Washington State's defense played pretty well on Tuesday, but offense ended the day rolling in the sand thanks to some late turnovers.
The offense had plenty of good plays on the day. River Cracraft ran a gorgeous route to create space between himself and any defenders and quarterback Luke Falk hit the receiver in stride for a deep touchdown. Gabe Marks made a great catch in front of Treshon Broughton and Falk looked very good during the first team offense's third-down skeleton drill.
The highlight of the day was a pass caught by Keith Harrington in front of Peyton Pelluer. The quick running back spun to one side and the linebacker followed, but couldn't cross his feet quickly enough to keep up as Harrington juked back the way he came, evading the defender and getting to the sideline where he easily ran for six.
But Falk was intercepted by Tristan Brock toward the end of practice, and was picked again by Dakota Sinchak, who leapt high into the air to snag a pass that Falk likely didn't think he could get to. Sinchak almost intercepted a second pass just a play or two later, and the offense was sent to "Leach Beach," the big sand pit in the corner of the practice field and made to roll through it a few times at the end of practice.
Here's what else I saw at today's practice:
-- On the other practice field, receiver D.J. Thompson had himself a day for the scout offense, so did quarterback Tyler Hilinksi. Going against the scout defense, Hilinski threw a deep deep pass to the right corner of the end zone and Thompson flat outran the entire defense to get there first. He then found Kaleb Fossum for a pair of similar plays on the left side, although Fossom likely would have been called for offensive pass interference on the second score.
Thompson also had a play similar to the one by Harrington described above. It appeared that the receiver's first juke would take him out of bounds, but he spun back in and raced back to the sideline. The play didn't end well for Thompson, however, because safety Kirkland Parker took a good angle and met him about 15 yards from the end zone and stripped the ball. Thompson ended the day on a positive note, climbing the ladder to snap a pass in front of Taylor Taliulu.
-- Nickel Isaac Dotson was not at practice again, today.
-- Converted receiver Calvin Green ran with the twos at nickel and even a little bit with the ones toward the end of practice. That's certainly a departure for the Cougars, since the nickels have primarily consisted of converted linebackers like Dotson, Parker Henry and Logan Tago (although when Tago does it he's more of a Sam linebacker).
Darius Lemora and Colton Teglovic have been the two nickels that originally played safety, they still each have about 20 pounds on Calvin Green according to the WSU roster, and they've been behind the others on the depth chart since the middle of fall camp.
Green looks pretty good at safety, particularly when the play is in front of where he is standing at the snap. He's had a little more trouble with the downfield stuff but, as a former receiver, I'd imagine that will start to feel more natural. His strength, however, is how quickly he can run in a straight line and meet a ball carrier once he diagnoses the play.
-- Walk-on running back Madigan Taulelei from Boise had a pretty good day of practice. At 6-foot, 205-pounds he's got some strength to him, and he took the second team defense for a ride on a swift cutback run that ended with a solid stiff-arm of safety Hunter Dale. The defense did up-downs after that run and Taulelei, who I can't honestly say I'd noticed much before, had a couple other good plays.
-- Cracraft had another really good play during the wide receiver vs. defensive back one-on-one drill. Willie Roach tipped the ball up but Cracraft still managed to not only snag it, but tap his feet inbounds.
-- Darrien Molton also had a nice play in that drill, sticking to Tavares Martin like toilet paper on a shoe, then stepping in front of the receiver to intercept Peyton Bender's pass.