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WSU turns up the hitting at practice


COUGARS

Earlier today we summarized Paul Wulff’s conference calls, as is our wont on Tuesdays. Now we will summarize practice for you. It’s on the link, so read on.

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• Before we get to practice, we wanted to pass on the news about next Saturday’s home game vs. Oregon. The start time has been set for 2 p.m. and there will be no live TV anywhere. So if you want to watch the Ducks, who will be coming off a huge Pac-10 showdown with Stanford (see our Pac-10 notes here), unleash their option attack against the WSU defense, or the Duck defenders match up with the Cougar offense, you’ll have to be in Martin Stadium. … As for Tuesday’s practice, for the first time I can remember, the team sessions featuring the backups running the opposition schemes against the Cougars’ first team was a live drill, meaning other than quarterbacks, the tackling was full go. And it was fierce at times, with the pads popping and every great tackle or block praised to the hilt. It also was a little dangerous, as left tackle David Gonzales and defensive end Travis Long, both having to be checked at one point after suffering knee problems. Neither was serious, with Gonzales returning to the drill and Long finishing up practice after putting some ice on a contusion. … The cornerbacks also did a one-on-one tackling drill near the goal line that was extremely physical. … Give Daniel Simmons credit. He said Saturday he was ticked about the way the defense played, added Monday hit would never happen again, then went out and modeled the right behavior. The redshirt sophomore cornerback flew all over the field and hit with an abandon all day. … Long left practice early as he usually does on Tuesday, headed for class. Quarterback Jeff Tuel had to do the same thing as he had a test. Darn academics getting in the way of football. … Freshman linebacker Eric Oertel, who pulled a hamstring earlier this season, was back on the field and in his usual spot on the special teams. He’s needed as special teams standout Kyle McCartney will probably miss the UCLA game after suffering a concussion against USC. … Missed this link this morning but thought I better pass it on. It’s from Jim Moore in the P-I, the same place he predicted an upset of USC last week. He’s not that optimistic any more about the Cougars or Paul Wulff.

•••

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


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