Day 13, Part II: Furney takes it to uprights

Halliday makes his move

PULLMAN -- BOTTLES WERE THROWN. Water was sprayed. The volume steadily increased. Still, Andrew Furney was hardly fazed during his field-goal face off with Michael Bowlin at the end of Wednesday's practice.

As the Cougars suited up in helmets and shoulder pads for a two and a half hour practice – the first morning session of fall camp – Furney, a junior from Burlington, drilled three of four attempts from 42 yards out as players yelled from the sidelines. His only miss came as a 42-yard attempt sailed just wide to the left.

Bowlin, on the other hand, did not fare as well. After missing his first three attempts, the junior punter from Aliso Viejo, Calif., finally booted a 42-yarder into the netting between the goal posts.

The humorous battle capped a morning practice wrought with competitive narrative.

"I thought it was sloppy at times, but it's been competitive," said coach Mike Leach. "That really hasn't been a problem. The biggest thing is as you're competing and going fast, folks get hot and tired, so you need to have more precision in your execution."

IOANE GAUTA DISPLAYED the type of execution his coach referred to a number of times during the team session. After showing impressive penetration for the most of practice, the junior nose tackle showed he could be ready to make an impact this season, his first with WSU after playing JUCO in California.

After all, it's not exactly easy to tip a pass from a six-foot, five-inch quarterback. But that's exactly what Gauta did late in practice when he batted a ball from Connor Halliday straight into Cyrus Coen's lap.

Halliday could have easily thrown another pick later in practice when he tested triple coverage to try and find Drew Loftus in the back of the end zone. The bold move paid off -- eventually -- as the ball tipped out of Loftus's hands and then ricocheted off Deone Bucannon, to Gino Simone, for a 30-yard touchdown pass.

Halliday and Jeff Tuel were again sharp during skelly and team drills, completing a majority of their passes to an array of targets. Sophomore wide receiver Blair Bomber emerged as a playmaker on Wednesday, seeing more time with the two's. The highlight of his scrimmage came when Halliday found Bomber streaking 15 yards downfield across the middle. After hauling in the reception, Bomber turned on the burners to churn out a huge gain.

LEACH, MEANWHILE, WAS succinct with reporters just two days before shutting media out of daily practices.

"This is the toughest part of camp right now," he said. "I thought we had good but inconsistent work today. We maintained energy throughout all of practice."

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Feddie Davey looked good in coverage during the morning session, knocking down a number of passes while spending some time with the second-team defense.

  • The team's daily red-zone competition between both starting units featured the type of smash-mouth approach not commonly associated with the Air Raid Offense. Running back Carl Winston blasted his way through the defensive line for a score on the first play. Leon Brooks then followed with a pair of short touchdown receptions to help the offense win for the third consecutive day.

  • Linebacker Travis Long has continued to improve at the BUCK spot through fall camp. He batted down a pass Wednesday during red-zone drills against the second-team defense.

    Running with the 1's
    Offense:
    QB- Jeff Tuel
    RB- Carl Winston/Teondray Caldwell
    LT- John Fullington
    LG- Matt Goetz
    C- Elliott Bosch
    RG- Wade Jacobson
    RT- Jake Rodgers
    X WR- Marquess Wilson
    Y WR- Andrei Lintz
    H WR- Gino Simone/Bennett Bontemps
    Z WR- Gabe Marks

    Defense:
    LT- Matthew Bock
    NT- Ioane Gauta
    RT- Steven Hoffart
    BUCK- Travis Long
    SAM- Cyrus Coen
    WILL- Chester Sua
    MIKE- Darryl Monroe
    SS- Deone Bucannon
    FS- Taylor Taliulu
    CB- Damante Horton
    CB- Nolan Washington
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