Kevin Lopina, a candidate for the No. 3 quarterback spot, watched from the sidelines on crutches. Football trainer Bill Drake said Lopina suffered a possible torn calf muscle Friday and may be out three to six weeks.

At least eight projected starters or key reserves were limited or held to no action Sunday morning. The list included Tardy, Frischknecht (knee), safeties Christian Bass (groin) and Terry Mixon (hamstring), cornerback Markus Dawes (shoulder), defensive ends Michael Graise (shoulder) and Lance Broadus (shoulder) and defensive tackle Aaron Johnson (precautionary, with A'i Ahmu (foot) and AJ limited to one session each on 2-a-days).

Drake said he hopes all eight can practice Tuesday, but all except Johnson may be limited.

-- Trivia answer: False (Jason Gesser).

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