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WSU practice notes: Slinging in the rain

Those of us who have covered the Cougars for a long time, say three weeks, remember when it was 105-degrees in Lewiston. Now, it's raining.

The rain didn't affect the quarterbacks too much during Wednesday's practice. Despite a few miscues (we'll get to those) both looked solid and Luke Falk showed great accuracy and zip on a couple passes of 30-yards or so.

The kickers seemed to have a rougher go of it, which was disconcerting considering the precipitation was mostly a light drizzle. Matt Abramo missed a short field goal about 15 yards to the right, hitting the library. Zach Charme had one punt that went perfectly straight, soared high into the air and landed about five yards past the line of scrimmage.

So, they'll need to get that sorted out by Saturday.

Also …

-- The Cougars continue to ease Treshon Broughton into practice. The cornerback is in pads and playing with the scout team. In his post-practice interview, Mike Leach called Broughton a "good cover guy" and said they'll take their time getting him up to speed, but that he can contribute this season.

-- The limited players during Wednesday's practice were C.J. Dimry, T.J. Fehoko, Suli Hameed and Amosa Sakaria.

-- The defense again looked pretty good today. Obviously it's just against the scouts, but I don't remember the first unit last year dominating the way it has the last couple days, when nearly every play ends after just a second or two. Hercules Mata'afa forced an interception on one play, pressure Connor Ennis, who threw it up to Kache Palacio, who would have had a big return if not a touchdown.

That said, the defensive backs have a tendency to get physical with the scout team players and let their superior size and athleticism make the difference on passing plays. There was more than one "pass breakup" or "interception" that likely would have drawn a flag for pass interference in a game.

On the opposite field, the first unit offense was doing up-downs. I was watching the defense primarily, so I can't say for sure what led to the conditioning, but it looks like Leach still isn’t pleased with the offense, although he did say after practice that it improved since Tuesday's practice.

Later, Nate DeRider intercepted quarterback Peyton Bender. During a good-versus-good period Peyton Pelluer, who made a great play to laterally change directions and hit the receiver just as the ball arrived, broke up a pass from Falk to Tyler Baker.

The offense did excel in the run game, however. Even though it was against the scouts, Gerard Wicks, Jamal Morrow and Keith Harrington each ripped off long runs and seemed very locked in.

-- Kind of a fun play when the starting defense forced a quick fumble in the backfield, but backup offensive lineman Carlos Freeman quickly scooped the ball up and ran with it, showing some shake as he got to the second level.

-- Kind of a rough day for the starting punt unit, which had a punt blocked and a couple short ones, like the one mentioned above.

-- Sadly, there will be no report from tomorrow's practice, since I'm going to help out with our coverage of the Idaho vs. Ohio game.



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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