FROM PULLMAN — It was a typical Thursday practice for the Cougars today, as they spent a large chunk of time working on special teams before breaking into scout sessions and ending with Thursday Night Football. There isn't much news to pass along, but we do have a few notes, so read on.
One could have assumed, given the injuries to Teondray Caldwell and Leon Brooks, that Marcus Mason is going to get some playing time at running back this weekend.
And running backs coach Jim Mastro confirmed that notion, saying he expects Mason to “play a lot” against Stanford.
“He’s deserved a chance to play kind of all year,” Mastro said. “The position has been pretty productive for us so to make changes has been pretty hard but he deserves a shot and he’s going to get his chnce this week, like we talk about, next man up. He’s got to rise up, he’s going to get his chance and his job is to keep the job forever.”
(That “pretty productive” quote might raise some eyebrows, given WSU's national rushing rankings. But we go into that a little more in-depth in tomorrow's newspaper, detailing why those numbers aren't quite what they seem.)
Mason continues to get plenty of reps alongside Carl Winston, with Bennett Bontemps serving as the emergency No. 3 option for the time being.
On Mason, Mastro said: “Just no more hesitation. Too much thinking going on for a while. He’s finally just letting it rip. That’s what we’ve been needing him to do and he’s doing it. The last month he’s had a pretty good month of practice so he deserves a chance.”
Those absent from Thursday's practice included: RB Teondray Caldwell, WR Isiah Myers and RB Theron West. Brooks spent practice on the exercise bike again. … Jeff Tuel and Travis Long each addressed the team as players gathered together at midfield at the end of practice. … Feddie Davey made an interception during the Thursday Night Football scrimmage. Bontemps also had a short touchdown run preceded by a long run that helped set his team up inside the 5-yard line.
That's all for now.