Football

Fall Camp Update: Saturday Scrimmage

Washington State hit Martin Stadium for another day of Fall Camp. After taking pictures, the roster suited up for a brief practice session that was later followed by a scrimmage. Here is what you need to know.

Practice

Things were kept loose and relaxed. As players made their way out onto the field, they spent a considerable amount of time warming up and stretching. A playlist booming throughout the stadium, which I presume the coaching staff had no say in, kept the team amped for play.

Coaches broke up players by position and jump-started numerous drills. While intensity appeared standard, there seemed to be an emphasis on technique, execution and communication.

The field was later divided in half for each side of the ball to get reps against scout team.

Special teams, led by Matt Brock, was given roughly 30 minutes of focus before the scrimmage got underway. Brock appeared to be toying around with a few unorthodox strategies and concepts, but I presume a traditional approach will be utilized throughout the season.

A muffed punt return by Jamire Calvin was the only recorded mistake on my end during special teams.

Scrimmage

Garner Minshew was the first quarterback to take the reins. In his first series, he marched 50 yards in just five plays. He was a perfect 3/3 with connections to Tay Martin, James Williams, and Dezmon Patmon. Williams sealed the drive after finding the end zone on an explosive 20-plus yard rush.

Minshew’s following drives started from various yard lines on the defensive end of the field. While his early drives certainly looked better, he was no slouch later in the day. He showed an ability to complete throws outside the pocket and turn bobbled snaps into first downs.

The graduate transfer was given more reps today as acknowledge by Leach to the media, “Gardner is coming along rapidly.” The head coach concluded, “I definitely want to know what he can do with more reps which is why we gave him more this week.”

Anthony Gordon was up next and wasted no time getting the offense going. He and Kyle Sweets connected for a 50-yard touchdown on the first snap. The rest of Gordons night felt spotty, but my unofficial record of practice has him marked down with a pair of scores to true freshman Rodrick Fisher and a five-yard rushing touchdown as well.

Trey Tinsley led three drives of his own. The first of which died early once falling behind the sticks from a 15-yard facemask penalty called on wide receiver Easop Winston Jr.

Tinsley bounced back to synch up with Brandon Arconado on a beautiful your guy or no guy fade route. I easily considered it the best pass of the day. On his last drive, the signal caller hooked up with Max Borghi for six off of a check down.

All three quarterbacks completed over 50% of their attempts and threw zero interceptions.

Many of us were hoping to see the quarterback competition narrow to two candidates this week, but it certainly has not panned out that way. “I think we can win with all three,” Mike Leach voiced to the media. One is yet to separated themselves.

Other Standout Performances and Notes

  • James Williams picked up a pair of touchdowns both under Minshew-led series. Other than attempting a hurdle, he did just about everything right.
  • Several offensive drives started inside the red zone. I have no official figures on this, but the defense may have prevented a score as often as they allowed one. They were stout and aggressive; it gave the offense fits all night.
  • Several pass interference calls were made against defensive backs and just one false start was called on the offense. Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys did point out that this was the first scrimmage officiated by a Pac-12 crew; it is to be expected.
  • Redshirt freshman Damion Lee recorded a 95-yard pick-six off of freshman Cammon Cooper.
  • Kyle Sweets led the receiving corps with four catches for 78 yards and score. He looked sharp as usual.
  • Max Borghi’s rushing stat line looks quiet with one score on a one-yard rush; however, he was all over the place doing a bunch of little things right. He does not play like a freshman.
  • Blake Mazza and Jack Crane combined for 3/7 on field goals that ranged from 30-45 yards.
  • After finding the end zone on a five-yard scramble, Anthony Gordon celebrated by punting the football into the east end zone bleachers. Gardner Minshew took it upon himself to do the same exact thing about an hour later. “He was like second row,” joked Minshew. “Mine almost went out of the stadium as the rumors say.”
  • Trey Tinsley, who wears a glove on his throwing hand, fumble the ball in back-to-back snaps amid his throwing motion. The redshirt junior promptly removed his glove and had no further problems. “This is the first and second time I have ever seen him do that,” Leach told the media

Mike Leach Anecdote of the Day

In response to Trey Tinsley’s back-to-back fumbles, Leach went off on a tangent about a previous experience while at Texas Tech, “I had a quarterback, Sonny Cumbie, who would do that or just fall. He would step wrong and just fall on his back… It would happen so dramatically that I actually thought about sending him to a neurologist or something”

In case you are wondering, Cumbie is the offensive coordinator for TCU and received a pay bump in 2016 making him the highest paid coordinator in the nation. I guess these kinds of things have a way of working themselves out.

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