April 15, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash - The Washington State offense put together two scoring drives, including a 55-yard pass from Alex Brink to Jason Hill in a two-minute drill, during the final scrimmage of the spring season Saturday afternoon at Martin Stadium.
"I saw pretty good football (today)," said Cougar Head Coach Bill Doba, when asked to assess Saturday's scrimmage. "I was pleased, there were very few penalties, we had terrible weather but good quarterback-center exchanges, didn't have any fumbles, and we caught ball well in inclement weather.
"The first drive was great. We moved the ball offensively and when it got down in the red zone, (the defense) made the stop, kicked the field goal so both sides of the ball can be happy," Doba continued. "All-in-all I thought it was an excellent spring."
The Cougar offense moved the ball down the field throughout the scrimmage, with the first three scores coming from Loren Langley field goals. Langley connected on field goals of 21, 42 and 24 yards.
The first time the offense reached the end zone came when Cole Morgan found former high school teammate Anthony Thompson on an 18-yard scoring strike. It was one of two catches on the day for Thompson and his third scoring reception of the spring.
Late in the scrimmage in the two-minute drill offense, Brink threw a short pass to Hill on the left side. Hill weaved through traffic, moving first towards the middle of the field, breaking it back out to the left side, then coming all the way across to field before placing the ball down just across the goal line. It marked the second straight week Brink and Hill hooked up on a long pass following a 42-yard strike to open the scoring in last week's scrimmage.
When asked if Saturday's scrimmage was the best of the spring season, Doba was quick to answer. "By far, on both sides of the ball. There was good, crisp hitting and pretty good execution. We are not there yet, obviously, but we have plenty of time to get there."
Offensively the Cougars put up 271 yards of total offense, 28 on the ground and 243 through the air.
Brink finished his afternoon completing 12 of 19 passes for 181 yards and one score. Gary Rogers was 4 of 9 for 29 yards while Morgan was 2 of 3 for 24 yards, including the score to Thompson. Arkelon Hall completed one of four passes for nine yards.
Tight end Jed Collins led all receivers with five catches, for 61 yards, while Hill caught three balls for 78 yards. Brandon Gibson made three catches, including a long of 16, while Ben Woodard, Andy Largent, Benny Ward, Thompson and Woolridge all caught passes.
On the defensive side of the ball the Cougars had another strong showing. They were able to keep the offense out of the end zone for a large part of the scrimmage and shut down the running game. Linebacker Brian Hall made a game-high nine tackles while Steve Dildine and Mkristo Bruce each had eight. Bruce was one of four players, including Lance Broadus, Aaron Johnson and Terrence Simmons, to register a sack.
Broadus finished his afternoon with five tackles and three tackles-for-loss totaling 10 yards. Defensive back Michael Willis had four tackles and two pass deflections while Johnson had two tackles-for-loss among his five total tackles.
Following Saturday's scrimmage Doba reflected on the past four weeks. "We improved a lot," he said. "(During the scrimmage) I looked over and we had 10 guys standing on the sidelines in sweats that will be playing next fall. A lot of our young kids got a lot of work.
"It was good competition," he continued. "I thought the kids conducted themselves well. They were not complaining to the officials, there were few penalties, no bad language, I was proud of them. I thought they looked like a first-class ball club. Now is the time where they really can concentrate on their classes. The next two weeks are important (academically)."
WSU opens its 2006 campaign Sept. 2 at Auburn.
Rushing - Woolridge 14/28, Tardy 7/13, McCall 6/4, Puailoa 3/4, Brink 4/-8, Rogers 2/-4, Morgan 1/-6, Hall 1/-3.
Passing - Brink 12/19/0/181/1/55, Rogers 4/9/0/29/0/11, Morgan 2/3/0/24/1/18, Hall 1/4/0/9/0/9.
Receiving - Collins 5/61, Hill 3/78, Gibson 3/24, Woolridge 2/13, Woodard 2/23, Thompson 2/29, Ward 1/6, Largent 1/9.
Scoring - Thompson 18 pass from Morgan; Hill 55 pass from Brink.
Field Goals: Langley: (27), 21, (36), 42, 24.
Interceptions - None.
Punts - Blount 34, 50, 41, 54, 53 Avg. 46.4; Brayton 35, 51, 30, 36, 47 Avg. 39.8.
Sacks - Simmons, Johnson, Broadus, Bruce.
Tackles Leaders - Hall 9, Bruce 8, Dildine 8, Brackenridge 6, Kensok 5, Broadus 5, Johnson 5, Willis 4, Abdullah 4, Mullennix 4.