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WSU rolls on toward home opener


COUGARS

It's less than 48 hours until Washington State's home opener against Montana State, and the RVs and fifth wheels are starting to roll into Pullman. Sitting in Martin Stadium watching the Cougars go through their game-plan work for the Bobcats, I counted nearly 10 pass through the east-end opening en route to the parking lot. Read on.
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• Not a lot to pass on from practice as it was about an hour long and there is no media availability afterward. But there are couple things. I don't see middle linebacker Mike Ledgerwood shaking off his stinger and getting back on the field by Saturday. Hallston Higgins and C.J. Mizell took all the non-contact snaps against the scout team. ... By the way, I know there has been some discussion out there about my commentary this week concerning Mizell. One thing I've noticed this week is the lessons the coaches have been teaching seem to be sinking in. He's running harder in and out of drills, on and off the field, from the beginning to the end of plays. As I said Tuesday, "If he worked his ass off in practice, like a majority of the players he shares a team with, he would start Saturday, every Saturday from now on and be in the NFL in a couple years. He’s that good. When he learns that lesson, he’ll be there. If he doesn’t, he won’t." He seems to be taking steps in the practicing-harder direction. Which can only help the WSU defense. With Ledgerwood out, he may play more this week. And if he tastes success, maybe next week will be even better. ... Another player who will miss Saturday is backup defensive end Adam Coerper, who was in a boot and on crutches after spraining an ankle Wednesday. ...Don't know if this means anything or not (and I would lean toward the not), but only Andrew Furney took field-goal attempts in special team work. He made all three. Nico Grasu did much of the kickoff work. ... The makeup of the offensive line will be determined Saturday. Andrew Roxas and Wade Jacobson are fighting it out for the starting spot at left guard. ... One last note. On Wednesday, freshman quarterback Connor Halliday was lights out running the scout team against the defense, teaming with Blair Bomber and Bennett Bontemps for big gains. Halliday showed off his quick release, overpowering arm strength and dart-like accuracy throughout the day. He wasn't as sharp Thursday. But when he's ready to play, the potential is limitless.

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• That's all for now. We'll be back in the morning. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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