The first team offense and defense went up primarily against the respective scout teams. QB Jeff Tuel and the offense looked sharp and productive.
RB Chantz Staden saw plenty of action running with the 1's and did nicely. Although RB James Montgomery is slated to be the starter.
The Cougs spent the early part of practice focusing on special teams. Kickers Nico Grasu and Andrew Furney were perfect in their attempts combining to go 4-of-4.
Grasu connected on his tries from 32 and 37 yards, while Furney was good from 37 and 42. Paul Wulff has stated Grasu will handle the kickoffs and take the first PAT and field goal but it appears if Furney is needed, the true frosh will step in.
Grasu also looked good on his kick-off duties, sending a majority of his boots within the five yard line and even a few into the back of the end-zone.
Meanwhile redshirt senior Reid Forrest, one of the best punters in the country, was killing it. Forrest had a pair of boots well over 50 yards but more importantly, they had a great amount of hang time.
From an injury standpoint, CB Nolan Washington was running strong at practice for the third straight day and doesn't look to be hindered by his hip injury. WR Gino Simone, whose day was cut short on Wednesday with an apparent tight hamstring, was full go on Thursday and looked ready to hit the gridiron on Saturday.
LT Tyson Pencer (groin) missed practice and Kalafitoni Pole (calf) and he seem less likely to be ready to go full tilt for the opener.
With 30 minutes left in Thursday's session, the defense headed up to the practice field while the offense remained on the Martin Stadium turf against the scout team. WR Marquess Wilson, whose name can't be mentioned enough, saw work with both the first and second team offense and showcased his hands yet again as the offense marched repeatedly downfield.
WR Jared Karstetter, Daniel Blackledge, and Jeffrey Solomon saw the majority of the time running with the 1's, and although matched up against the scout, they were all productive.
Although TE Andrei Lintz saw the action running with the 1's, and Skylar Stormo is the listed starter, Zach Tatman gaining his sixth year adds greater depth.
The Cougars made some good-sized strides this preseason from 2009, there's no question about that. Will the new confidence, increased speed and additional year of experience lead to a difference on the scoreboard? We begin to find out on Saturday.
Grasu dead solid perfect headed into OSU
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