Cougs prepare for different kind of opponent

MARQUESS WILSON

PULLMAN -- The Cougs replaced their pads for hoodies and put on their sweats Sunday night for one of their most brisk practices of the season -- a theme of things to come? The quarterback situation is slowly being ironed out, while the defense prepares for a week full of pro-style offense reads and play-action passes with Stanford on tap for Saturday.

Senior quarterback Jeff Tuel seemed to take another step forward Sunday night, again receiving more snaps than third-year sophomore Connor Halliday.

Tuel snapped a tight spiral all evening, hitting a throng of receivers in stride, albeit in drills and scout team scrimmaging. Mike Leach said both quarterbacks had strong evenings and hopes that both continue to progress.

"Pretty good," Leach said. "They're both doing pretty well out there. Not bad."

Defensive coordinator Mike Breske, bundled up from the cold, said he's excited to heat things up this week with his defense. Breske said Stanford offers several looks for a defense to game plan for, and believes the Cougs are up for the task.

"Our physicality," Breske said. "We can't have double-digit explosives. Our eyes and feet have got to be there."

Breske said although the pro-style offense doesn't provide as much big play potential as, say, an Oregon-type offense does, it provides far more aspects that can burn a defense if they're not careful.

"They give you so many different personnel groups and formations," Breske said. "They'll do the same plays, but from a multitude of looks -- that's what can confuse your kids."

LEACH HAD SIMILAR things to say about the Stanford defense, noting they're big, fast, and will come at you from a variety of angles.

"We got to be physical," Leach said. "We have to be good with our hands. The biggest thing is we have to control the front and take what they give us."

Leach said the bye week has allowed the team to refocus on the fundamentals, something they've lost their way on in recent weeks.

AFTER THE 60-minute practice, the Cougs got to show off their soccer skills in a shootout between offense and defense involving penalty kicks. Coaches continue to try to keep the team loose leading up to a rigorous week of practice.

"Aside from the kickers and quarterbacks? None of them," joked Breske in regards to the team's skill level with the foreign sport.

Leach agreed with Breske, but noted a few players stuck out and may actually have a career in the game.

"Gauta looked like a pretty good goalie," Leach said. "Bartolone looked kinda spunky out there. David Bucannon too."

Coaches said they will continue to find ways to keep the team competing, whether it be dodgeball, tug-o-war, an egg toss or any other way to help players show they're superior.

NOTABLE NOTE:
Freshman running back Teondray Caldwell remained absent from practice. Junior wideout Marquess Wilson was again present and fully participated. Wilson even scored the first goal in the soccer shootout.

Running with the 1's for the scrimmage:

OFFENSE
LT- Gunnar Eklund (Brevick got some time)
LG- John Fullington (Goetz got some time)
C- Elliott Bosch
RG- Jake Rodgers (Goetz got some time)
RT- Wade Jacobson (Brevick got some time)
QB – Jeff Tuel (Connor Halliday got quite a few snaps as well)
RB –Marcus Mason/Carl Winston/Leon Brooks
X-WR – Marquess Wilson (Dominique Williams got some snaps)
Y-WR – Brett Bartolone (Gino Simone got a lot of reps)
Z-WR – Isiah Myers/Kristoff Williams/Bobby Ratliff
H-WR – Gino Simone and Gabe Marks split reps

DEFENSE
LT- Matthew Bock
NT- Xavier Cooper
RT- Ioane Gauta (Steven Hoffart got some snaps)
BUCK- Travis Long (Logan Mayes got some time)
SAM- Cyrus Coen
MIKE- Darryl Monroe
WILL- Justin Sagote
CB- Anthony Carpenter
CB –Daniel Simmons
FS- Casey Locker and Tyree Toomer
SS- Deone Bucannon

SPECIAL TEAMS
LS - Alex Den Bleyker
P - Mike Bowlin
KO - Bowlin
FG - Furney
KR - Marquess Wilson, Rahmel Dockery, and Brett Bartolone
PR - Brett Bartolone and Leon Brooks

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