Working out in helmets and shoulder pads for the first time this camp, the Cougars provided a couple loud hits throughout the afternoon. Following the familiar practice plan of individuals and 1-vs.-1 battles, the Cougars worked through a couple periods of special teams that focused on kickoff coverage, focusing on staying the lanes and squaring up to the ball carrier.
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. In the 7-vs.-7, the defense received interceptions from sophomore linebacker Jeremiah Allison and senior safety Deone Bucannon with Bucannon’s coming in the end zone.
Sunday’s team segement was full of highlights and both sides of the ball exchanged big plays. The defense delivered the early blow and redshirt-senior safety Casey Locker corralled a tipped pass for an interception. A couple plays later, the offense saw junior running back Marcus Mason break off a long run up the left sideline. Again the defensive answered by forcing a turnover as a swarm of defenders forced a fumble and senior linebacker Justin Sagote was the first to pounce on the ball.
Redshirt-junior quarterback Connor Halliday again operated the first series, connecting on a couple short throws before dropping a long pass over the defender and into the arms of redshirt-sophomore wideout Dominique Williams for a big gain. The defense buckled down inside the red zone as redshirt-sophomore linebacker Tana Pritchard stepped in front of a pass to register his third interception in as many days. A couple plays later, senior nose tackle Ioane Gauta exploded through the line and engulfed the ball carrier for a big loss.
Redshirt-freshman Austin Apodaca quarterbacked the second series and turned in a couple nice compleitons before hitting redshirt-junior wide receiver Rickey Galvin in stride in traffic for a big gain, perhaps even a long touchdown as Galvin caught the pass a step or two behind the defense. A few plays, Apodaca hit redshirt-senior running back Leon Brooks in stride, allowing Brooks to quickly turn up field for another big gain for the offense.
WSU continues preseason camp Monday with another helmets and shoulder pads practice set for 3 p.m.