WHAT WORKED AND WHY in a Coug game -- it's always interesting to ask a former coach that because…
PRACTICE: True freshman CB runs with the 1s
The Cougar D ran against the scout team offense at the outset of practice on Sunday night, with the scout-teamers mimicking USC's pro-style offense. Senior corners Anthony Carpenter and Nolan Washington were not in attendance. Washington went off the field in the second quarter at Auburn and was replaced by Carpenter. Brown also got reps in the game and it was unclear if Carpenter had also gotten dinged up during Saturday's game. Brown on Sunday night took the reps with the first team defense along with fellow CB Damante Horton, while true freshman safety Isaac Dotson filled in for Carpenter on the second unit. The Cougs ran individual drills that emphasized basic fundamentals Sunday night, on both offense and defense. Without going into detail, one of the drills emphasized speed, change of direction and chasing down green yoga balls that the staff would roll in their direction. The offense had a brief 11-on-11 session that lasted about fifteen minutes against the scout team defense. Junior QB Connor Halliday took the majority of the reps under center while redshirt freshman Austin Apodaca received approximately 25 percent of the reps. Leach was asked about what he saw on film from Saturday's game that stood out to him. "We were two plays away from winning the game - we just need to play sharper and play better," Leach said. "I thought we avoided distractions. I thought we went out there and played faster and played hard right away. It was a pretty tight game in a lot of ways, but I thought we certainly had chances to put it away." CF.C followed up by asking Leach what he thought looked good on the offensive side of the ball and on defense. "They never stopped us other than if we stopped ourselves…they never really stopped us," Leach said. "Other than a couple ‘explosives' they did not move the ball very good. We had consistent, sustained drives...they had a couple explosives that hurt us on special teams…a couple offensively, but other than that we tended to get them off the field other than if they got a big play." WSU LINEBACKERS COACH Ken Wilson emphasized the fact that the Cougs played an excellent first half, but did not finish in the second. "We tackled well in the first half, we got aligned to all of their stuff," Wilson said. "On the other side we missed a lot of tackles at the end of the game. We could not get off the field at the end of the game. "It is okay to be good at the start, but to win those kinds of games you have to be good at the finish and we did not do that." LOOKING AHEAD TO USC, Trojan coach Lane Kiffin said he knows who he will start at QB this Saturday against the Cougs, but would not disclose that to the media in an effort to make WSU prepare for both Cody Kessler and Max Wittek. We asked Wilson if that changes the Cougs' preparation for the rest of the week. "I don't think that affects us much," Wilson said. "Their offense doesn't change. It is not like they have a running QB and a passing QB. Their offense stays the same, so it does not really matter who is under center for them. They have got a power offense and we are going to have to stack up with those guys." Kessler started in the 30-13 win over Hawaii on Thursday, Wittek entered the game early in the third quarter. Neither quarterback was particularly impressive, according to multiple media reports. FRESHMAN LINEBACKER Peyton Pelluer took a few reps with the second team at MIK. We asked Wilson about the possibility Pelluer could see action on Saturdays. "We will see," Wilson noted. "He is certainly traveling with us. He is in the depth. We are not thinking of redshirting him." According to Wilson, the Cougs were expecting Auburn to have about 80-90 snaps, but Auburn ran only 66 plays, so the Cougar coaches did not substitute as much as they had intended. TO CONCLUDE PRACTICE, Leach decided to have a little fun. He set up two games of dodge ball. The games were friendly, but competitive. The defense went against the offense and there was a lot of energy to finish off the practice. The defense ended up winning the competition. We asked Leach and Wilson if they had only one choice, what coach and what player they would select for their dodge ball team. "If I had one player on my dodge ball team it would probably be Damante Horton cause he was cheating like nobody I have ever seen out there," quipped Wilson. "If he can get hit and not even be seen I might want him on my team. The other guy…I would probably want big Joe (Salave'a) on my team. I would want him blocking for me." "Well I think dodge ball is a sport that works against Joe a little bit," Leach said. "Probably (Antonio) Huffman and probably a cornerback or a receiver that could throw." NOTABLE NOTE: • While the rest of the team played dodge ball, junior DE Toni Pole went over to Rodgers Field and rolled in the sand pit. Running with the 1s: QB- Connor Halliday RB- Teondray Caldwell X Receiver- Dominique Williams H Receiver- River Cracraft Y Receiver- Brett Bartolone Z Receiver- Gabe Marks LT- Gunnar Eklund LG- Joe Dahl C- Elliott Bosch RG- John Fullington RT- Rico Forbes DEFENSE: DE- Toni Pole NT- Ioane Gauta DE- Xavier Cooper BUCK- Destiny Vaeao SAM- Cyrus Coen MIKE- Darryl Monroe WILL- Justin Sagote CB- Daquawn Brown CB – Damante Horton S – Deone Bucannon S – Taylor Taliulu Not in attendance: CB Nolan Washington S Anthony Carpenter CB Darius Lemora LB Austin Rapp OL Matt Meyer DL Paulo Lepua S Bennett Bontemps Limited Players: LB Chester Sua WR Austin Baker OL Jacob Seydel LS Ryan Saparto
362 Fans online
- What are your biggest concerns for the Cougs team this year?
- Halliday and Neuheisel at 7:30 pm on Pac-12 Networks
- The 10 best players on 2014 Cougars: No. 9
- NEW: If Cougs need motivation, here’s plenty
- @Wyoming in 2018 (Labor Day Saturday) a natural for Seattle?