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Hope for the Washington State defense?

3d

Spring practices often provide the ole half-full/half-empty duality. If the offense surges, you can either be ecstatic or bemoan the feckless defense, and vice versa. Yet considering that Washington State coach Mike Leach often seems like a darn-near-empty sort when talking about his team, let's adopt a positive interpretation when he celebrates his defense, which has struggled during his three previous seasons in Pullman.

"I thought we were flat on offense, but I also thought the defense raised the intensity," Leach told reporters after practice on Tuesday. "I thought this was the best practice out defense has had in spring. I thought they competed extremely hard. I also think that it's coming together for those guys quite a bit."

Leach fired coordinator Mike Breske after the Cougars defense, which has yielded at least 32.5 points per game under Leach, regressed in 2014, surrendering 38.6 points and ranking last in the Pac-12 in pass efficiency defense. He hired Alex Grinch, formally Missouri's secondary coach, to take over a unit that is replacing three of its best players in linebacker Darryl Monroe (transfer), defensive tackle Xavier Cooper (early entry into NFL draft) and cornerback Daquan Brown (dismissed from team), as well as three other starters.

If you are interested in a detailed practice report -- including some details on the QB competition -- click here.