FROM PULLMAN — You could hear Darryl Monroe leading Washington State's defense in chant from just about anywhere on campus Wednesday. It was that kind of day for the Cougars during team session, and it was that kind of day for the defense, too. Read on.
Yes, there was plenty of yelling today when the offense and defense faced off in 11 on 11 session, despite the fact that this was just a shoulder-pads day. And the defense wound up getting the best of a 3-play, goal-line scenario to conclude that portion of practice before the rookies took the field for their usual extra reps. After a rather spirited series of plays that featured plenty of Connor Halliday at quarterback — and plenty of other shuffling at a couple of different positions — Mike Leach placed the ball on the 1-yard line, put both No. 1 units on the field and let them go at it. On the first play, Jeff Tuel found freshman receiver Brett Bartolone in the front of the end zone for a touchdown. But then the defense dug in. Travis Long burst through to “sack” Tuel on the next play — quarterbacks are off limits to contact, of course, so he just touched him — and Tracy Clark made a big hit on Marquess Wilson on a pass near the goal line on the next play, prompting the defense to run around joyously while shouting words loudly. Monroe twice led the defense in a chant that consisted of Monroe yelling something I couldn't quite understand, followed by the rest of his defensive teammates responding with “Beast Mode!” I don't think that was a Marshawn Lynch reference. … Since it “lost” the drill, the offense was seen doing up-downs afterward.
… The rest of team session was also very competitive, with Halliday connecting on a pair of long passes with Bartolone and then Gabe Marks, who made the play of the day when he went up and snagged a pass at the goal line over cornerback Damante Horton. (It was decided, by the way, that Leach would be given the day off from speaking with beat reporters, so we'll wait until tomorrow to ask about Halliday's performance. Just know that when Leach called for the No. 1 unit to take the field for those final three plays, it was Tuel who was under center.)
… Speaking of defensive backs, Anthony Carpenter played alongside Deone Bucannon at free safety with the No. 1 unit. And with Daniel Simmons once again sitting out and riding an exercise bike, Clark joined Horton as the No. 1 defense's starting cornerbacks. … Toni Pole didn't participate in team session, either, watching with an ice wrap on his left knee. So JC transfer Ioane Gauta took over in the middle. … Among those who saw time with the reserve defensive units included linebacker Jeremiah Allison, safeties Taylor Taliulu and Feddie Davey. Taliulu made a nice play on a pass from Tuel to Drew Loftus, converging on the ball just as it arrived and breaking up the pass. … The starting offensive line featured John Fullington, Matt Goetz, Elliott Bosch, Jake Rodgers and Dan Spitz at first, though Wade Jacobson took over at right guard during the final, 1s vs. 1s portion of practice. … With Andrei Lintz not in pads and riding an exercise bike for most of practice, Bobby Ratliff saw quite a bit of time in the slot and made a couple of nice catches going over the middle.
… .A handful of players rode exercise bikes and/or were limited for the majority of practice. Among them: WR Kristoff Williams, CB Daniel Simmons, DL Adam Coerper, OL Niu Sale, DL Austin Brown, WR Dominique Williams (who wore a wrap on his left hand), WR Andrei Lintz, DL Destiny Vaeao and DL Toni Pole. … Rickey Galvin, Leon Brooks and Theron West were seen catching punts after practice.
All for now.