PULLMAN – River Cracraft caught six passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns during Washington State’s scrimmage on Friday, but he didn’t want to talk about it.
There was something else on his mind.
“I messed up on a lot of things,” the freshman receiver said. “I learned from a lot of things. There’s a lot of things I have to correct.”
He was asked later how he found himself so wide open on plays such as his 52-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Austin Apodaca, or his 48-yard scoring snag from quarterback Tyler Bruggman.
And again, the soft-spoken newcomer deferred to his shortcomings.
“The thing I’ve been struggling with is blocking, and I’d like to improve on that a lot more,” Cracraft said. “I had a few plays – multiple plays, actually – where I missed my block and the running back got hit, and that’s something I need to improve on.”
The Cougars can likely live with a few rookie mistakes for now, as Cracraft continues to establish himself as one of WSU’s better inside receivers.
WSU coach Mike Leach acknowledged Cracraft’s errors – chief among them a missed block that would have sprung a screen play – but also said the freshman is “excited to play. He goes out there and plays hard every snap, so he’s reliable, so he’s got more opportunities to get open than some guys who don’t play as hard as he does because he’s going to maximize every one of them.”
WSU’s No. 1 offense faced the No. 2 defense, with the No. 1 defense going against the No. 2 offense and the third-teamers playing against each other.
Connor Halliday again commanded the first-team offense and completed 11 of 17 passes for 91 yards, three touchdowns and an interception that freshman cornerback Charleston White snagged after outjumping sophomore receiver Gabe Marks.
Bruggman, a freshman quarterback, made the most of his time with the third-team offense, completing 6 of 8 passes for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
“Once Tyler figures out this offense and gets comfortable and not being homesick and all that stuff, Tyler’s going to be a heck of a quarterback,” Halliday said. “Tyler could be a superstar here.”
Dockery leaves team
Redshirt freshman cornerback Rahmel Dockery has left the team and will “make other plans,” Leach said.
Dockery, a Tacoma native, came to WSU as a receiver but was switched to defense last season. Leach said, “I think he wants to get somewhere where he can play, and we encourage him and we’ll help him do that.”