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WSU practice notes: Scrimmage tomorrow

Tavares Martin Jr. says cool in the heat at WSU football camp in Lewiston. (Jacob Thorpe / The Spokesman-Review)
Tavares Martin Jr. says cool in the heat at WSU football camp in Lewiston. (Jacob Thorpe / The Spokesman-Review)

Washington State had a short practice on Saturday that lasted only an hour and a half. But on Sunday the Cougars will hold their only scrimmage of preseason camp.

The scrimmage is open to the public and will likely begin 45 minutes or so after practice starts at 2:30. We'll of course have coverage of the scrimmage here on SportsLink.

For now, here are some notes from WSU's abridged practice:

-- Matt Abramo was the kicker in today's practice and he went 4-of-5. His miss came from about 40-yards and looked short and to right of the goal post, but then he sneaked a 47-yarder over the crossbar.

-- The Cougars still got a full complement of special teams drills done during practice and Kyrin Priester showed the most explosiveness returning both punts and kickoffs.

-- C.J. Dimry, Dylan Hanser T.J. Fehoko and Tyler Baker were limited during Saturday's practice. Charleston White did not appear to be at practice. With White not participating, true freshman Darrien Molton ran with the 1s at cornerback opposite Marcellus Pippins.

-- Pippins and Jeremiah Allison are the vocal leaders of the defense, always talking to their teammates before the snap. Pippins is a bit of a smack talker, but he's got a real positive, upbeat bent to his exhortations. Even when he's yelling at a freshman, there's generally an air of encouragement and he frequently dispenses advice to the other cornerbacks.

-- Frankie Luvu is a player that Mike Leach has mentioned the last couple times somebody has asked him about players who have stood out in camp, and he was very active during the skeleton drill. As a freshman last season, Luvu was moved to the Buck position but now he's taking reps at inside linebacker.

-- The offensive highlight of the skeleton drill was a catch Gabe Marks made with Molton draped on him in the end zone on a pass from Peyton Bender. Both players went up for the ball and both got their hands on it, but Marks ripped the football away from the freshman mid-air to come down with the touchdown reception.

Tavares Martin Jr. also showed some wheels during the drill, catching a short pass near the sideline and getting 15 or 20 yards upfield before the defense could catch up.

I also noticed running back James Williams getting into the mix a bit. In case you missed it, here is our story on the talented freshman's recovery from an injury he suffered his senior year of high school.

-- It was an interesting team period for Luke Falk, who took over with a lead after Peyton Bender's session and lost it. Twice. But both times he recovered and ended the session with three completed passes, two of them to Dom Williams for touchdowns.

Bender's session started with a screen pass to Priester on the left side of the field. With nothing in front of him, Priester cut horizontally across the field, giving up yards to avoid a few tacklers and making it to the opposite sideline, gaining nearly 10 yards on the play.

The next play was a pass to Kyle Sweet, who used a nice dance move on Henry Parker to create some space, jabbing his foot forward then popping backwards. Parker was able to adjust and make the tackle, however. Then Bender completed a 25 or 30 yard pass down the sideline to Gabe Marks.

Perhaps the day's finest play, however was made by Daniel Lilienthal after Bender was flushed out of the pocket and lofted a pass toward the end zone while running backward. Molton seemed in position to make the interception but the bigger receiver climbed the proverbial ladder to make the catch over Molton's head.

Falk stumbled out the gate thanks to a heavy pass rush, throwing his first pass away, getting sacked  on the third play (by Luvy). Then, Pippins intercepted his next pass, tying the score between the offense and defense at 12 with a third down coming up. Falk found Marks on a crossing route and the receiver sped past the sticks to give the offense some breathing room. But when Gerard Wicks was stuffed on third and short and Falk was sacked by Hercules Mata'afa a play later, the score was tied again. But Falk again rose to the challenge, hitting Williams for a touchdown on a slant.



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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