Who could forget Isiah Myers' catch, the one coach Mike Leach called one of the best he's ever seen? I mean, it's only been a day, you should probably be able to remember. But just in case you happen to be living out some Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates scenario, don't worry, Myers was back at it again today.
Our practice report awaits, after the jump.
The Cougars were in full pads for the first time today, which really wasn't all that different than when they were in shoulder pads yesterday. The Deja Vu began when Myers scored another touchdown on another diving catch, this time on a post route that took him into the end zone.
“It was just a little scramble drill. Isaiah did a good job,” Halliday said. “The receiver on the far right always needs to go to the back corner of the end zone and he did a good job of doing his job and made a heck of a catch because Patrick Porter was doing a heck of a job trying to rip the ball out.”
Halliday later acknowledged that Myers is probably the receiver he has the best on-field rapport with right now. Not River Cracraft, not Gabe Marks, not Vince Mayle but Myers. He proved it later in practice, hitting Myers for another bomb on a vertical route for a touchdown.
Myers playing so well puts the Cougars in a happy conundrum. Coach Mike Leach is looking to play eight receivers, two at each position. At the Z position he has three guys playing well: Myers, Gabe Marks and Kristoff Williams, who entered fall No. 1 on the depth chart.
Leach was asked if one of them might move to a different position and replied, “Probably not, probably not but they'll fight it out and two guys will play and one of them won't play as much.”
Marks was the team's best receiver last year, is playing like the best receiver in practice and is certain to play in the fall. It's hard to imagine a world in which the receiver that Halliday hits for multiple acrobatic touchdowns each practice doesn't play, so it could very likely be Williams who is the odd man out.
Depth can be cruel.
The kickers saw some action today. Erik Powell went first, missing from 35 yards, missing from 40 yards and then hitting one from 40 yards. Quentin Breshears went next, missing wide left from 40 before hitting from 35 and then from 40. Then, Leach issued an up-down related challenge to the special teams units that we couldn't quite hear. Powell responded well, hitting from 35 and twice from 40. Breshears responded to the left, as in he missed all his kicks to the left and a little short.
Cracraft was the holder for all of them.
We also some some kickoffs today. Powell and Descalo started off good and finished great, kicking almost to the goal line early in the drill and then booting a couple out of the end zone to finish. Breshears struggled.
Among the kick returners, Keith Harrington and Marcellus Pippins appeared to have the best days. Pippins in particular had some really nice returns, going untouched by the grabby hands of defenders.
The young offensive linemen are going to get looks all over the place, but today we saw Brandon Evers at left tackle, Derek Crites at left guard, Carlos Freeman at center, B.J. Salmonson at right guard and Andre Dillard at right tackle. We reported earlier that offensive line coach Clay McGuire thinks that Dillard could start as soon as next season, although he'll likely redshirt this year.
Joe Dahl, Devonte McClain, Cody O'Connell, Brett Bartolone and Parker Henry remained limited today.
The defense got the best of the offense despite nice work by Myers, and K. Williams who caught a touchdown during team session. Chester Su'a had a nice interception off Halliday, and Darryl Monroe picked off Connor later. Darius Lemora snagged one off Falk.
Xavier Cooper has been good for about one sack every team session and he continued that streak today, putting a hand on Connor to stop play.
Sulaiman Hameed continues to get work at both safety spots. He's still swimming of course, but he seems happy to stick his nose into a play. A couple more fights broke out today, including Pat Porter who got his first extra-curricular action, scuffling with Marks and Harrington before Dakota Sinchak ran across the field to break it up.