In pads for just the second time this spring, things got a lot more physical on Friday.
DT Fevaea'i Ahmu
, DE Andy Mattingly
, and DT Matt Eichelberger
each were shaken
up a little over the course of the session, but none of the knocks appeared to be anything
After a phenomenal Thursday, the offense seemed a little overwhelmed as they tried more running plays then they had all week.
The defense showed improvement and especially in the depth, on the second and third team
units, as safety Eric Block
out of Bellevue continued to draw notice this camp with a pair of nice run stops and by intercepting a
Back-up linebacker Andrew Kreutz
had a sack and nice run stuff. And defensive end Jesse Feagin
continued finding his way into the offensive backfield,
registering a sack and pressuring the Cougar quarterbacks on several
ON THE OFFENSIVE
of the ball, receivers Brandon Gibson
and Benny Ward
to impress -- and QB Gary Rogers
really seems to be gelling with "B-Gib" and "B-Weezy" right out of the gate.
Both veteran wideouts hauled in a several deep grabs on the day, including
an over-the-shoulder grab by Gibson while tip-toeing down the sideline.
Back-up quarterbacks Lobbestael and Cole Morgan
both had their moments
and it will be interesting to see how they progress as spring rolls along.
Morgan on Friday found redshirt sophomore receiver Greg Walker
on a pass Walker was forced to make a stellar diving catch on.
Along with Walker's circus grab, running back Marcus Richmond
reeled off a play
for the highlight reel as well, breaking a tackle en-route to a 80 dash for
pay-dirt. It's tough to say right now whether Richmond and fellow RB
are blazing fast, or if the defense has yet to hit their full
stride. Richmond and Mitz are getting more turns this spring with Tardy rehabbing his knee and Chris Ivory
a day-by-day decision on whether he practices as he concentrates on his academics.
, Cougar alum and corners coach Jody Sears said the defense has come along nicely the first week.
"The defense from Monday to now has made
steady progress. They are very, very eager. They are honing into the
coaches and what we are trying to teach. (Overall I'm) pleased with the progress the defense has been making," said Sears.
TOP OF THE
charts according to Sears, has been the linebackers group, namely Greg Trent
"Greg Trent is just a phenomenal football
player. He's physical and has exceeded all my expectations," Sears said, who added that he's been impressed with the starting outside linebackers from last season -- Cory Evans
and Kendrick Dunn.
As for Jason Stripling
, who returned this season after missing '07 working on his academics, Sears said he's turning heads.
"Jason Stripling has kind of wiggled his way into the mix a bit," said Sears.
There are a lot of things that will still need to happen between now and the season opener but all things being equal, Strip would figure to have a shot at cracking the
starting line-up this fall from this vantage point.
ANOTHER STORYLINE ON FRIDAY
was special teams, as
the kickers got to strut their stuff for the first time all
While the team didn't
punt during the scrimmage, Reid Forrest
and Dan Wagner
, who originally walked on as a QB, worked with their
snappers for a period. Both seem to have pretty good legs, but would appear to need a
little work on consistency.
The kickers got to show their stuff in front of the team for the first time, and also
with mixed results.
, red shirt frosh Matt Myers
and walk-on Dan Rooney were perfect from 25 yards and in during the practice session. During
the scrimmaging, however, the trio struggled with the deeper kicks.
Right now, it would seem
they need a few more reps with holder Reid Forrest, who struggled at times with
getting the snap down. Roof, charging up the middle on one play, blocked a low kick off
the foot of Myers.
All told, through one week of spring ball, the Cougars are showing lots of potential
and flashes, but there's also plenty of work that needs to be done.
PULLMAN--The Cougs for the first time this year did some light scrimmaging in Martin Stadium on Friday and the defense showed improvement from Thursday. Jason Stripling is making a case to break into the starting linebackers unit, and Jody Sears offers some high praise indeed for middle 'backer Greg Trent. Meanwhile, Rogers to Gibson, Rogers to Ward, oh my.
Defensive depth coming along, Sears pleased with overall performance and particularly Trent