Cougar Football: Boys Are Back in Town - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington State Football

Cougar Football: Boys Are Back in Town

Players agreed they have some things to "clean up", but they felt good about their first organized practice since spring (Photo: SWX) Players agreed they have some things to "clean up", but they felt good about their first organized practice since spring (Photo: SWX)
PULLMAN, Wash. -

It's Tuel Time! Jeff Tuel and the Washington State Cougars are back in town and back on the practice field in Pullman.

The heat is on in every sense of the word, as the team kicked off fall practice on Thursday. They have less than one month to get ready for their season opener – a road game against BYU on August 30. That means they have about two dozen practices and a handful of scrimmages between now and then.

Tuel and his teammates are ready to hit the ground running.

"You have to be [ready]!" said Tuel. "We put all this work in during summer. It's time to put it to use and really clean things up."

Cleaning up is the common sentiment.

"We have to clean up some technique stuff but that will come with time," said defensive lineman Travis Long. "I feel like this practice went a lot smoother than it has in the past."

"Everyone is anxious to be out here, and in some cases they try too much to make things happen," said coach Mike Leach. "I thought it was pretty good. I thought as far as our knowledge of offense and defense, I thought it's pretty high right now. What that tells me is we had a pretty productive summer."

"It was a great feeling to get back out here," added junior linebacker Eric Ortel. "Everybody in the locker was talking about how ready they are for the season to start up again. I'm sure a lot of other guys would agree with me when I say we feel 100 percent, we feel fresh and we just can't wait to get to BYU on the 30th."

The Cougars will practice again Friday, Saturday and Sunday in helmets. Monday will be the team's first practice in full pads.

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