From Pullman -- Forgive me if today's practice report isn't as meaty as Thursday's and ones to follow. During practice some basketball news was happening that proved to be more than a little distracting. Still, I think we got most of it. There were a couple new faces running with the ones today and a new quarterback got some significant reps.
Read on, after the jump.
Heading into the spring the young secondary was likely Washington State's biggest area of concern. Well if the first two days are any indication that green defensive backfield may be a strength by the time the team heads to Seattle to face Rutgers in the season-opener. Charleston White intercepted quarterback Connor Halliday as did freshman CB Marcellus Pippins, who also had one yesterday.
"They’re quick, they’re both quick guys. I think that’s been good," coach Mike Leach said. "Well, Pippins can jump higher than you’d think and Charleston’s got really long arms so both of them are kind of deceptive. They’ve got you a little better covered than it looks, based on their athleticism and stuff."
Getting the bulk of the snaps behind Halliday today was redshirt freshman Luke Falk. On Thursday it was Tyler Brugman who got those reps and it appears that the two may rotate in the spring, at least until one of the young quarterbacks separates himself. Falk completed 7 of 15 passes in the team period and had a nice scramble when nobody was open. Because the quarterbacks are down on contact it's tough to say how many yards he would have picked up with his legs, but It looked like a solid 7-10 yard scamper.
"I thought he did pretty good," Leach said. "I thought his mind was swimming a little bit but he threw the ball good, I thought."
When asked about splitting reps between Falk and Bruggman Leach said, "We'll just kind of go day-by-day and move them around so we can take a good look at both of them."
Halliday completed 8 of 17 passes on the day. The quarterbacks' numbers were hurt by some drops suffered by the receivers today, including a couple in the end zone. Halliday did find Kristoff Williams and Rickey Galvin for scores. Vince Mayle showed off his newfound speed again on Saturday and Leach said that the 219 pound receiver appears much more decisive in his movements.
The Cougars tried out some new players with the first string units today. Former safety Mitchell Peterson started at SAM linebacker and Riley Sorenson took his turn at starting center. We also saw Robert Lewis get extensive time with the first unit at wide receiver.
After practice the team gathered in one end zone for a final drill in which a single defensive player would line up at receiver and a single offensive player would try to cover them. First up was Daquawn Brown, covered by Kristoff Williams. Brown got behind Williams and positioned himself perfectly for an over-the-shoulder grab but dropped the pass. I couldn't see the second pair, but the third matchup was defensive lineman Kalafitoni Pole going against offensive lineman Cole Madison. Pole couldn't real in the pass and the drill ended with the defense doing up downs.
Don't forget we'll have a live chat tomorrow to talk about practice.