Both Cougar quarterbacks look good in opening scrimmage
Leach doesn't hint at naming a starter
PULLMAN — Both Washington State players performed well in the scrimmage Saturday, and both split their repetitions between the first- and second-team offenses.
Yes, receivers Marquess Wilson and Gabe Marks did their thing during WSU's first scrimmage of training camp, with Wilson catching two touchdown passes and Marks snagging an impressive 70-yard score.
As for the quarterback situation? You're going to have to wait awhile longer to get anything out of coach Mike Leach, who quipped to reporters, "You guys will probably be the last to know" when he decides on a starter.
This much is known: Senior Jeff Tuel took all of the snaps Saturday with the first-team offense against the first-team defense, completing 14 of 19 passes for 183 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.
And redshirt sophomore Connor Halliday took every snap with the second-team offense against the second-team defense, completing 12 of his 20 attempts for 223 yards and three touchdowns, including the 70-yarder to Marks that stood out as the highlight of the day.
"This offense is designed for everybody to touch the ball," said Wilson, who caught four passes for 65 yards. "Everybody's capable of making the big play."
That's what stood out to Leach, though he cited too many plays in which WSU received maximum effort from "eight or nine" players instead of 11.
"At this point in the season, you're always going to be a little spotty," Leach said. "I was happy with the explosion and the reason you do it and you have it is so you get the film, and you can tighten all the screws on the stuff that needs work."
Ever the diplomat, Leach said he thought Halliday's "explosives" were better than Tuel's, though he said Tuel "stayed within himself" better and commanded the offense well.
"I think they're both very much ahead of schedule," Leach said. "They're both better than expected."
"I think it's kind of one of those unspoken things right now," Halliday said. "You go through camp, the first couple weeks you compete, and I'm sure by next week, whoever's reps will start to shrink down a little bit, and you'll start to be able to see who's the No. 1 guy."