PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State football held it's Crimson and Gray spring game this afternoon. For fans it was a little taste of what to expect come fall.
Transfer quarterback Cameron Ward made his much anticipated debut at Gesa Field and he didn't waste any time proving why he was such a highly sought-after recruit.
On the first drive of the game Ward would lead the Cougars down the field and cap-off the drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to redshirt-junior receiver Drake Owen.
In the 2nd quarter, Ward would show off his mobility in the pocket stepping up and finding Lincoln Victor for a 40-yard touchdown, one of two touchdown passes on the day to Victor.
Ward finished the game going 21-for-30 with 246 passing yards and four touchdowns.
An efficient day from the quarterback, who seems to be settling in well with the help of his former head coach at Incarnate Word Eric Morris calling plays as Washington State's offensive coordinator.
"We were very vanilla today, just getting back to base things that our guys are comfortable with," said head coach Jake Dickert. "You can just tell that Cam is comfortable. I think we've got a lot of talent around him to just give him the ball and watch him work."
"Just being prepared, you know. I go over the plays a lot," said Ward on his preparation for today. "Coach Morris puts all of his quarterbacks in great situations to play at our ability. At the end of the day, I think all the quarterbacks had a great day."
Washington State's defense is picking up right where it left last season.
The Cougs were first in the Pac-12 in takeaways last year and they were back at it in the Crimson and Gray game. The defense had four interceptions and six sacks on the day.
Of course, head coach Jake Dickert was the defensive coordinator before taking over as head coach and you can see his stamp on this unit.
"Honestly, we're trying to become better than we did last year," said junior linebacker Travion Brown. "We're trying to make a lot more turnovers. Coming up on the summer and the fall, we're trying to improve on what we did last year."
"The guys just staying with it and making sure we're getting back to that mindset of taking the ball away," said Dickert. "When we do that we can get the lead and start the pass rushing attack on some people."
The defense, which was the gray squad, led for the majority of the first half in the modified scoring system. But, it was the Crimson team who wound up victors in the spring game 56-51 as the offensive team scored on all five of it's second half possessions.
It was a nice day for a pair of local players. Mt. Spokane alum Kannon Katzer had a couple 10-plus yard runs out of the backfield. On defense, Gonzaga Prep alum Sam Lockett III had an interception in the first half. Lockett III joined WSU during the offseason after transferring from City College of San Francisco.
Fans in attendance were also able to see former WSU Quarterback Ryan Leaf attempt two passes during the game. Leaf led the Cougars to a Rose Bowl appearance in 1998 and was the number two pick in the '98 NFL draft.