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WSU finds calm in storm, holds practice

One day after smoke sent the Cougars back to Pullman, the Lewiston weather appeared to bend to coach Mike Leach's will on Tuesday. The day's rain disappeared as soon as Washington State began practicing and lightning appeared just when the post practice interviews started running long.

Never doubt how much power college football coaches can exert for their program.

Our practice report is after the jump.

The kickers kicked to begin practice. Erik Powell went 3-3 with a long of 42 and Quentin Breshears made two kicks from 35-yards out. While River Cracraft remains the holder for the left-footed Powell, Isaac Dotson appears to be taking over the duties when the right-footed Breshears kicks.

During punt drills both Jordan Descalo and Wes Concepcion struggled. Concepcion probably had the better day of the two, but he also had a punt blocked by a player wearing a black penny over his jersey. Descalo dropped the snap at one point, and neither punter was able to consistently get much distance.

Cyrus Coen had another interception today, during the seven-on-seven period on Connor Halliday's first pass. He's had five or six so far during fall camp and coaches have praised the work he's done in pass coverage, something that used to be considered a weakness.

"Cyrus has played really well," coach Mike Leach said. "Cyrus is better this year than he was last year and Cyrus, in particular, he's a more disciplined player and the other thing Cyrus has done well is pass coverage, which is something that was kind of the knock on him but he's really gotten better at pass coverage and has really done a good job at it."

The highlight of the period came when Halliday squeezed a tight pass between two defenders to the diminutive Robert Lewis, who got both hands on the ball but was unable to reel it in, since he was getting drilled at the time. The ball popped up in the air and Lewis snagged it on the way down, coming up with the catch as he landed.

Kristoff Williams had a couple nice catches during the period and appears to be comfortable back at the outside receiver position, after spending some time inside last year.

"He did really well, kind of excelled out there in the spring," Leach explained. "He's a big target and River was doing really well on the inside. We knew that Robert Lewis was kind of emerging so really you try to spread your eight guys the best you can and Kristoff's got the ability to do either one. He's been playing pretty good."

Williams scored a touchdown pass during team session, and also found the end zone at the end of practice when the Cougars had their first overtime drill of fall camp. The drill pitted the second string offense against the first team defense, and vice versa. The twos scored on Luke Falk's pass to Williams after picking up a first down on a 15-yard or so pass to River Cracraft.

The ones failed to respond as Jamal Morrow fumbled on the first play.

Gabe Marks still hasn't practiced since getting his helmet knocked off after a big hit during Saturday's scrimmage.

Gerard Wicks continues to look really good at running back. He scored from 60 yards out on a weaving run, using his quick speed to dart left away from the defensive line, back right to avoid a linebacker, left again to get past the secondary and then he was gone.

Chester Su'a picked off a Falk pass thanks to a tip from Ivan McClennan.

Tomorrow will be Washington State's last practice in Lewiston. The Cougars will take the field at 2:30 p.m., weather permitting, and plan on scrimmaging for about 80 plays. The scrimmage will likely start around 3 p.m.




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