Defense impresses in sixth spring practice

Leach frustrated with inconsistent play, Gage Gubrud seen at practice without boot



Redshirt junior wide receiver Renard Bell, right, heads downfield as Shahman Moore, redshirt junior defensive back, chases after him during spring practice on Mar. 26 at Martin Stadium.

JOHN SPELLMAN, Evergreen reporter

Explosive and inconsistent. Those were the two words that stood out in regards to Tuesday’s spring practice for WSU football.

“Both sides would do something that I thought would be dynamic, but then they would be up and down,” WSU Head Coach Mike Leach said. “But neither side would be down for too long.”

The team had its fair share of highlights as both the offense and defense made some dynamic plays on the field at Martin Stadium.

On the defensive side, the Cougars ability to stop the run seemed to be much improved as they were able to limit a WSU ground game that has been pretty successful throughout spring camp.

The pass defense also has seen marked improvement this spring with several interceptions. Redshirt junior linebacker Dillon Sherman, fighting for the starting inside linebacker spot, came up with a big interception of redshirt senior quarterback Trey Tinsley.

Sophomore cornerback Derrick Langford followed that up by picking off Tinsley again on the very next play, much to the chagrin of the WSU offense.

Redshirt junior defensive back Daniel Isom continued his impressive spring when he intercepted redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Gordon, showing that the WSU secondary may be a dangerous force in the Pac-12 next season.

Despite the interceptions from Tinsley and Gordon, the pair have made impressive throws throughout the spring as they vie for the starting spot next season.

Senior wide receiver Dezmon Patmon was on the receiving end of a strike from Gordon that went for a 40-yard touchdown. Tinsley also threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Kassidy Woods.

Tinsley seems to have improved his pocket mobility, showing the ability to scramble and make plays when things break down during the past few spring practices.

“He’s continued to work at it, I think that he’s quicker now than he has been.” Leach said.

The team is waiting on graduate transfer quarterback Gage Gubrud, who is known for his ability to get outside the pocket, to fully heal from his ankle injury. This has limited him to just throwing the ball at practice, which is a welcomed sign now that his boot is off.

The other quarterback to get reps with the first team offense on Tuesday was redshirt freshman quarterback Cammon Cooper.

Cooper threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Renard Bell, before tossing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Woods.

When he was asked about what his thoughts were on Cooper’s performance, Leach responded with the theme of the practice.

“Explosive and inconsistent.” Leach said.

The team looks to keep improving as they return to the field for their next practice on Thursday.