Today was by far the best day we've had down here in Australia. It started off rough with a 4 a.m. wake up call to catch a flight from Brisbane to Cairns. As soon as we landed in Cairns we got some food and headed straight to the zoo. The zoo was what most of the guys were looking forward to the most. There were some pretty cool animals there, we got to feed kangaroos and hold a giant python. We also saw some pretty big alligators and some interesting looking lizards. I'm a big animal guy so I loved holding the python, a lot of guys were scared to hold it, haha. I think the most popular thing at the zoo was the koala bear. We got to hold them and also take pictures with it. We stayed at the zoo for a couple hours until heading to the hotel to rest up for our game.
Even though we lost this game it was an awesome game, it felt like a Pac-12 game. The crowd was really intense and our team showed up to play. We played against one of the best professional teams in Australia, but lost by 5. It was a close game throughout and Brock had 41 points!!! It felt like we were watching greatness. The rest of the team played well also, Mike grabbed a lot of rebounds and Will came in and gave us a great lift off the bench. I wish more of Cougar nation was there, we probably would have pulled it out with the support of our awesome fans. It was good to see Brock's friends and family there they always put a smile on my face.
Tomorrow we head out to the Coral Reef, something that all of us are excited to see. This place is very pretty and exactly like you would picture it. A lot of us are going snorkeling, I think D.J. and Mike are the only ones not getting in the water because they can't swim. I can't wait for tomorrow, it should be nice and relaxing. Our time here is dwindling down and it has been quite the experience. The Australian people are extremely nice, now I see where Brock and Dexter get it from.
Washington State returned to the practice field Monday afternoon, working out in helmets and shoulder pads for just over two hours on Rogers Field.
The Cougars worked through some individual drills and later went through some special teams segments that focused on kickoff coverage and return. A few loud pops seemed to dial the intensity up a notch as WSU moved into 7-vs.-7 where both the offense and defense turned in a couple nice plays. For the offense, freshman wideout Gabe Marks made a couple nice catches, as did Marquess Wilson and Rickey Galvin. For the defense, linebacker Justin Sagote came away with an interception after he broke up a pass intended for Brett Bartolone as the ball bounced off of both players before Sagote snatched it up and raced to the end zone.
In 11-vs.-11, Leon Brooks exploded through a hole for a big gain late in the day. The end of practice saw head coach Mike Leach bring both sides together and once again said the two sides would square off in a best of three in a third-down situatoin. The loser would do a couple up-downs at the end. The defense won the first play, stuffing a third down and four running play but the offense came back with a pair of completions. Quarterback Jeff Tuel found Carl Winston in space to pick up a third and short before Tuel clinched the win by hitting Wilson down the field to convert on a third and long.
The Cougars continue fall camp Tuesday at 2:45 on Rogers Field.
Today we had the day free to go off on our own and explore the Gold Coast. It was a little windy outside but I thought because it was the last time I will be home for a while, I couldn't not go to the beach. After breakfast I caught the monorail across the street to the beach. Some of the other guys hung out down by the pool and others went back to Surfers Paradise or over to the mall to shop. It was cool that the team got to see around where I am from and places near where I grew up.
A lot of the crowd tonight at the game was either my family or friends, which was a nice homecoming to see so many of them come out and support us. The stadium was about 10-15 minutes away from my house so the majority of the stands were full of people I knew. It was a good challenge; they were a lower ranked team but played well as a TEAM. We didn't execute some of our offenses and had lapses on defense at times however overall I think we learned a lot and that was this tour is about, not about being good and winning games now but taking steps forward to win come November, through to March.
Tomorrow will be a busy day as we get up early and travel to Cairns, then have a big game with the Cairns Taipans of the NBL.
Our time in Melbourne was pretty good. We were able to see a lot of the city and cultural things that Melbourne has to offer, like the Old Melbourne Gaol, a Aussie rules football game and the Eureka Skydeck, which I liked the most. We got some amazing 360 degree views of the city and of course we got the win in our first match which was good. Our flight to Sydney was pretty quick besides the hour delay we had to wait on the tar mat. Our first day in Sydney was relaxing and we got to see what the city was like and walk around. I can't wait to see what it has to offer in the coming days.
The Cougars are in Australia for a two-week tour which includes four cities and five games. Each day a different Coug will blog about his day. Our sixth one comes from freshman Richard Longrus, Jr., a 6-7 forward from Oakland, Calif.
I definitely like Sydney a lot, I like it more than Melbourne, it's a great city. I love the architecture, especially on the high-rises. It's great to walk around and get a feel for how everything was built. The opera house was beautiful. It was nice to finally get to go on the tour, because it's one of those things you always see and hear about, so it's nice to see it close up. It was neat to learn about how the opera house was built, architecturally it was very interesting to me, I plan to study architecture at Washington State. It was always interesting hear about the different performances the place holds, from the symphony to Kanye West, it's a wide variety. Sydney, I like a lot, it reminds me a little of San Francisco with all the people walking around, the high-rise buildings and the taxis. It makes me feel a little bit like I'm at home when I'm walking around downtown.
The game today was definitely good for the team. Brock played really well, he had 25 and Reggie had 21. I think we played really hard, but we don't have our defensive principles and plans down yet. Offensively, once we get comfortable, we'll play better. We are still getting to know each other and learning how to play together. The Hawks are a good team, they played well. They're a professional team, so we were playing against a bunch of men, while a lot of us aren't even 20 years old yet. It's not fun to lose, we'd love to win every game...we're competitive. I'm excited to play the next two games and see how we improve, how we respond and just get better.
INSIDE COUGAR FOOTBALL VIDEOS
Washington State worked out for two hours in shoulder pads and helmets on Rogers Field Friday afternoon.
The Cougars worked through their individual workouts before breaking out into one filed working on running offense/defense while on the east field, wide receivers and defensive backs went one-on-one.
From there, WSU worked on punt coverage while the quarterbacks threw fades into trash cans on the east field.
There was a brief 7-vs.-7 with Chester Su'a and Deone Bucannon intercepting passes for the defense.
In the day's final segment, 11-vs.-11, the offense rebounded from a tough Thursday practice with an impressive Friday as the quarterbacks made a number of nice throws throughout the day. Connor Halliday found Gabe Marks and Isiah Myers on consecutive plays for scores.
to earlier in the week, head coach Mike Leach put the ball inside the five yard
line for the final three plays. It was the defense that won earlier in the week
but it was all offense today as Jeff Tuel found Gino Simone for a score on the first
play. Tuel then connected with Bennett Bontemps who dove across the goal line
for the score and the offense went to post a sweep as Tuel fired a quick strike to Isiah Myers for a touchdown.
WSU will hold its first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday at 4 p.m. at Martin Stadium with a fan autograph session scheduled to follow from 5:30-7 p.m. Gates to Martin Stadium will open at 3:45 p.m. and fans will be allowed on the field following the scrimmage.
INSIDE COUGAR FOOTBALL: Head Coach Mike Leach Post-Practice
The Cougars continued to mix things up at fall camp, working out on Rogers Field in full pads for an hour before heading down into Martin Stadium for the final hour and a half.
WSU opened practice with some individual segments that focused on technique before splitting off and working on the running game on the east field while receivers and defensive cornerbacks squared off in one-on-one battles on the west field.
Special continued to receive a little more time as the Cougars worked on punt coverage on Rogers Field before going through kickoff coverage in the stadium.
The Cougars held a brief 7-vs.-7 segment before going 11-vs.-11 and eventually another "live" scrimmage. Safety Tyree Toomer had a big hit on freshman wideout Brett Bartolone who held on for the catch and five yard gain. Linebacker Cyrus Coen turned in the best day for the defense, breaking up a pass while dropping back in coverage on one play before chasing down a running back from the backside and stopping him for a tackle-for-loss, one of nicer defensive plays made in fall camp so far.
Towards the end of the scrimmage, freshman cornerback Ray Ford broke up a pass intended for Marquess Wilson. It was a nice play by the Cougars newest addition.
The day ended with field goals as Andrew Furney connected on all four of his attempts from 37, 42, 48 and 52 yards.
The Cougars continue fall camp Thursday at 2:45 p.m.