PRACTICE: Finishing touches; Questions remain

CONNOR HALLIDAY

PULLMAN -- Washington State put the finishing touches on preparations for UNLV on Wednesday night as the entire Cougar team worked on fundamentals. The quarterback position? The offensive line? Question marks abound.

Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel had his right knee braced and taped again on Wednesday and did not participate in any drills. Tuel did do some light throwing on the side, but did no drills involving mobility and hasn't done so all week.

Sophomore Connor Halliday took every snap with the first team offense.

If it is Halliday who starts on Friday -- and all signs continue to point to that being the case -- who will be protecting him up front?

SENIOR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN Dan Spitz missed practice for the third straight day Wednesday and his status for Friday at UNLV is very much up in the air. Spitz has started the first two games at right tackle and right guard, respectively, according to official game stats.

Offensive line coach Clay McGuire said that Spitz' three-day absence has been due to a class obligation. McGuire is unsure whether or not Spitz will make the trip.

"He's fine," McGuire said. "There's a good chance (he'll start if he makes the trip.")

Coaches said earlier in the week they would determine at a later date if a player who doesn't practice all week would still play in that week's game.

Meanwhile on the field, rotations on the offensive line continued as the Cougs continue to try to find an identity and sense of consistency in the trenches.

Freshman Gunnar Eklund continued to fill in for Spitz, while senior Taylor Meighen and juniors Matt Goetz and Zach Brevick rotated in to help develop cohesiveness.

WITH THE FRIDAY game, this week's installment of ‘Thursday Night Football' (when the younger Cougs go full contact) saw some impressive performances on the offensive line.

"The two tackles have done really well," McGuire said. "Eduardo Middleton and Joe Dahl have played pretty solid. I'd say the two tackles are the bright spot right now."

Some other guys on offense that performed at a high level on Wednesday included sophomore wideout Kristoff Williams and junior running back Theron West, who busted a 68-yard touchdown run, outrunning everyone to the pylon with top-end speed.

On defense, true freshman linebacker Khalil Pettway looked good coming off the edge, recording two "sacks" on freshman quarterback Conner Johnson. Freshman safety Feddie Davey also looked impressive, laying a couple good licks on receivers on crossing routes.

Notable Note:
Head coach Mike Leach was unavailable after practice. The vibrant head man had his radio show to tape.

Injury Notes:
--Senior Jeff Tuel wore a smaller brace and taped his knee, but did not participate all afternoon
--Freshman linebacker Darryl Paulo did not participate.
--Sophomore wide receiver Henry Eaddy did not participate.
--Junior defensive lineman Justin Clayton again worked out individually all afternoon.
--Senior offensive tackle Dan Spitz did not participate for the third straight day with a class obligation.
--Freshman defensive tackle David Davis did not participate all afternoon.
--Freshman defensive lineman Destiny Vaeao did not participate and remains in a boot.

Running with the 1's

OFFENSE
LT- John Fullington/Eklund
LG- Jake Rodgers/Meighen
C- Elliott Bosch/Brevick
RG- Wade Jacobson/Goetz
RT- Eklund/Jacobson
QB – Connor Halliday
RB – Carl Winston/Teondray Caldwell/Leon Brooks
X-WR – Marquess Wilson
Y-WR – Brett Bartolone (Andrei Lintz got some time)
Z-WR – Isiah Myers (Marks got roughly a third of the snaps)
H-WR – Rickey Galvin

DEFENSE
LT- Matthew Bock
NT- Ioane Gauta
RT- Steven Hoffart
BUCK- Travis Long (Logan Mayes got some time)
SAM- Cyrus Coen
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Eric Oertel
CB- Damante Horton
CB – Daniel Simmons/Nolan Washington
FS- Tyree Toomer
SS- Casey Locker

SPECIAL TEAMS
LS -Alex Den Bleyker
P - Mike Bowlin
KO - Bowlin/Wes Concepcion rotation
FG – Andrew Furney
KR - Leon Brooks
PR - Leon Brooks and Rickey Galvin

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