FROM PULLMAN — The warm(ish) weather returned to the Palouse this afternoon, and Washington State's football team returned to a much dryer practice field. We have notes, along with a few comments from offensive line coach Clay McGuire.
– It looks like Destiny Vaeao is closer to returning to action after sitting out Saturday's game against Southern Utah. He appeared to participate more than he has at any point since being held out last week.
– Brett Bartolone was limited and didn't participate in any scout or special teams work.
– Darius Lemora, Denzell Dotson and Jacob Seydel are all still limited.
– Leon Brooks continues to work at the H receiver spot, where coach Mike Leach said he will likely play this week.
– There was a brief, 5-play 11-on-11 session between the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense. Connor Halliday completed three of five passes — one to Kristoff Williams, one to Brooks, and another where our view of the receiver was obstructed.
We spoke afterward with McGuire about a few things. Here's that conversation.
(On getting different guys in against SUU) “It was good. It’s been a long time coming to get some guys in there. This was the first time Elliott Bosch hasn’t played the entire game since we’ve been here. It was good. The other kids came in and played well. Good to see them go out there and get some reps and actually play well while they’re getting them.”
(On Riley Sorenson going forward) “We’ve said all along, he’s in our top eight. It’s just a situation where at some point last year we needed a guy that we just didn’t have, and there will be situations this year where he’s going to have to play, and it was a great opportunity to get him in there, get him some reps and all that good stuff.”
(Who's stood out so far?) “Elliott Bosch has been really consistent and solid. Joe Dahl is another guy. They’ve all played really well. John (Fullington) and (Gunnar) Eklund have been solid as well. I was really pleased with the way Rico (Forbes) came out and played his first game against Auburn. He’s getting better. He’s only played three games since junior college. He’s only played two years of football. I was really pleased with the way he came out, got his first college reps and continued to go from there.”
(On the USC game) “It was one of those things, when you go back and watch the film, we’re really close to kind of gashing them like we did in Auburn. It’s just little things. After watching the film, it was a lot closer than I thought it was on the field. After watching it I was OK, but it’s the little things they’ve got to do to get better against a really good team like that.”
(On tuning up against SUU and Idaho) “It’s kind of been our motto, we just worry about ourselves. It’s not really about what any other team does to us. It’s about how much better we can get and how we can do our things. If we can go out and execute our stuff better than they can execute theirs, then we’ll be OK.”
(On Fullington) “He’s done well. He might be one of the most improved guys we have. He’s really been focused and dedicated to developing his skills. He’s gotten a lot better and he’s continued to get better each week.”
(What held him back last year?) “I think it was more mental. It’s one of those things that John’s such a good kid, he wants to do everything right all the time to where if he did mess up, it bothered him for the next 2-3-4 plays after that, as opposed to just hey, let’s play the next play and move on.”