Washington State held its first Pullman practice of the 2014 season at 8 p.m. tonight. The practice took on the dual roles of a Sunday night postgame practice – the Rutgers game is on a Thursday so Friday is effectively Sunday now – and a Thursday practice, with the underclassmen scrimmaging at the end.
Our practice report is just a click away.
New Cougar Jeffery Farrar was at practice today. Because it was his first practice he wasn't in any pads, but coaches say the former Virginia signee will be given every opportunity to play his way onto the field this year, despite the missed time.
"(I'm) excited to have him here," coach Mike Leach said after practice. "Good player. It was just kind of a process to get the paperwork worked out, but it's great to have him and excited to get to work with him."
Farrar will wear No. 10.
Missing from practice was cornerback Charleston White, who Leach says remains in good standing with the team. Also missing was linebacker Nathan Hundeby, who has been removed from the roster.
Cornerback Sebastian LaRue appears to be still dealing with a family matter, and incoming freshmen Deion Singleton and Barry Ware have not yet joined the team.
The team did some individual position drills early. Closest to we reporters were the Bucks – Ivan McClennan, Kache Palacio, Kingston Fernandez and Sherman Hutcherson – who practiced firing off the ball and striking a goal post.
Then, all the skill position players lined up in three lines, and individually took turns fielding onside kicks. This was without a doubt the players' favorite drill.
We got a look at the scout teams as the team begins to prepare for Rutgers. Do-everything utility man Nick Begg tried on another new hat, lining up at fullback on scout team, although appearing to tweak his ankle later in practice.
Earlier in practice Begg appeared to get some reps at right guard in the offensive line drills.
Tracy Clark started opposite Daquawn Brown at corner, and Riley Sorenson again took the first reps with the starting offensive line. After practice Leach said that the competition between Sorenson and Sam Flor to start at center is still very close, but acknowledged that Sorenson has played well lately.
The defense appeared to have the upper hand during Thursday Night Football, although quarterback Peyton Bender had some nice throws. Intuitively, it makes sense that a young defense would be a little ahead right now, since the quarterbacks and receivers haven't had time to gel, nor have the young offensive linemen.
David Bucannon – Deone's little brother – had an interception, drawing lots of cheers from the upperclassmen defenders and cries of "Little Buc!"
The team was kind enough to make players available for interviews today – after Sunday's practice we'll only be able to talk to the players after games and at Monday's press conference – which was great. However, those interviews took place during the Thursday Night Football portion of practice, so we can't provide much in the way of play by play.
After practice offensive lineman DeVonte McClain took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, sitting while an entire cooler of ice water was dumped on his head. Take one must not have gone very well, because he did it twice.