Junior Josh Swogger and sophomore Alex Brink combined to complete 23 of 36 passes for 267 yards in Washington State University's football scrimmage Tuesday evening, but head coach Bill Doba said he is still not ready to pick a starter for WSU's opener in two weeks.
"We wanted to give both those guys a fair shake and see who comes out on top," Doba said after both quarterbacks took turns running the number one and two offensive units. "I would like to know yesterday, but we'll get it done pretty quick," he responded to questions about when a starter would be chosen.
Brink hit 11 of his 17 passes for 162 yards and one score, but was also intercepted once. Swogger hit 12 of 19 passes for 105 yards, with no interceptions or scoring passes.
Senior Jerome Harrison only carried the ball three times, but scored once and had 26 rushing yards before watching the younger Cougar running backs handle the work during the nearly two-hour scrimmage.
Harrison had a 15-yard scoring burst early in the scrimmage, while Kevin McCall scored on a five yard run and Jed Collins bulled over from the one yard line. The final score came on a Brink pass to Jason Hill covering 37 yards.
Hill and Michael Bumpus each had six receptions, Hill for 37 yards and Bumpus for 19, while freshman Brandon Gibson continued to play well, finishing with five catches for 67 yards.
Doba noted that both quarterbacks were playing tired. "Right now they are leg weary, the whole team is leg weary," he said, adding, "Now is when the tough guys make the team. You have to push through that."
WSU kickers drew praise from Doba, although he noted there seems to be a role reversal from last year when Graham Siderius handled kickoff duties and Loren Langley did most of the extra point and field goal kicks.
"Both those guys are kicking good," Doba said. "Graham hasn't missed any yet and Langley is kicking off better than Graham. But with Graham kicking off, you have another tackler. He had a big hit (award) as a sophomore and one last year."
Three Cougar linebackers on campus for the first time also drew high marks from Doba, especially Greg Trent, a freshman from Keller, Texas.
"Trent is really strong, natural strength, and a lot of natural instincts," Doba said. "He can play now, he is ready. Jason Stripling and Cory Evans will take a little time, but I'm really happy with all three."
Doba also singled out McCall, a sophomore, for his play during the scrimmage and the first two weeks of fall camp. "McCall is running hard and looks better than a year ago, quicker," offered the WSU coach.
Scoring - Harrison 15 run, McCall 5 run, Collins 1 run, Hill 37 pass from Brink. Rushing - Harrison 3/26, McCall 13/10, Collins 9/23, Puailoa 4/14, Ausega-Stark 2/14, Swogger 2/0, Rogers 3/-8, Brink 5/1, Hall 1/7. Passing - Swogger 12/19/0/105/0/14, Brink 11/17/1/162/1/37, Rogers 5/9/0/64/0/26, Morgan 1/2/0/21/0/21, Hall 0/2/0/0/0/0. Receiving - Hill 6/37, Bumpus 6/19, Harrison 1/-1, Jordan 1/11, Gibson 5/67, McCall 2/16, Ward 1/9, Largent 1/21, 1/6, 1/7, Harvey 2/27, Bienemann 2/28. Interceptions - Bursey. Sacks - Davis.