Aug. 23, 2000
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PULLMAN, Wash. - Sophomore quarterback Jason Gesser fired a pair of touchdown passes Wednesday and utilized seven wide receivers in the Washington State Cougars' third scrimmage of fall camp.
Milton Wynn, who has teamed up with Gesser more than any other receiver, caught both of his touchdown passes covering 32 and four yards. Last year Wynn transferred to WSU from junior college and played in the opener, then broke a finger the next week in practice and missed the final 11 games.
Gesser hit 11 of his 21 passes for 122 yards, but was picked off once by sophomore Marcus Trufant. Kegel ended the workout hitting 8-of-11 for 82 yards, while freshman Tali Ena was 2-of-5 for 19 yards.
"I would rate Kegel's progress as good to very good,"offered Price after the scrimmage. "He has improved from last year and is a very hard worker. He has come a long way since the spring, but so has Jason. It is a race and Jason started ahead and Kegel is trying to catch up."
Price still kept Gesser under wraps during the scrimmage while he recovers from a sore hamstring. "Today he threw the ball quick and didn't have to scramble," Price pointed out. "I do have Jason's hamstring taped up real hard and that hampers him."
"The wide receives are improving rapidly and that could be a real positive, a real plus for us," Price said.
The Cougar head coach said he was very happy with the club's progress and performance Saturday, especially considering how hard the coaches have pushed the team since camp opened two-plus weeks ago.
"We haven't given them a day off," said Price. "They have had half days off, but overall we have been pretty disciplined on them. We will have to back off and let them get their legs back. We are getting a lot in before they have to begin concentrating on school work next week."
The Cougar ground game was more productive Wednesday than in WSU's second scrimmage. Deon Burnett, the sophomore starter, picked up 60 yards with nine carries to lead a rushing attach that finished with 110 yards on 18 carries.
Much of WSU's offensive improvement can be traced to the improvement of the Cougar offensive line.
"The offensive line is improving," Price commented. "Offensively I think it is further along than I anticipated. There are some things we can really do well on offense."
WSU will have one more scrimmage Saturday before hosting the defending Pacific-10 Conference champion Stanford Cardinal in the Cougar opener Sept. 2.
"Saturday we have a mock game where we try to simulate everything," Price said. "It will be touch football. Then we go to Camp Larson near Coeur d'Alene and have a little team building exercise. We will watch some video, have a short workout and stay overnight. We'll have a camp fire, tell camp fire stories and I'll teach the younger players how to make smoors."
Classes for WSU students begin next Monday, at which time the team will begin their season-long schedule of afternoon practices at 3:30 p.m.
MEDICAL UPDATE: Serign Marong (sore back), Billy Newman (hamstring), Dave Minnich (bruised ribs), Ryan Raymond (knee), Mory Banks (leg bruise), DeAndre Douglas (leg bruise), Fred Shavies (hip flexor), Marcus Williams (shoulder). All are expected to be ready next week. Out for an extended period of time - Jason White (ankle sprain), Ing Aleaga (broken foot), John Hooker (broken wrist), Lamont Thompson (neck).
Scrimmage Stats -
Rushing - Burnett 9/60, Anderson 1/3, Thielbahr 1/8, Hawkins 3/9, Kegel 2/-5, Henderson 1/28, Tippins 1/7.
Passing - Gesser 11/21/1/122/3, Kegel 8/11/0/82/1, Ena 2/5/0/19/0.
Receiving - Zubedi 2/11, Henderson 2/22, Williams 2/17, Chase 1/6, McElrath 2/32, Mencke 3/31, Burnett 3/26, Shavies 1/5, Wynn 4/66, Hawkins 1/7.
Interceptions - Trufant
Sacks - Boose.
Field Goals - Wilaikul: 37 good, Lambert: 42-42-47 good (missed from 53 and 47).