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Heat and tempers rising

The Washington State coaches' policy on fights in practice is essentially, "We don't care as long as it doesn't interrupt the next play. If it does, we'll roll you."

With the tacit consent of their coaches alongside the competitive nature of fall camp, more Cougars than usual found themselves in skirmishes today. A long-standing chippiness between Vince Mayle and much smaller cornerback Sebastian LaRue turned into a little more. And the war of words between Gabe Marks and Daquawn Brown turned physical in a fight that drew in other players from both offense and defense.

But nobody was hurt and little practice time was lost. As Kalafitoni Pole said afterward, "Things get a little chippy but that's how it's supposed to be when you're getting after it."

More after the jump.

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Athletic director Bill Moos was at the practice with his son, Ben, who plays a little football himself. After practice he addressed the team.

The team session of practice was fairly similar to yesterday's with the defense staking out a big lead only to have the offense come back. This time, however, the defense held on for a 24-22 win (We explain the scoring system here).

As I mentioned before it was a physical practice, something that clearly played into the defense's hands. Big hits started to pile up, the defenders on the sideline got louder with each smack, and soon the offense started dropping passes. Marcus Mason broke free near the end zone only to have the ball bounce off his hands. A group of young defenders hounded him all the way back to the huddle.

One defender who had a good day was Pat Porter, who recovered after some embarrassing moments yesterday. In one particularly impressive play he used great closing speed to catch up to Drew Loftus and swung his arm down at the critical moment to hammer the ball out of the receiver's hands upon arrival.

Charleston White had a similar play to knock a pass away from Kristoff Williams.

Another young quarterback to watch is Sulaiman Hameed. During the drill portion of practice the defensive backs did a goal line drill in which one DB played the part of a ball carrier and another had to stand him up before he crossed a certain yard line. Hameed was as physical as any of the defensive backs and successfully knocked his man backwards when I watched.

Another bit of news is that strong safety Isaac Dotson was without a yellow jersey for the first time today. Dotson is the favorite to start at strong safety but the true sophomore missed a lot of last spring with an undisclosed injury. Getting him back and unencumbered early will be important in his development.

 




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Jacob Thorpe





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