Monday Scrimmage Report

Our own Rex Sheild took in Monday's practice and agreed to provide some thoughts on what he saw during that rain soaked afternoon.  Here are his highlights:

  • The irony of rescheduling the April 12th practice open to the public to Monday? It was even worse weather than it was Friday and it was not moved inside the confines of the McClain Facility. It made for a very interesting practice to say the least, as least from a journalist's perspective given the rain.
  • In the 11-on-11 full-contact scrimmage, redshirt senior quarterback Curt Phillips was primarily with the first-team offense while redshirt sophomore Joel Stave was primarily with the second-team mixed in with redshirt freshman Bart Houston.
  • Phillips threw the ball very well but wasn't really tested on his deep-ball ability. When the offense was in their shotgun formation, two tight ends were spread outside and in the slot. That particular formation is either a telling point of the lack of depth at the wide receiver position, or that the coaching staff was holding out other players for precautionary reasons.  
  • I didn't think Stave threw the ball incredibly well today. It is a huge possibility it was because of the rain but he missed a number of passes. His most notable miss was an errant pass intended for redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jordan Frederick that resulted in an interception by Peniel Jean on the far side of the field.
  • Melvin Gordon broke a 50 yard TD on the first offensive series.
  • The offensive play of the day was without a doubt a touchdown pass from Houston to redshirt freshman tight end Austin Maly, who made a one-handed grab for the score. 
  • The offensive line looked fairly unimpressive, especially the second-team, as the defensive line got pressure on the quarterbacks with ease.
  • This year's version of the 'Indy formation' had a lot of success in getting to the quarterback. The player that stood out in this package was Conor O'Neill, especially in the run-game. 
  • A name that could be a hot commodity in the not-too-distant future is redshirt sophomore defensive end James Adeyanju. His body frame and skill set is extremely similar to David Gilbert ― minus the injuries, hopefully ― he can be factor in the pass rush, possibly even this season.
  • One of the main contributory factors in the stout pass rush was the play of the secondary. That shows two things: either the secondary will strive under the direction of secondary coaches Bill Busch and Ben Strickland or the wideouts are just that bad. Either are legitimate reasons in my eyes. 
  • One final and rather surprising note: For those of you who were/still are Matt Canada fans, there were some leftovers from his playbook as offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig implemented the jet sweep with redshirt sophomore running back Melvin Gordon. Surprisingly enough, it ended up in a decent gain.