Back in the summer, as the Washington State football coaches were penciling out the preseason practice, Paul Wulff and his staff decided they wanted to get to live hitting as soon as possible in camp. That would be today, when the Cougars appeared in full pads for the first time. So WSU finished Thursday's practice with a 51-play, 30-minute scrimmage. Read on for more.
• We go into the nuts and bolts of the live session in detail in our story for tomorrow's SR, which we'll link in the morning. But we have more we can add, which is usually the case. ... First off, the defense was without a few players who could have helped, including defensive ends Ian Knight, who suffered a leg muscle strain during practice and Jordan Pu'u Robinson, who should return soon from his knee tendonitis, and linebacker C.J. Mizell, who is one practice behind so he still wasn't in full pads. Still the offense looked sharp, especially for so early in camp. ... Most of the snaps were given to the threes on both sides of the ball. Connor Halliday and David Gilbertson quarterbacked that group, with freshmen Marcus Mason and Kyle Lappono and sophomore Leon Brooks getting most of the carries. The depth in receiver showed, with Bennett Bontemps catching two Halliday touchdown passes, Dominque Williams making a highlight catch of a long jump ball and Henry Eaddy running away from the defense on a 49-yard touchdown on a short throw over the middle from Marshall Lobbestael. On that play the defense blitzed and Mason picked up Logan Mayes perfectly, giving Lobbestael the time to find Eaddy. ... In the first 35 plays, WSU's quarterbacks were 14 of 16 with one of the incompletions a perfectly thrown pass that was dropped. ... The last two offensive possessions were both three-and-out. ... Chester Su'a, taking Mizell's place with the second group, had two great run stuffs, standing up and pushing back the running back in the hole. ... And that's about it for the football. If you head down to watch any of the practice this weekend, the first thing that will stand out to you is the new look at Martin Stadium. The old steel bleachers under and around the scoreboard in the West end zone are gone. They've been taken down and the ground leveled. In their place this fall will be a hospitality tent. ... We'll close with some video, courtesy of the WSU athletic department ...
• That's it for tonight. We'll be back in the morning as usual. The Cougars will have their first two-a-day of camp, with the morning practice starting at 8:30. Until later ...