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WSU scrimmages and we look at linebackers

COUGARS

Do we have a lot for you. Washington State held its first Martin Stadium scrimmage of camp – with officials – and we have some notes from that. And we have our position preview on the linebackers for tomorrow's S-R and we have some more notes on that. So let's get to it. Read on.


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• Most of our scrimmage story is focused on the offense, because that side of the ball had the better of it, especially with big plays. How big? How about a 36-yard pass from Jeff Tuel to Isiah Barton on the opening drive, a completion coming one play after Tuel put the ball in Kristoff Williams' hands about 40 yards downfield only to have Williams drop it. Or how about a 15-yard tackle-breaking run from freshman Marcus Mason. Or two screens in three plays that added up to 31 yards. Or 42-yard perfect rainbow Connor Halliday laid in over Williams' right shoulder down the right sideline, a play that came one play after a Halliday-to-Gino Simone 87-yard catch-and-run touchdown was called back because Steven Hoffart and Matt Goetz got in a fight and both were hit with personal fouls. So the offense, which gained 333 yards on 55 plays and scored 13 points in eight possessions … wait, that's not a lot of points, is it? Well that's because the defense, from ones to threes, did a decent job of bending but not breaking. There was a defensive breakdown that left Andrei Lintz open for a 20-yard touchdown on the first drive, but after that, when the offense marched into the defense's territory – each drive started on the offense's 30 or 25 – the defense came up with a big play to stymie the drive. It was either a sack – the defense had four – or a tackle for loss – Tracy Clark undercut Carl Winston on a sweep for a 6-yard loss – or a forced fumble – Anthony Carpenter got his hand on an option pitch – that stopped the offense. Guess there was something for everyone to hang their cap on. … Couple other things from the scrimmage. The offense only attacked to the west, because the turf in the east endzone is in the process of being replaced. The west is already done, ready for the new Cougar script with the new font. … Andrew Furney, working with long snapper Zach Koepp and holder Dan Wagner, was perfect on two field goals from 41 and 47 yards. Freshman Tyler McNannay, working with long snapper Alex Den Bleyker and holder David Gilbertson, didn't get either of his two kicks, from 42 and 44 yards, high enough to clear the line of scrimmage and both were blocked. … A bunch of players sat out either most or all of the scrimmage to ensure their health, including Brandon Rankin, Jared Karstetter and Daniel Simmons (suiting up for the first time in a while). … Now on to the linebacker preview, which you can read here. Not a lot to add, other than to say there is depth at the position. The third group today included Darren Markle, who can play any of the three spots, and freshmen Tana Pritchard, Logan Mayes and Cyrus Coen. Everyone one of those four guys made plays Wednesday. … As for the starters, the group can run. C.J. Mizell made one of those C.J. plays, in which he absolutely blew up Kristoff Williams after a 4-yard pass, then earned a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for his post-hit dance. … Back to the scrimmage, here is a video of the action, courtesy of WSU's athletic department.

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• That's all for now. We'll be back in the morning with our usual post in advance of another two-a-day. Until then …


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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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