April 2, 2005
Pullman, Wash. - Jerome Harrison set the offensive tone on the opening play of Washington State's scrimmage Saturday, picking his way through the middle and racing 70 yards for a touchdown. He later added a one-yard run and finished with five carries and 96 yards.
The Cougar offense accounted for 494 yards, with WSU quarterbacks throwing for 341 yards. In addition to Harrison, Jed Collins, Brandon Ervin, Jeremy Parker and Michael Bumpus all had positive rushing totals.
"It was a really good day for the offense," observed Cougar head coach Bill Doba. "I thought they made big plays. Benny Ward did a nice job. I was also impressed with Gary Rogers. He threw the ball well in just his second scrimmage. He got the ball to people and looked good doing it."
Brink finished the afternoon hitting 12 of his 20 passes for 158 yards and two scores, while Rogers, a freshman, threw for 163 yards and three touchdowns while hitting 15 of 28 passes.
"The other thing that was impressive was the quarterbacks made good checks and got the offense into good plays," Doba pointed out.
Doba also liked what he saw with Harrison on the field. "The offensive line got some push and you don't need much when you have a guy named Harrison back there. He finds the crease and is special. We didn't use him a lot, we want to keep him healthy and see him out there in the fall."
Hill led all receivers, catching seven passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns, while Thomas Ostrander had six receptions for 73 yards and one score. Ward, a freshman addition in January, hauled in five passes for 53 yards, including one touchdown.
Mike Graise led the Cougar defense with three sacks, while Paul Stevens, Scott Davis, Adam West, Adam Braidwood and Ropati Pitoitua each recorded one sack. Ryan Kensok picked off one pass and returned it 68 yards for a score, while Eric Frampton also had an interception.
"I am pleased with the progression. I thought from last week's scrimmage to today we improved," Doba said after the scrimmage. "Put Will Derting into the middle of the defense and they'll be okay. He is a leader and that's a big hole, not having him in the scrimmage. We also didn't have Mkristo Bruce (slight ankle sprain) and Alex Teems (neck sprain) isn't seeing much scrimmage time." Derting, Bruce and Teems are all returning starters from last year's defense.
Doba also singled out red-shirt freshman Ian Bell in the Cougar secondary. "I was impressed with Bell. He has a slightly sprained ankle and he sucked it up and played with both the twos and the threes on defense."
"Near the end the defense made a great goal line stand and we needed to end with something positive," said Doba. "The number one defense also stopped the number one offense during the two-minute drill."
The Cougars have altered their practice schedule for the final week of workouts April 11-16, according to Doba. The team is allowed three practices the final week and will now drill Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Doba also said the traditional Spring Game (April 16) will be conducted like other Saturday scrimmages, with the offense going against the defense. In past years the squad has split into two teams and staged the spring game. WSU's final Spring Game scrimmage will begin at 1 p.m.
"We believe we'll benefit more if we hold a regular scrimmage, rather than combining the best on offense and defense into one team and then winning 51-0," Doba said.
Next Saturday's scrimmage (April 9) will also be held in the morning.
Rushing - Collins 7/30, Ervin 4/10, Rogers 4/-30, Brink 5/-8, Morgan 2/-8, Harrison 5/96, Parker 7/50, Bumpus 1/13, Moss 1/0. Passing - Brink 12/20/0/158/2/48, Rogers 15/28/1/163/3/21, Morgan 1/5/1/20/0/20.
Receiving - Hill 7/115, Bienemann 1/5, Bumpus 3/27, Curtis 1/20, Boyd 1/14, Prator 1/11, Ward 5/53, Collins 1/4, Ostrander 6/73, Taylor 1/15, Harvey 1/4.
Scoring - Harrison 70 run, Hill 11 pass from Brink, Harrison 1 run, Hill 13 pass from Brink, Parker 40 run, Collins 2 run, Kensok 68 interception return, Ward 6 run, Ostrander 16 pass from Rogers, Harvey 4 pass from Rogers.
Notes - Interceptions - Kinsok, 68 touchdown return, and Frampton, no return; Basler punts 42, 35, 35; Sacks - Stevens, Graise 3, Davis, West, Braidwood, Pitoitua; Field Goals - Langley good from 47 and 32, missed from 19; Siderius good from 47, missed from 32 and 19.