FROM PULLMAN — WSU's final full practice before departing for Auburn is over, and we have a few notes to pass along, including the latest on the Logan Mayes situation.
By now you've likely seen Cougfan's report citing a source saying Mayes, a junior defensive end, has decided to leave the program and transfer to Cal Poly. If you were hoping for any sort of confirmation from WSU, you're going to have to wait. There was no formal media availability for coach Mike Leach today, though I did ask him about Mayes' status as he left practice. Leach said only that “he's fine.” Reached earlier this afternoon for comment, Mayes said simply that he's doing everything Leach wants him to do. He did not attend practice for the second consecutive day.
– As for the actual practice field, it was a pretty typical day, with the first-team offense and defense working on opposite ends of Martin Stadium against the respective scout teams, working on finalizing their gameplan before heading to Auburn. It appears Cyrus Coen took most (if not all) of the reps at sam linebacker with the No. 1 defense, so it would be my guess that he'll occupy that spot come Saturday. The rest of the defense looks as you would expect, according to the depth chart.
– The offensive line personnel was mixed up a bit, as coach Clay McGuire tried to get work in for the backups in case they're needed in certain situations. He talked about having a top eight, and needing a starter to maybe change positions in order to put the sixth-best guy in the game in case of injury.
John Fullington and Joe Dahl moved out to right and left tackle, respectively, to allow Matt Goetz and Riley Sorenson to play the guard positions, and Zach Brevick took some snaps at center. It looks like if something happens to either of WSU's starting tackles (Rico Forbes and Gunnar Eklund), one of the starting guards (Fullington and Dahl) will kick out to tackle and the replacement will play guard.
“Any given time, we’re going to try to get our five best guys on the field at a time,” McGuire said. “If somebody were to go down, who’s the next guy? If you have to move another guy out to bring another guy in, it’s not just hey, backup right tackle goes in. The best guy might be a backup left guard, so we have to figure out a way to get our five best guys in at a time.”
– Teondray Caldwell, Kristoff Williams and Alex Jackson each returned at least one kickoff during special teams work.
– I had an orange Powerade today.