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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WSU practice notes: Cougar defense in a pilfering mood

I'm not sure I've ever seen a flurry of takeaways quite like the one that occurred early in Wednesday's practice.

The defense has looked especially active this week. The players are moving fast, their hands are everywhere and they're playing with a lot of energy.

That's a good recipe for takeaways and the turnovers came in bunches for the WSU defense on Wednesday afternoon. Shortly after warming up and doing some individual drill work, the scout team offense lined up about five yards away from the end zone so the defense could get some work near the goal line.

Charleston White and Kirkland Parker showed good instincts to intercept bullet passes within just a couple plays of each other. Marcellus Pippins picked a pass that was batted up by Peyton Pelluer and Treshon Broughton got one of his own.

Deion Singleton had one of the more athletic interceptions I've seen, gliding back to a receiver who seemed to have beaten him downfield and diving to make the interception at the offensive player's knees. Pelluer also forced a fumble when he ripped the ball away from Xavier Boone with Shalom Luani recovering the football. Singleton nearly had a second pick later in practice.

The craziest turnover, by far, came toward the end of practice when running back James Williams had the ball stripped, and Tyler Hilinski recovered it. The quarterback then tried to complete a pass but instead was intercepted by Chandler Leniu.

 -- The MVP of today's practice was clearly walk-on receiver D.J. Thompson who made a crazy catch, then another one, and then a third.

The first catch was probably the most impressive. The receiver jetted down the left sideline but was matched stride-for-stride by starting cornerback Darrien Molton, who appeared to successfully run the receiver away from the ball. At the last second, however, and just inches away from being out of bounds, Thompson momentarily ducked his right shoulder into Molton to create separation and then extended his left arm upward, making a one-handed catch of about 30 yards that was a little reminiscent of Dom Williams' touchdown catch against Wyoming, except Thompson was more thoroughly covered.

He made similarly contested catches, using both hands, when seemingly well-covered by Parker and Taylor Taliulu.

-- Isaac Dotson wore a yellow no-contact jersey during practice today but was otherwise a full participant. Barring a setback, I expect he will play on Saturday.

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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