Thursdays are always the loudest afternoons at Rogers Field and Martin Stadium. The team plays music, pumps in noise and breaks up the monotony of another week of school by causing a big ruckus.
But the noise usually dies down by the time the underclassmen begin their Thursday Night Football scrimmage.
Read more after the jump.
The noise came courtesy of WSU's defenders, who had three or four times as many pad-popping hits as most weeks. The noise snowballed from there, as defenders on the sidelines – to say nothing of coach Joe Salave'a -- began cheering, getting louder with each violent "THUMP."
After practice, defensive coordinator Mike Breske was diplomatic.
"Lots of reps tonight, explosive plays both on offense and defense," Breske said. "Defense was flying around. We'll watch the film tomorrow and get a better idea but good pace tonight … It's just being in the right position and finishing and then you saw the running backs too, create space, and the receivers create space so it works both ways."
The biggest cheers of the day came when David Bucannon, Deone's little brother, blew up a pair of receivers just a couple plays apart, prompting chants of "Buck" (his older brother's nickname) from the assembled upperclassmen who watch these scrimmages until the weather gets cold.
"David had some nice tackles tonight and really had a good Thursday night," Breske said.
Pat Porter had a violent pass breakup, as did Skyler Cracraft. Paris Taylor intercepted Peyton Bender on the quarterback's first throw and Reggie Coates batted down his next pass.
Another defender who had a good night was linebacker Kyle Newsome, who had an interception for the second consecutive week, this time off quarterback Luke Falk.
"He's playing well too," Breske added. "Thursday Night Football gives them an opportunity to play fast. We do a lot of pressures on defense and just be in the spot and get on film and make us notice you."
The offense had some big plays as well, most notably a deep touchdown pass of about 50 yards from Bender to Barry Ware, who was playing the X receiver position.
"He's still improving," outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons said. "He knows a little bit more of the offense this week than he did last week and we're going at the pace, just trying to get him caught up."
Keith Harrington started to come on late in practice. Harrington is a wide receiver but often plays running back during Thursday Night Football and on scout team so that Squally Canada isn't doing everything and because he brings a different dimension of quickness, which he showed off tonight.
Twice Harrington appeared to be stuck behind the line of scrimmage, and each time he got out of trouble without moving more than a yard in either direction (the veritable "phone booth"). He showed off some torero skills on a toss to the right side, spinning in place with a would-be tackler went running past.
Jeff Waldner, a fifth-year senior is older than almost everyone else playing in these scrimmages and he certainly looks it. He's been very disruptive on the defensive line.
Some notes from the regular practice:
-- Sulaiman Hameed was wearing limited today, as were Mack Hopkins, Nick Begg, Chester Su'a, Nate DeRider, Isaac Dotson, Drew Springfield and Sherman Hutcherson.
-- Also limited was Kristoff Williams who has not been seen at practice for a couple weeks, but was present on Thursday.