It was a forgettable day for WSU's young quarterbacks during their weekly scrimmage. The full-contact event is a chance young players to showcase their stuff, and after a very good showing last week, freshman QB Tyler Bruggman and co. were less than their best today.
Bruggman finished the day 7-of-14 and was picked off by redshirt freshman safety David Bucannon. Luke Falk fared little better, going 5-of-8 and suffering a sack that was sandwhiched by three incompletions. Connor Ennis scored the offense's lone touchdown on a 20-yard strike to Daniel Lilienthal, who took it in for the score.
But it was a banner day for the defense, which had a number of standout performers. Nate Derider sacked Ennis of the first play of the series, and followed it up with a nice pass breakup. Jeremiah Allison was active on defense, and the younger Bucannon showed great range. Jeff Waldner forced Bruggman into a bad throw with some immediate pressure, and Nathan Hundeby showed great reaction time to drop John Thompson behind the line of scrimmage on a quick pass.
After practice we spoke with defensive coordinator Mike Breske and offensive line coach Clay McGuire to get their thoughts on the scrimmage.
Defensive Coordinator Mike Breske
(How has DeRider developed?)
He's been playing very well at inside linebacker. And again, learning our system and Thursday Night Football gives them an opportunity to come out here and it's fun to watch.
(Why was Mitchell Peterson moved to SAM linebacker?)
It's a depth situation and that type of deal. Mitch is a very intelligent young man and knows our defense. I've got the flexibilty where he can go back to safety or play SAM linebacker and SAM linebacker for us is almost like a safety. But he played a lot at Cal.
(Would Peterson go into a tight game?)
Oh yeah I've got complete confidence in Mtich in that type of deal and if that situation did arise, he's on the field.
Offensive line coach Clay McGuire
The quarterbacks seemed to struggle today
I don't think we were as sharp as we've been the last two weeks. I thought the last two weeks we really made some progress. The thing is we were good all over, the receivers, running backs, offensive line and receivers played a lot better the last two weeks and I think that had a lot to do with the quarterbacks' play today. We were pretty sloppy up front.
Dissapointing for them to not take advantage of their showcase?
It is for them. They're competitors and this is their chance to improve their game. This is what they look forward to all week and they don't get a whole lot of reps in this but they're very meaningful reps. They don't get the meeting time, they don't get the reps that the other kids do but it's kindof that pressure type situation where you're going to play on Saturdays. Or, hey, you only get limited reps you better make them count.
(How have the young offensive linemen developed?)
Riley [Sorenson] has done some good stuff, he's hit a wall kind of, some say that 'freshman wall.' He came out like a ball of fire in camp and he kind of hit a wall there for a week or two period but he's starting to get out of it and you're starting to see as the week progresses and from last week to this week, him really coming into his own as a player.
(How about Eduardo Middleton?)
He's done well. It's oneof those deals, he had a really good spring, had a pretty good camp. It's the same thing, we've had to move him around a few times just based on what's best for us in the rotation. I don't know if that's slowed him down mentally but he needs to push back to get where he was.
(Is it a versatile offensive line?)
Right now the most versatile guy we've got is Sorenson. The best athlete we have is Cole Madison. But as far as a guy that can play any position, that's Sorenson.