FROM PULLMAN -- Big plays dominated Washington State's scrimmage. Big plays that involved a few different receivers and both of the Cougars' competitors for the starting quarterback job. Read on for more.
We'll start off by relaying the news that there is no news in regards to WSU's quarterback competition. Both Jeff Tuel and Connor Halliday made decent cases for themselves today, though Tuel was a bit more accurate while Halliday made bigger plays and threw for more yards. Still, Tuel took all of the snaps with the first-team offense and Halliday played strictly with the second-team, which would seem to indicate that Tuel is in the lead at the moment. But as coach Mike Leach said afterward: "We’ll keep you posted and you guys will probably be the last to know. We’ll talk about it in a meeting, and we’ll discuss it, and the coaching staff somewhere in there will be first. Players will be approximately second." ...
... Asked to evaluate Tuel and Halliday, Leach said: "I thought they were good. Connor’s explosives I thought were really good ... and he didn’t always have to pay for (his mistakes) but it’d be 'what the heck’s going on out there?' I thought Jeff stayed within himself a little better, not sure he had the explosives that Connor did. But definitely missed some reads on his own as well. I think they’re both very much ahead of schedule, they’re both better than expected. The thing I’m really proud of both of them, they don’t really digress, you know, and I thought in particular, Jeff started out really early and ran the offense really well and I thought Connor, it took a minute for him to settle in, but then when he did he was able to settle in."
... About those explosives: Halliday had the most impressive throw of the day, lofting a long toss down the right sideline that Gabe Marks ran underneath and caught on his way to a 70-yard touchdown. Marks said he knew he had his defender beat when the corner bit on a post move off the line of scrimmage, but he wasn't sure if he'd be able to catch up to it. "I guess I put on a little extra juice I didn’t think I had." (The play followed a third-down pass that was almost intercepted by Tyrone Duckett, which is why the offense started over at its own 30-yard line.)
Marks nearly hauled in an even more spectacular catch in the front of the end zone later on, going completely horizontal in an attempt to haul in what would have been another long touchdown.
"I thought I had it. I’m going to stay up a little late tonight thinking about that one," Marks said. "That one irks me a little bit."
Halliday also had a 30-yard touchdown pass to Isiah Myers and a 3-yard scoring toss to Marquess Wilson, who caught touchdowns from each of WSU's quarterback contenders.
"I’ve been real excited about this camp," Halliday said. "I’ve came out and competed well, I’ve thrown the ball really well, I’m excited how everybody’s picking up the offense. The offense as a whole is progressing very, very fast."
... Rickey Galvin had a strong day, catching five passes for 60 yards, including a 40-yard catch after he burst past Brandon Golden to come open at the last second. ... Bobby Ratliff led all receivers with 76 yards on five catches, displaying the steady hands he's had for most of camp. ... Theron West had five carries for 13 yards, the only running back with double-figure yardage. Carl Winston and Leon Brooks took most of the snaps with the first team.
... The first-team offensive line remained the same as it has for most of camp. From left to right, it featured: John Fullington, Matt Goetz, Elliott Bosch, Jake Rodgers and Dan Spitz. Hard to tell who the "first team" receivers are at this point, because so many were used (and Andrei Lintz is still limited by an undisclosed injury). Wilson, Marks, Ratliff, Myers, Galvin, Gino Simone, Brett Bartolone and Drew Loftus were all seen on the field with the first-team at some point. ... The first-team defense consisted of Deone Bucannon and Tyree Toomer at safety, Damante Horton and Nolan Washington at cornerback, Eric Oertel (SAM), Darryl Monroe (MIKE), Justin Sagote (WIL) and Travis Long (BUCK) at linebacker (though Chester Su'a split time with Sagote), and Matt Bock, Ioane Gauta and Steven Hoffart on the defensive line. Casey Locker also saw some time at safety, as did Anthony Carpenter. And Toomer played some with the second-team. ... On some plays, Hoffart left the field, Long was moved to defensive end and Cyrus Coen was inserted as an outside linebacker.
... A few players sat out, some of them in full uniform riding exercise bikes underneath the scoreboard. They were WR Andrei Lintz, WR Kristoff Williams, OL Taylor Meighen, LB Darren Markle, DT Toni Pole and DL Xavier Cooper. Cooper and Markle wore walking boots. ... OL Niu Sale and RB Teondray Caldwell didn't dress, instead helping move the chains on the sidelines. WR Dominique Williams wasn't wearing a cast on his left hand as he had been the past few days, though he didn't participate in the scrimmage. Instead, he walked stadium stairs in full uniform while carrying what appeared to be a 45-pound weight with his right hand. ... OL Rico Forbes was again seen walking with crutches.
... Here are the statistics from the scrimmage, as tallied by WSU sports information.
Isiah Myers from Connor Halliday -- 30 yards
Bobby Ratliff from Jeff Tuel -- 18 yards
Marquess Wilson from Tuel -- 34 yards
Gabe Marks from Halliday -- 70 yards
Wilson from Halliday -- 3 yards
Max Hersey from David Gilbertson -- 5 yards
Anthony Carpenter 36-yard interception return
Rickey Galvin from Tuel -- 5 yards
Myers from Tuel -- 10 yards
Marcus Mason 4-7
Theron West 5-13
Carl Winston 3-5
Leon Brooks 4-3
Jeff Tuel 14-19-183, 4 TD, 1 INT
Connor Halliday 12-20-223, 3 TD
David Gilbertson 5-11-59, TD
Gabe Marks 3-74, TD
Marquess Wilson 4-65, 2 TD
Brett Bartolone 2-24
Isiah Myers 3-55, 2 TD
Bobby Ratliff 5-76, TD
Rickey Galvin 5-60, TD
Theron West 1-38
Bennett Bontemps 2-16
Marcus Mason 1-(-2)
Brett McDonald 1-12
Max Hersey 1-5, TD
Andrew Furney 1-3 (made 47, missed 37, 47)
Mike Bowlin 2-3 (made 37, 50, missed 37)
Anthony Carpenter (Tuel), 36 yard TD return
Eric Oertel, Steven Hoffart, Cyrus Coen, Logan Mayes
All for now. Tomorrow is the first off-day of camp, but we'll be back in the morning with our usual roundup.