April 9, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. -- - Washington State's offense continued to shine Saturday as the Cougars held their third scrimmage of the spring, generating 452 yards in total offense while scoring seven touchdowns.
"I think our offense is ahead of where it was last year," offered head coach Bill Doba after the morning workout. "We seem to be moving the ball and have a lot more confidence. However, we still need to work on our kicking game."
Jerome Harrison scored on runs of one and 40 yards, Jed Collins scored three times with runs of one, two and 26 yards, and Troy Bienemann tallied once score with a nice catch and 50 yard run. Scott Selby also pulled down a 42-yard scoring pass from Gary Rogers, making a leaping catch in traffic in the endzone.
Eric Frampton scored the only defensive touchdown when he stepped in front of a sideline pass and raced 45 yards to the endzone. He also had an interception the previous Satuarday.
Despite the offensive production that included 252 passing yards and 204 rushing yards, Doba saw improvement in the Cougar defense that has played all spring without middle linebacker Will Derting. The senior-to-be All-America candidate is recovering from wrist surgery last winter and is expected to be at full strength next fall.
"I thought it was a good scrimmage and I thought the defense played better today," Doba commented.
Harrison and Collins both ran well, with Collins picking up 98 net yards and Harrison 90.
"If we can keep Jerome healthy, I don't plan on taking him out," Doba told the media after the scrimmage. "He's really special. The kids call him the ghost, he's there and he's gone. He's kind of a phantom, hard to see. He has had a great spring."
"A little of both," Doba responded when asked if he was excited about the offensive showing, or disappointed in the defense.
"When you put Will Derting back in the middle of the defense that makes us much better," Doba pointed out. "He gives everyone more confidence. We need to get a couple of safeties a little better. We have to stay healthy and that is a concern. We have a junior college kid coming in the fall who is a safety and we are bringing in five linebackers to add depth."
Asked about the team's prospects for next season, Doba was very positive.
"I think this is going to be a good football team," he responded. "I like how they take care of each other, their attitude. They come to work everyday. They just got off the field a few hours ago. We didn't get done practicing (Friday) until about 6 p.m. They are focused and ready to go.
Looking ahead to the final week of spring drills, Doba said the routine will not change. "We have two practices, Tuesday and Thursday, then a scrimmage Saturday, very similar to what you saw here today."
WSU's final spring scrimmage will be held next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Unlike recent years, the Cougars will not draft players and hold a game-style practice. "With fewer workouts in pads (NCAA limits), we need the work so it will be offense against defense, just like the other scrimmages we have held this spring. The intensity, however, might be a little higher."
Rushing - Collins 15/98, Harrison 9/90, Parker 8/19, Morgan 1/8, Moss 2/3, Rogers 1/-12, Brink 2/-2.
Passing - Brink 13/26/1/117/1/42, Rogers 10/18/1/135/1/50.
Receiving - Ostrander 2/14, Boyd 3/28, Bienemann 4/83, Bumpus 1/8, Martin 5/27, Harrison 1/4, Curtis 2/14, Woodard 1/2, Prator 2/24, Selby 1/42, Unknown 1/6.
Scoring - Harrison 1 run, Frampton 45 interception return, Bienemann 50 pass from Brink, Harrison 40 run, Collins 1 run, Selby 42 pass from Rogers, Collins 2 run, Collins 26 run.
Notes - Eric Frampton and Steve Dildine had interceptions...Jason Roberts recorded the only sack...Kyle Basler had punts of 42, 55, 46 and 41 yards.
Additional Doba comments: "We got some things accomplished (Saturday). We worked on a four minute drill, which we never did last spring. We were ahead by three points and there was four minutes to play. We want to run the clock out. The twos did, the ones didn't. Those are the things we can work on, the staff and the team. I'm still not pleased with our kicking game, we are inconsistent. The snaps have not been real good and in fairness to the kickers, Riley Fitt-Chappell is usually the snapper and he's not on the field. It is not just the kicker, it is the holder, the snapper, all three of those people have to be in sync.
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