Quarterback Luke Falk and his stable of receivers hummed from start to finish, James Williams made a few long, winding runs to the end zone during a 90-play exhibition at Martin Stadium.
PULLMAN – Quarterback Luke Falk and his stable of receivers hummed from start to finish, James Williams made a few long, winding runs to the end zone, and through a 90-play exhibition at Martin Stadium Friday night, Washington State’s top offensive unit gave fans a glimpse of how potent it could be this fall.
“I thought we executed better than I guess (we do) typically this time of year,” WSU coach Mike Leach said. “And then we appear to be evolving into a little bit of depth. I thought the defense tackled well and ran to the ball well, which is really key.”
The scrimmage lasted just shy of two hours and represented the 10th practice of the Cougars’ fall camp slate. It was also their first workout in Pullman since returning from Lewiston’s Sacajawea Junior High, where the Cougars held seven midafternoon practices on natural-grass fields amid scorching August heat.
C.J. Dimry was a difficult cover for the Cougar defensive backs all evening. The 6-foot-4 receiver picked up 20 yards on his first reception from Falk, then held on to a 17-yard looping pass in the end zone on the very next snap. “It’s good that everyone was firing on all cylinders,” Dimry said. “That was a great sight to see.”
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Williams found his creases early and often. The sophomore running back opened his night with a 24-yard gain. Williams went 20 yards untouched to the end zone on his next carry. “Our receivers made sure I didn’t get hit as much as I was supposed to,” Williams said, “so that was good.”
Williams, who looked spry all evening, zig-zagged 50 yards for a score later on in the scrimmage.
Jalen Thompson had the only defensive takeaway of the night, picking off an overthrown pass from Falk near the right sideline. Thompson stretched back to grasp the ball with both hands, then managed to get two toes inbounds before falling down.
“I had good concentration on the ball and I looked it in all the way through,” Thompson said.
• Linebacker Nate DeRider, a redshirt senior from Bellevue, was awarded a full scholarship during a team meeting hours before the scrimmage.
The news came as a complete surprise to DeRider, who was initially asked to come to the podium and share the values of being a walk-on football player in front of his teammates.
“Walk-on, it’s about playing with heart. You start low on the totem pole,” DeRider said. “You’re not recruited very highly.”
Coach Leach then interjected: “Well, you’re not a walk-on anymore.”
DeRider was a major special-teams contributor for WSU last year.