Thu., Aug. 11, 2016
Highlights and observations from WSU’s sixth day of camp
The Cougars were in the dog days as they entered the second half of preseason camp in Lewiston, but snapped out of them in time for team period.
There seemed to be something lacking for most of Washington State's sixth practice. The players were quieter than usual, and did not seem to go through drills with the same energy and enthusiasm as they had in previous days.
So, a hotly contested team period that came down to the final period was just what the Cougars needed to snap them out of their doldrums.
Here's how it went down.
The defense started off with the upper hand, keeping plays in front of them and holding the offense to short gains. Paris Taylor tackled a running back for a loss on the first play, and then the defense held the offense to short gains on the next couple plays.
Keith Harrington found some space on a 15-yard run, and Williams burst through the middle and dragged defenders for another 15 yards, but those were among the only highlights for the offense. Daniel Ekuale caught Harrington for a loss, offensive lineman Noah Osur-Myers was flagged for a false start and Williams was stood up by Jalen Thompson after gaining five yards on a pass play.
But Hilinski adjusted and started throwing for bigger chunks of yardage, nickel and diming the offense to a 12-11 lead despite not scoring a touchdown.
Luke Falk's period running the offense was similarly contentious. Jamal Morrow rushed for 20 or so yards on the first play, but the offense didn't do much after until Falk found River Cracraft over the middle for 15 yards. Shortly thereafter, Charleston White broke up a pass and Nate DeRider completed the interception.
The next two passes were incomplete, and while Falk then got five yards on a quick throw to Tavares Martin, Treshon Broughton put the defense in front on the scoreboard with an athletic interception of a pass intended for Martin, running to the spot a safety normally lines up pre-snap from his cornerback position to make the play. Gerard Wicks scored from five yards out but the offense was unable to put the defense away, because Thompson again stood Williams up, but this time just short of the goal line. But on the final play, Falk found Martin for a three-yard touchdown pass to give the offense the win.
Here's what else I noticed on Thursday:
-- Robert Taylor was running with the ones at cornerback in front of Broughton. Marcellus Pippins was backing up Darrien Molton, who started on the other side.
-- Tommy Park had the best punt I've seen during camp so far, about 45 yards with lots of hang time.
-- Cole Madison had a good day in both pass and run blocking from his right tackle position.
-- Pippins had one of the more impressive plays I saw during the one-on-one period, sticking like glue to a receiver and making the interception.
-- Not to be outdone, Shalom Luani broke up a pass intended for Kaleb Fossum and then caught it on the way down.
-- Thompson also had a pick, intercepting Luke Falk on an end zone fade.