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From the Press Box: Washington State Prep - Tuesday Practice

Utah prepares for Washington State and their Air Raid offense in practice this week.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It has been going around on Twitter that Nate Orchard is injured, even Block U Alum Jon La Follette commented on it:

This has worried some fans, but I can say that I am pretty sure I saw Orchard at practice participating in a drill with no protective gear on (though I only saw him once for a very short time). You can also briefly see Orchard in the video from Twitter later in this article. Another reporter asked head coach Kyle Whittingham about Orchard's status for the WSU game. Whittingham did answer the question but was not very detailed.

"Nate was out here, he went to class early," said Whittingham. "Nate Orchard [will be ready to go], I don't know why he wouldn't."

The reporter further mentioned to Whittingham that there were reports on Twitter about an injury to Orchard.

"Twitter reports, that's very reliable and very valuable I guess. I wouldn't pay much attention to those," said Whittingham.

It is Whittingham's policy not to comment on injuries unless they are season ending. I will continue to monitor practice tomorrow for Orchard.

Practice Notes:

The first team offense looked very good overall in the scrimmage at the end of practice against the second team defense. Whittingham was impressed with practice today, as well.

"It was a good practice. Tough Tuesday practice. First real Tuesday practice of the year," said Whittingham. "All things considered, for the first real, true in-season week, so far so good."


Travis Wilson made several nice throws during the scrimmage and had a nice run on a quarterback keeper. There was one play where Wilson held on to the ball too long running around outside the pocket. He would have been sacked in a game, so hopefully this was only because it was practice.

Kendal Thompson did not look as good, as he missed several throws, had a ball batted by linebacker Jared Norris, and threw a screen out wide that should have been intercepted by cornerback Justin Thomas.

Running backs:

Bubba Poole got the most carries today, and he ran well, hitting the hole and picking up yardage. Overall, I was impressed with the performance from Poole. Devontae Booker had a great run on a sweep. Troy McCormick was quiet on the day.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends:

Westlee Tonga has the best catch of the day on a well thrown ball from Wilson on a fade to the sideline. Kaelin Clay had the most receptions of any of the first team wide receivers, mostly on screen passes. Clay is dangerous when he gets in the open field and may have broken one pass for a touchdown had there been tackling. Kenneth Scott also made a nice catch and run on a pass from Thompson. Delshawn McClellon had a rough day with several drops.


The first team defense got good pressure on several plays against the second team offensive line (true freshman Jackson Barton was playing left tackle). Norris had the batted pass and Thomas had the near interception. The defense would have had a sack on Wilson if there was tackling. Cornerback Davion Orphey had a missed tackle on wide receiver Jamison Field.

The defensive backs again stayed after practice to work on catching on the JUGS machine. Safety Brian Blechen (also see the interview with him below) was one of the last players to leave practice. Cornerback Boobie Hobbs was practicing catching punts with punter Tom Hackett.

Wilson's face looked significantly better at practice today than it did in this picture

Here is some video of practice:

There were NFL scouts from the Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, and Cleveland Browns at practice today

Listen to Brian Blechen after practice, click here!

Listen to Tim Patrick after practice, click here!

Listen to Coach Whitt after practice, click here!