Coach Mike Leach released his depth chart for the season opening Auburn game this coming Saturday at 4pm.
There aren’t many surprises to be found on the Washington State depth chart either.
During spring ball and fall camp, there hasn’t been official word about who will start for Washington State at quarterback, but conventional wisdom put Connor Halliday under center.
Check that, Halliday is more likely to line up in either shotgun or pistol-like formation to get things underway at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Halliday has not only taken more snaps leading into this game week of practice, the guy has looked sharp and under control. The knock on him coming into the 2013 season has been a propensity to either force the ball into coverage or take a sack. Halliday now appears to have a darn good grasp of the Air Raid scheme and makes his reads quick enough to react intuitively.
Coach Leach rewarded a pair of freshman receivers, Gabe Marks and Brett Bartolone, last season with significant playing time. Another true freshman will follow in their footsteps. River Cracraft is listed as the starting Y receiver working inside.
Because wide outs rotate in and out of the game constantly, there shouldn’t be a lot of significance placed on who starts. If the offense runs according to plan, at least 8-10 different guys will haul in a Halliday pass each and every game.
Despite the initial impression made by the physical presence of Vince Mayle, he is part of the WR rotation listed on the outside at the X slot…but behind Isiah Myers and Dom Williams. Myers looks ready for a tremendous year based on how well he’s performed during spring and fall camps.
It’s very possible John Thompson, another true freshman, may see some playing time as a receiver. Coach Leach has been impressed by his play throughout fall camp.
A look across the offensive line serves as a reminder where Leach is at in rebuilding and retooling. Two redshirt freshmen and a true freshman are listed as backups for the starters. And half of the ten guys in the OL two-deeps have yet to see the field in a FBS game wearing crimson and gray uniforms.
There are no surprises on defense.
Moving Logan Mayes to a pass rushing specialist from the outside left him off the two-deeps. Mayes will definitely see the field, but primarily when it’s a situation calling for speed from the outside. Destiny Vaeao and Kache Palacio are set to handle BUCK linebacking duties.
Sophomore Taylor Taliulu will be a starting safety over hard-hitting senior Casey Locker. Taliulu started strong last season as a true freshman, then seemed to lose focus midway through the schedule relegating him to backing up Locker.
Two true freshmen and a redshirt freshmen earned spots on the defensive depth chart. Daquawn Brown had an impressive fall camp as did Charleston White. After running with the scout team last fall, RS Robert Barber will ably backup senior Ioane Gauta at nose tackle.
Here’s a look at the depth chart for this week: