Washington State's players had a day off Monday but the coaches didn't After examining film of the first week of practices, some changes were made. Read on for more.
• Of course, football coaches go through film after each practice, using the eye in the sky to teach the players. It's been going on for years. But they also can use it evaluate where the offense is, where the defense is, who has been doing well, who has been doing poorly. After a week and 10 practice sessions, some things showed through to Paul Wulff and his assistants. The most obvious one Tuesday was the move of middle linebacker C.J. Mizell to the ones. As we've covered here, Mizell has been going harder each day in practice this season – and in the film room as well I've been told – and his hard work has paid off for now. So he's moved ahead of Mike Ledgerwood on the depth chart, though Ledgerwood is playing better this preseason as well. I don't think there is a WSU player that is faster for 3 yards than Mizell, as shown in a run blitz he had today in which he split a gap and got to Leon Brooks as fast as Connor Halliday's handoff, resulting in a rip away (not a takeaway) and a Mizell score. ... Though I didn't see any other changes that were not injury related, Wulff said some guys really showed during the first week they deserve a deeper look. He singled out guard Matt Goetz on the offensive line, along with center Taylor Meighen and tackle Dan Spitz, currently sidelined to give his reconstructed shoulder a chance to rest. ... The day off seemed to revitalize the Cougars, with Wulff saying this morning's practice was efficient – or "really efficient" to quote him directly – though there wasn't a lot of hitting. That's being saved for tomorrow, when WSU will practice some but then go into the stadium for a live scrimmage. Practice starts at 2:30. ... We're doing our preview of the defensive line for tomorrow's S-R and we'll give you a sneak preview: There is a lot more depth there than it looked as if there would be when the season began. ... As for practice Tuesday, David Gonzales was back at left tackle, his injured left ankle in a brace. Jake Rodgers was back as well, with the tackle's left shoulder strapped in for protection. ... The best play of the day might have been Anthony Carpenter's sliding pick of a Marshall Lobbestael pass aimed at Gino Simone. Or it might have been a breakup of a Jeff Tuel pass aimed for Marquess Wilson by cornerback Brandon Golden. But don't get the impression the offense didn't move the ball. It did. ... More from sports information's Bobby Alworth here.
• That's all for now. We'll be back later in the afternoon or evening with our d-line story. Until then ...