Thu., Oct. 29, 2015
Thursday Night Football notes
A 68-yard run and a drive that last 21 plays highlighted Washington State's weekly underclassmen scrimmage.
Here is what we saw on Thursday:
-- The TNF defense continues to improve (more on that in a bit) but it hasn't gotten any better relative to freshman running back James Williams. He ended three drives with touchdowns, scoring from three, nine and 68-yards out. On the 68-yarder, he got some help from center Carlos Freeman, who sealed the defender inside his gap, and right tackle B.J. Salmonson, who created room by keeping the defensive end outside the hole. Williams burst through the gap they created and then bounced outside the linebackers, outracing the defense to the end zone.
-- Tyler Hilinksi, D.J. Thompson, Wilson Kainoa and Kaleb Fossum each played well for the offense, too. Fossom took a couple catches on hitch routes 15-plus yards and the other receivers did a nice job catching the ball and blocking.
-- Linebackers Frankie Luvu and Logan Tago are likely to see a fair amount of snaps against Stanford, but they both participated in the scrimmage, for just a few plays. Coach Ken Wilson said after practice that the additional reps will not only help them grow even more comfortable in the defense, but will get their blood moving before Saturday.
-- Walk-on quarterback Christian Jorgenson led what was certainly the longest drive I've seen at Thursday Night Football, covering 21 plays. There were a couple turnovers involved – Calvin Green intercepted Jorgenson's first pass and Tristan Brock forced running back Alijah Lee to fumble after stopping him short of the first down. But whenever the defense appeared to be on the verge of a normal stop, the offense made a play to keep the drive alive. For example, Tago bull-rushed his way to Jorgensen and dropped him for a significant loss. But Kainoa made a nice catch and fought for extra yards on the ensuing play to pick up 20 yards and a first down. Jorgenson also picked up a first down and more with his feet on fourth-and-long.
-- Treshon Broughton had a good practice, breaking up a pair of passes to tight end Nick Begg over the middle. So did freshman safety Kam Powell, who had a few nice tackles that drew some praise from the coaching staff.