From Pullman — While Washington State coach Mike Leach said that practice on Tuesday was “great”, he appeared to take issue with the offense midway through practice. Quarterback Connor Halliday appeared off-target and there were some drops by the receivers, including one that led to an interception.
After a brief conditioning break for the offense the team was back at in and the offense seemed much improved. The receivers stayed after practice to get some extra work in. There was also some special teams work done, and I spoke to special teams coordinator Eric Russell after practice.
That interview, after the jump.
(What has helped punter Michael Bowlin improve this season?)
We've just been trying to focus on the same stuff. Fundamentals, staying through the ball, seeing what he kicks and calming him down a little. Our punt net has climbed drastically, we're no longer at the bottom.
(While he obviously has the leg, he sometimes struggles with consistency. Why?)
I don't think it's nerves, but “focus” is a good word for it. He wants to see so quickly what he hits, and when you do, you don't see your finish. We've been just trying to clean some technique stuff on him.
(Are there any snap issues?)
We havne't had any snap issues or anything like that. Now last game our left tackle just turned a guy loose and that's the stuff that we've got to quit doing. Make them whip you instead of like coach says “shoot yourself in the foot.” It's a combination of focus, and trust, and not panicking. You've got to get everything back at once or something like that. Just do your job, we'll be fine.
(Any standouts that may not show up in the statistics?)
Early on I'd say Feddie Davey was playing well and not really in a role as far as being productive but just harassing people on punt returns and getting blocks and being disruptive on kickoff. Obviously, he's been injured the past few weeks. We've had some young guys step up, some walk-ons, Mitch Peterson … I don't know if we've had one guy. Isaac Dotson was really emerging and solid on things, dependable guy. So he was one that has been continually getting better.
NOTE: Russell later added that Theron West has been playing very well.
(Do you expect Dotson [who has missed the past few practices] to play against Arizona?)
Yeah I would hope so.