The Cougars hit the practice field on Tuesday focusing on execution and scout-team work before their homecoming match-up with No. 7 Stanford this weekend.
WSU was without junior defensive end Lenard Williams as redshirt junior Matthew Bock took his place along the defensive front.
Williams took the place of redshirt junior Adam Coerper who is still sidelined with an injured knee.
Also, redshirt sophomore linebacker Sekope Kaufusi was in a yellow non-contact jersey because of his shoulder.
On offense, the Cougars were without senior Wade Jacobsen who was out of practice because of his back, redshirt junior Dan Spitz took his place along the offensive line.
Also, senior wide receiver Isiah Barton missed practice for the second straight day with a boot on his injured left ankle. Redshirt freshman Bobby Ratliff took his spot in the slot.
The Cougars worked hard during practice with the scout team in order to prepare for the Cardinal.
Safety Tyree Toomer said practice went well for the defense, especially as they get ready for the weekend.
“Practice went really well I thought, I mean we’re game-planning,” Toomer said. “I thought we executed really well for a Tuesday practice.”
Quarterback Jeff Tuel echoed Toomer’s opinion of practice, but added that he liked the emotion that the team practiced with.
“I think today was a great practice, probably one of the best Tuesdays I’ve seen us have,” Tuel said. “(There was) really good tempo, guys flying around, lot of emotion, which is huge for us. It was just a really good practice overall.”
Redshirt senior Marshall Lobbestael was running practice with the starters for the beginning of practice, but Tuel was getting more and more reps with the first team as practice progressed.
Tuel was impressive on his underneath throws and swing passes out of the backfield, but was oftentimes missing throws deeper down field. Nonetheless, Tuel had great zip on the ball throughout the drills.
After practice, Tuel said his collarbone was feeling good and that his recovery is coming along.
“It’s feeling pretty good, every once in a while you’ll pull it here and there but I think I’m going to go through that, some pain, but that’s part of the recovery process,” Tuel said. “Overall, it’s feeling real good.”
As the quarterbacks continued through their drills, they worked on rolling out of the pocket and throwing on the run. Tuel was not 100 percent during the drill, as Lobbestael was clearly more proficient.
As the offense went back to scout-team work, Tuel was getting more playing time with the first team, including a very nice lob down the field to Marquess Wilson along the sideline.
Tuel said he wasn’t worried about the chemistry between himself and the receivers, he was more focused on cleaning up his own mechanics.
“I’ve thrown thousands of balls to those guys over the couple years and in the summer, I feel real good with that,” Tuel said. “It’s just really fine tuning myself and cleaning some of my mechanics up.”
The defense finished up practice by working with the scout team as well.
Toomer said the defense is working hard to get accustomed to Stanford’s tendencies, including shifts and different formations.
“They execute very well and they’re very efficient in what they do,” Toomer said. “They get the defense thinking and get them on their heels with their shifts and their different personnel groupings and they have little packages. But we’re preparing well this week and we’ll be ready.”