Notes from WSU’s scrimmage
Washington State went live for the first time since fall camp began in a 62-play scrimmage on Saturday. The defense probably had the upper hand overall but it was close. Unless, of course, you ask linebacker Darryl Monroe, that is.
"Since we've been out here I think we won pretty much every day," Monroe said after practice. "Which is great, because when you've got a lot of young guys coming in on this defense you think, 'Oh, their competition level (isn't good),' or they can get intimidated at the college level but these guys came to play with high competition and intensity."
Stats are here, quotes are here and some observations are after the jump.
— Other than seeing how guys handle live hitting, probably the most interesting part of the scrimmage was seeing who took the field with the first string, second string, etc. Redshirt freshman Darius Lemora started at safety alongside Taylor Taliulu, and Tracy Clark started at cornerback alongside Daquawn Brown. True freshman Pat Porter ran with the 2's at cornerback, and the second team linebackers were Chester Su'a, Jeremiah Allison and Mitch Peterson.
From left to right the offensive line went, Gunnar Eklund, Eduardo Middleton, Riley Sorenson, Jacob Seydel and Cole Madison. When Joe Dahl comes back (he's currently limited and spent a couple days in a walking boot) Eklund will likely slide over to left guard and Dahl will take over at left tackle. The coaches say Sorenson and Sam Flor are still battling for the center spot.
Erik Powell took both kicks, hitting from 29 and 32 yards. The kickers also took reps before the scrimmage, with Powell hitting three kicks from around the 35-yard line and once from the 40, while Quentin Breshears hit from the 20, missed from the 28, hit from the 37, 40 and barely made it over from the 45.
Also of note, Gabe Marks and Marcus Mason — last year's leading receiver and all-purpose yards-gainer, respectively — ran with the 3's. Isiah Myers and Kristoff Williams have been playing well at the Z receiver position, making it tough for Marks to reclaim his spot after missing spring practice. Theron West took over as the starting RB after a big bowl game performance and redshirt freshmen Gerard Wicks and Jamal Morrow appear to be ahead of Mason right now.
— Marks took a big shot from freshman linebacker Chandler Leniu and lost his helmet. He spent about a minute on the ground being attended to by coaches, but jogged off under his own power.
— Speaking of Leniu, the big linebacker looked great during that series running with the 3's. Prior to his hit on Marks he picked off a pass from Connor Ennis close to the line of scrimmage, and on the third play of the series he covered a lot of ground to tackle Mason for a short gain.
— The team brought in officials for the scrimmage, who called the Cougars a few times for false starts or for being offsides. After making the call the officials appeared to make a point of finding the player that committed the penalty and explaining why the call was made and how it could be avoided.
— While West is No. 1 on the depth chart, Wicks actually took the first reps with the No. 1 offense and carried the ball on three of the first four plays. However, the defensive line pretty well stuffed the run game, which only totaled 10 yards on nine carries in the entire scrimmage.
— Cyrus Coen had his second interception off Halliday this week, covering Cracraft underneath an out route and making an interception in the middle of the field when Halliday threw across his body. The interception likely saved a touchdown, and because there were few offensive players in the area, it's likely that Coen could have turned it into a big return.
— Su'a made a nice play to tackle Wicks for a short gain on a screen pass, avoiding the wall of blockers rather than trying to go through it.