Washington State practiced for the final time before traveling to Salt Lake City to take on the Utes. Defensive coordinator Mike Breske confirmed that Sulaiman Hameed will start at safety. He'll likely be alongside redshirt freshman Darius Lemora. For more on WSU's young defensive backs get a copy of tomorrow's paper.
He also confirmed that linebacker Frankie Luvu will be on travel squad to Utah, and will probably play at Buck linebacker, making him the fifth true freshman to play for the Cougars this season. The others are Hameed, receiver Calvin Green, cornerback Pat Porter and punter Jordan Dascalo.
The Cougars also had their Thursday Night Football practice. We have our report on the underclassmen scrimmage after the jump.
The defensive line wasn't as dominant as last week, and the offense had a couple skill position players with good days, but the defense largely dominated, keeping the offense out of the end zone entirely.
"It was fun watching them flying around, making big plays and then rallying in the red zone," Breske said. "Did a great job, no scores in the red zone. Each week they're getting better and better and better."
The offense's best drive came largely on the ground. Running back Squally Canada reeled off a run that covered about 25 yards or so, and followed it immediately with a 10-yard scamper. The next two plays belonged to Keith Harrington, who took a short pass about 15 yards, freezing linebacker Greg Hoyd III with a quality stutter step and then cutting upfield. He carried the ball on the next play for about five yards.
"Those guys are pretty good with the ball in their hands," offensive line coach Clay McGuire said. "Offensive line did a decent job getting them some holes to get through and it's nice to have two guys back there making plays."
Peyton Bender was intercepted on the next play by linebacker Kyle Newsom. He responded well, hitting Daniel Lilienthal about 45 yards downfield. Lilienthal added another 5 yards by dragging cornerback Jeff Farrar with him, but Farrar ripped the ball out and it was recovered by Skyler Cracraft.
That play gave the defense some momentum and Bender was sacked on consecutive plays, first by Jeff Waldner and then by a player that was probably Dylan Hanser but could possibly have been Kingston Fernandez (they both wear No. 43).
Canada responded with a 40-yard run, the aftermath of which was a fight that led to up-downs for the entire team.
Some younger offensive linemen subbed in and the defensive line began to dominate, with Newsom and another linebacker coming through open gaps for sacks.
"You can definitely tell the younger defensive linemen are tougher than our younger offensive linemen right now,"McGuire said.
The limited players during today's practice were: Destiny Vaeao, Nick Begg, Mack Hopkins, Isaac Dotson, Chester Su'a, Drew Springfield and Nate DeRider. I did not see Kristoff Williams at practice.