Cougs prepare for Crimson and Gray game

As spring practice winds down, the Washington State football team held its final practice Thursday before Saturday’s Crimson and Gray Game.

The Crimson and Gray Game, which will take place at Joe Albi Stadium in Spokane, holds added value for Cougar quarterback Connor Halliday. Halliday was recruited to WSU out of Ferris High School in Spokane and played a fair share of games at Albi Stadium.

“It’s something I look forward to every year,” the redshirt senior signal caller said. “I play Pac-12 football and I get to go back to the stadium I played in in high school.”

Halliday ran with the Crimson team at the Coug’s 13th practice of the spring season and had an up-and-down day.

Between the seven-on-seven and full team scrimmages, he threw three touchdowns, two of which were to fifth-year senior Vince Mayle. A pass deflection by cornerback Tracy Clark kept it from being three.

However, redshirt sophomore Beau Glover intercepted one of his passes in seven’s, and junior safety Taylor Taliulu picked him off in the full scrimmage. Both interceptions were the result of balls being tipped by Kristoff Williams, a fifth-year senior receiver.

According to both himself and head coach Mike Leach, Halliday has made noticeable progress since the end of the 2013 season.

“He’s gotten better at commanding the unit,” Leach said of Halliday. “I think he’s more accurate, I think he’s more precise.”

Another player looking forward to the spring game is freshman cornerback Marcellus Pippins, whose talent has garnered a lot of attention from Coug fans this spring.

“It gives me a chance to get out of the high school game and get into the real college game,” Pippins said. “This game should either make or break me.”

Pippins had a solid practice, playing tight coverage and deflecting some passes in positional drills and even swatting away a potential Halliday touchdown pass in seven’s.

Redshirt freshman Luke Falk took the Gray team’s snaps at quarterback and gave Williams and redshirt freshman receiver-turned-cornerback Sebastian LaRue a few competitive jump balls in the end zone.

In the full-team scrimmage, Falk threw back-to-back fade routes to Williams in the right corner of the end zone. The first pass was in Williams’s hands when LaRue recovered a little bit and swatted the ball away from him before the fifth-year receiver could complete the catch.

On the next play, Williams threw an extra move on his route and got separation from LaRue to catch Falk’s only touchdown of the practice.

Following the Crimson and Gray Game on Saturday, the Cougars will have one more spring practice, scheduled for Tuesday of next week.

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