Spring Game Thoughts April 29, 2009
OK, so it’s time to get this thing cranking for real. I changed the look, fixed the content errors, and I’m ready to roll. Hopefully both of my readers and the 2,661 spammers commenting on the last article will enjoy. On to my Spring Game thoughts:
- It was crazy windy. Worst wind I can remember in a long time. Like one of those games from the 90s where we would burn two timeouts before the end of the quarter to force the other team to punt into the wind. Because of that, I’m not sure if the lack of deep throws was because of the wind, or because of Mike Schultz’s obsession with the short passing game. Probably some of both.
- Because of that, I’m going to stay positive and not look at the punting average. Santella had to punt into it nearly every punt, so he was forced to kick some Dejuan Warren specials. He had a nice 9-iron from 45 yards away that he could give a good swing – it checked up at the three. Yelton got the benefit of kicking with the wind most of the time and was horrifically gawd awful. I honestly believe I could have done better. Seriously. I’m that guy who gets a sore arm when throwing to his kids so he starts punting the ball. I can get some leg into it.
- They did the split-teams thing, so it was hard to get a read on much. Juice was just OK, but he didn’t have Benn or Cumberland (or Fayson) to throw to. Tez looked great in spots, but he was shedding the block of Craig Wilson. So grain of salt. Kind of.
- I spent the first half watching the offense, and the second half watching the defense. So if you are wondering about a second half play (“did you see Charest overthrow Benn?”), the answer is no. I was watching Garrett Edwards’ hips.
In no particular order…
+ Corey Lewis and Jeff Allen were on the same “team”. And Allen was at LT while Lewis was at RT. I think that was the most significant thing I saw all day. Jeff Allen, you get Juice’s blind side. And Charest’s. And Scheelhaase’s.
+ I’m still liking LeShoure to be our feature tailback this year. He just looks smoother this spring. Hits the hole, makes a move, delivers a devastating blow (on his TD). I’m not trying to go too far with this, but he reminded me of Shonn Greene today. Not nearly as good as Greene was last year, but similar running style. I like.
+ Duvalt was Juice’s top option on the Blue team, but he ran some awful routes. One in particular, he curled in an out pattern. Juice threw it to the spot – Duvalt curled back 4 yards too shallow. He’s really athletic, but he’ll need to run better routes than the ones I watched.
+ Tavon Wilson will get several pass interference calls this year, but he’ll also probably jump a couple routes and grab some INTs. He’s very aggressive on short passing routes (which means he’ll probably be burned on a pump fake at least once early in the season). Overall, he stood out today.
+ I missed Frierson’s INT because I was watching Jeff Allen for a couple plays. And on that play, he absolutely enveloped Antonio James. Just picture perfect pass blocking. I’m excited that he’s only a sophomore.
+ Jason Ford missed a block on Ashante Williams that could have sprung Troy Pollard for 40 yards. The play was blocked well, Pollard got the corner, and the only thing standing in his way was a safety taking an angle. Ford was there and… whiff. Point LeShoure.
+ To those Zook clock management haters, you got some great fuel today. Juice took a knee just before halftime to run out the clock and go to the locker room. Then Zook called a timeout and ran one more play. Knee, then TO. Awesome.
+ Jerry Brown stole Ryan Palmer’s lunch money a couple times. I hope that is an indication that Brown has finally put it all together and not that Palmer isn’t ready for Lawrence Wilson.
+ I watched Tez quite a bit during the second half. He looked comfortable at MLB. Barking out signals, hopping up to the line to readjust a DT, staying patient on passing plays. This wasn’t the Mizzou game, so there is much to be proven, but I didn’t have any “Tez, do SOMETHING besides standing there thinking!” moments like last year.
+ Ian Thomas moved around to different spots, but mostly played MLB on the Orange team (Tez was the MLB for the Blue team). Further goes to show that Zook’s D doesn’t really have the traditional Sam-Mike-Will positions. He grooms his LBs on the outside, and then moves the best guy in. And, in the nickel, the MLB is the weakside guy and the second LB is the strongside guy. I think it’s pretty set that Tez and Thomas are those two guys, and the third LB is still up in the air.
+ Corey Liuget absolutely OWNED Mike Garrity on one play. “Get out of my way, son. I need to make a 5-yard TFL.” We’ll really enjoy Liuget’s last two years. Yes, 2.
+ Poor Dustin Jefferson. He missed the tackle on the game’s final play, allowing DD to score the last touchdown. And, if I’m not mistaken, he was also the one bowled over by LeShoure on the first touchdown.
Eddie McGee catching
Eddie McGee passing
Cordale Scott giving up on routes
Kyle Yelton’s fake attempt
Kyle Yelton in general