The Washington State University football team practiced in full pads for the first time during preseason camp, working out for two hours Tuesday afternoon.
Following two days of practicing in helmets and shoulder pads, the Cougars went in full pads and the offense turned its most impressive day of preseason camp. WSU worked through its regular practice plan of individuals and 1-vs.-1 battles, before working through a couple periods of special teams that focused on punt coverage with Michael Bowlin and Wes Concepcion kicking. The second special teams segment focused on punt return.
Sandwiched in between the two special teams segments, WSU worked through its daily 7-vs.-7 session while the defensive and offensive lines matched up in a running game drill. Quarterback Connor Halliday opened 7-vs.-7 with a long completion to wideout Bobby Ratliff. A few plays later, linebacker Cyrus Coen picked off Halliday on a tipped pass but Halliday came right back with a touchdown strike to wide receiver Robert Lewis in traffic. Quarterback Austin Apodaca also made a couple nice throws, hitting running back Jeremiah Laufasa in stride for a big gain and later connecting with wide receiver Dominique Williams.
The offense really got things going in the team session as Halliday completed a pass to wideout Isiah Myers for a first down early in the series before running back Teondray Caldwell broke off a long run along the left side. In the red zone, Halliday and the offense made a couple big time plays as Halliday hit Lewis again in traffic for a score and he later connected with Laufasa who lowered his shoulder and won a collision with a defender at the goaline, falling into the end zone for the score. A couple plays later, Caldwell capped the series with a touchdown plunge over the right side.
The highlights continued on the first play of the ensuing series led by Apodaca who lofted a long pass to newcomer wideout Vince Mayle who had got behind the defense and raced the length of the field for an 80+yard touchdown. Apodaca followed that big play with another long completion to wide receiver Gabe Marks deep down the field. In the red zone, the defense buckled down as defensive end Xavier Cooper registered a “sack” on one play before linebacker Darryl Monroe capped the day with a big hit.
WSU continues preseason camp Wednesday at 3 p.m.