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Thursday Night Football and other practice notes

The Cougars held their weekly underclassmen scrimmage but first had one final practice to prepare for USC.

Our practice report is after the jump.

The offensive line we saw at practice tonight was a little different than what we've seen for most of the season. Sam Flor continues to start at center in place of Riley Sorenson. Flor started against Arizona in his first action of the year.

" ne thing Sam's always been good at is not getting rattled about anything," offensive line coach Clay McGuire said. "He's always been a really even-keeled guy. He runs the offense and understands protections really well so I'm just looking forward to him going out there and playing faster. I thought he had a good game last week and I think things will be pretty similar this week with what they're doing so I just want to see him play a little bit more physical, a little bit faster on the inside."

Sorenson practiced as well, seeing time at right guard. It doesn't sound like he's quite ready to play, however.

"Riley still isn't quite back yet and (he and Flor) are competing really hard," McGuire said. "I don't think there's really a whole lot separating them. They're both really competing for that spot and Riley will have a chance to get it back at some point, too."

Running with the ones at right tackle was Jacob Seydel. Cole Madison usually starts in that spot but he was limited during practice. Also limited were Isaac Dotson, Nate DeRider, Charleston White, Nick Begg and Mack Hopkins.

Calvin Green and Gerard Wicks were note seen at practice.

The defensive backs looked good in work against the scout team, with Kevin Griffin and Sulaiman Hameed collecting interceptions. Connor Ennis threw for a couple touchdowns against the regulars, however, connecting with Zaire Andre and Erik Anderson.

Marcus Wyke had a good day, making a nice catch in traffic between Pat Porter and Taylor Taliulu. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound freshman also made a couple plays during Thursday Night Football.

Daniel Lilienthal made a number of catches during the underclassmen scrimmage, making hay on intermediate routes of about 8-15 yards.  He appeared to be a favorite target of Luke Falk, who was steady during his time running the offense but couldn't get the Crimsons in the end zone.

Keith Harrington had another big day running the ball, but his first run was quickly extinguished by Chandler Leniu for a four-yard loss. Falk picked up a first down with his legs as well, going at least five yards before he was lightly touched and could probably have gotten 10 or so in a live situation.

Peyton Bender took over and had success with a short passing game that also opened things up for Harrington, who took a handoff 10 yards up the middle. Harrington's jitterbug style of running would lend one to expect more plays outside but most of his big runs come up the middle, where he's able to make a defender miss in traffic and then burst into the secondary.

As soon as Bender tried to go downfield, however, he was picked off by Drew Griffin who made the catch running backward, over his shoulder, in the end zone about 30 yards downfield. Bender settled down quickly though, eventually hitting John Thompson in the corner of the end zone for a five-yard touchdown pass. On the next play he hit Thompson again, this time from 30 yards out for another touchdown. He finished his time running the offense with another score, this time to Lilienthal.

Ennis struggled during his portion of the scrimmage, throwing a sideline pass that should have been intercepted by Sebastian LarRue who jumped the route. LaRue kept his hands on the next one, however, picking Ennis off on a downfield pass. He was also gave up another interception to Griffin.

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

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