WSU young guns stand out in first official spring scrimmage

The energy and intensity levels increased for the Cougars on Saturday as the team got an opportunity to compete in their first official team scrimmage.

In the eyes of WSU junior linebacker Darryl Monroe, Saturday’s scrimmage was an improvement from last year’s spring scrimmage.

 “We started faster, a lot less mistakes (were made) mental,” Monroe said. “Effort looks a lot better, so compared to last year we’re a lot further ahead.”

The defense had its shining moments early on in the scrimmage. In his first series, WSU redshirt freshman quarterback Tyler Bruggman led the offense down to the redzone and looked to be on the verge of a score. However, WSU redshirt junior defensive lineman Moritz Christ deflected a pass from Bruggman, which fell into the hands of WSU redshirt freshman linebacker Peyton Pelluer. The defense again stood their ground in the end zone on the next series and forced two fumbles, preventing the offense from scoring.

“(There were) A lot of positives out there, and things that we got to work on,” WSU defensive coordinator Mike Breske said. “We ran three different groups, did a lot of interchangeable lineups with our ones and our twos and just got guys playing with different guys that they may not have played that much with through the course of ten practices.”

WSU redshirt freshman safety Beau Glover is one of those players who the Cougars have been mixing in between the first and second string defense. The Gig Harbor native was on the verge of intercepting a pass from WSU redshirt freshman quarterback Luke Falk, but he could not keep his hands on the football as it was ripped away from WSU redshirt junior wide receiver Tyler Baker for a completion.

“(He’s) always in the right spot, always wants to make a play, effort is 100 percent,” Monroe said about Glover. “One guy who I know who passionately loves football more than a lot of people that I know.”

Glover finished the day with six individual tackles. WSU redshirt freshman defensive lineman Emmitt Su’a-Kalio was another young player who stood out, leading the team in sacks with three.

On the offensive side, all three quarterbacks received plenty of reps. WSU redshirt senior quarterback Connor Halliday worked with the first team offense and completed 24 of 31 passing for 222 yards and three touchdowns.

“It went well, played well offensively,” Halliday said after the scrimmage. “Guys were flying around, it was good work.”

Falk worked with the second team offense and completed 24 of 32 passes for 253 yards and no interceptions. Bruggman ran with the third team offense and completed 15 of 28 passes for 250 yards along with three touchdowns and one interception.

WSU redshirt freshman wide receiver Robert Lewis was one of the biggest play makers for the Cougars on offense, hauling in three catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

“He plays hard, young guy, fast,” Halliday said. “Does his job, is quiet and a good guy to play football with.”

As for who had the upper edge today in battle between the defense and offense, Head Coach Mike Leach said there wasn’t a particular winner, but more of balanced type of scrimmage.

“I thought the offense did a good job of putting it in (the endzone), but I also thought defense got a couple turnovers and some 3-and-outs, so I thought it was a fairly balanced scrimmage.”

The Cougars will return to the gridiron Tuesday for their 12th day of practice.