Defense Rules First Cougar Scrimmage

Aug. 13, 2005

PULLMAN, Wash. -- - Washington State's defense drew praise from head football coach Bill Doba after Saturday's scrimmage in Martin Stadium, with Eric Frampton and Cory Evans picking off passes and Matt Mullinnex recording two sacks.

'I just think we were cautious today,' Doba offered after the afternoon scrimmage that was witnessed by more than 60 former players who returned to campus to participate in 'The past meets the present' festivities.

'Defensively we flew around petty good, but I was disappointed in the offense,' he said. 'I thought they might be further along today.'

Saturday's scrimmage concluded the first week of fall drills and was the team's third day of contact work.

Freshman Benny Ward hauled in a 15-yard scoring pass from Gary Rogers to beat a blitz early in the scrimmage and later Jerome Harrison and Don McCall scored on runs of nine and 13 yards, respectively. The final score came on a Cole Morgan to Scott Selby pass covering 34 yards.

Harrison only carried the ball six times, but picked up 100 yards, including a 51 yarder during a two-minute drill. McCall added 24 yards to the offense. Alex Brink hit eight of his 14 passes for 68 yards, while the top receivers were Ward with three catches for 58 yards, Troy Bienemann, Tony Thompson and Michael Bumpus, each with two receptions.

The Cougars have been searching for depth at several positions, including running back, where Harrison has the first team position locked up and McCall is behind him. Other candidates include DeMaundray Woolridge, a freshman out of Keller, Texas, and Dwight Tardy, a rookie from Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

'DeMaundray has made some nice runs, but the other guy is pretty special,' Doba said of Harrison, who gained 900 yards last year, his first with WSU.

'I saw some dropped passes and some hurried passes, but I can't make an evaluation of the quarterback play until I see the video,' Doba commented. 'We are not ready to pick one (starter) yet. We'll make it as quick as we can, but not yet,' he continued.

On defense, Doba liked the line play and feels his secondary is improving.

'I thought Aaron Johnson got off the ball well,' Doba said. 'He and Ropati (Pitoitua) can really make a difference. Mark Graise came off the edge and showed some quickness today. We need to build that depth with the younger players. That is really a solid group with Adam Braidwood and Mkristo Bruce, along with Johnson and Ropati.'

Frampton, a junior safety who had the first interception of the scrimmage, also drew praise from Doba. 'Eric is playing the run real well, he is an aggressive kid,' Doba said at the end of practice.

Scoring - Ward 54 pass from Rogers (Langley, Siderius kick); Harrison 9 run, McCall 13 run, Selby 34 pass from Morgan.Rushing - Woolridge 9/7, Harrison 6/100, Tardy 8/12, McCall 5/24, Puailoa 2/-2, Rogers 1/-9, Brink 1/-7, Hall 3/4.Passing - Swogger 1/8/1/64/0/64, Brink 8/14/0/68/0/10, Rogers 5/10/1/64/1/54, Hall 2/3/0/23/0/15, Morgan 3/5/0/51/1/34.Receiving - Ward 3/58, Bienemann 2/72, Thompson 2/17, Bumpus 2/16, Harrison 1/9, Jordan 1/8, Harvey 1/1, Woolridge 1/9, Gibson 1/5, Largent 1/8, Woodard 1/15, Selby 1/34, Hill 1/10, Taylor 18/, Unknown 1/4.Interceptions -- Frampton 29 return, Evans in endzone.Sacks -- Bruce, Mullinnex 2, Stevens.

Injury Update From Bill Drake, director of Athletic Training: 'Cody Boyd has three benign cysts on his left ankle and test show a significant amount of fluid on the ankle and foot. The symptoms are consistent with a stress reaction and Boyd is expected to be out 4-6 weeks for rest, healing and treatment; Will Derting is expected to miss two weeks of practice recuperating from a left hamstring injury after x-rays came back negative; Jacob McKinney tore the lateral cartilage in his right knee and is projected to return to action in three weeks; Adam West suffered a concussion during Friday's late practice and is out indefinitely pending evaluation 48 hours after the initial injury.'

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