Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 56° Partly Cloudy


WSU practice: last full one of the season

If the Cougars stick to their normal weekly routine then today's practice was the last full one of the season.

Washington State will have a morning practice tomorrow and then head to the bowling alley for Thanksgiving food and activities.

Our report from today's practice is after the jump.

-- Vince Mayle returned to practice on Wednesday, although he was not a full participant. He took part in the drills but was mostly a bystander during team stuff, as was defensive lineman Kalafitoni Pole. Cole Madison again participated despite wearing a yellow "no contact" jersey and took reps with the twos at right tackle.

-- A couple walk-ons made nice plays for the scout offense early in practice. Erik Anderson has been playing more receiver with Gabe Marks at scout quarterback and he made a nice catch while taking a hit. Austin Hall had a big play of his own, batting the ball above cornerback Charleston White and then catching it up against the sideline.

-- Things got a little chippy between Darryl Monroe and Marks, who ended the scuffle by ripping off Monroe's helmet and throwing it across the field.

"I'd like to see a lot of fire out of all these guys," linebackers coach Ken Wilson said. "(Monroe) had a good practice. He's trying to compete out there every day and he did a good job today and yeah, we need more guys like that."

-- Luke Falk looked really sharp during a red zone drill, completing seven consecutive scoring passes from about three-yards out.

-- He also had two consecutive deep passes to Dom Williams, one for a touchdown from about 30 yards away and then a 40-yard pass downfield in which Williams made a nice high-point catch over a defender while still running.

-- Drew Loftus dove to catch a low pass and got control of the ball before it hit the turf for a gain of about 20 yards.

-- Theron West looked explosive today, bursting through the line for what looked like a scoring run (it can be hard to tell when the defense isn't tackling) and he made a smooth catch on a short Peyton Bender pass and was immediately running free up the right sideline.

Here's a short Q&A with defensive line coach Joe Salave'a:

(How was the energy today?)

You've got to do this with energy and passion. If you don't it's going to be hard to have any success and it was good to see our kids bounce back and the best way to bounce back is to get right back on the horse and ride.

(How has getting more pressure helped the defensive backs?)

Rushing and coverage, those things are tied hand-in-hand and that will never change. Never change and I think it means a lot for our guys up front to do that and give our guys on the back end more opportunities to get on that ball.

(Is the recent success rushing the quarterback a result of inside pressure?)

I think those are things that are going to happen when we're able to command eyes as far as the double team is concerned. Those things are going to work in your favor and we've just got to demand that and get guys inside to be disruptive and play with that physicality.

(Have you found that the inside players have been commanding more double teams lately?)

With our style of play those things and what teams have been doing, and our kids need to understand that those things are going to happen as far as how people safeguard against us, but that should be even more of a challenge and opportunity to get after it so the last few weeks have been good but we're looking to just accelerate that process.

Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

Follow Jacob online:

Looking for a Grip on Sports?

Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.