I've had time to go over the film once tonight and probably will again once or twice before the season begins, but I want to reiterate that no one should take much from the offensive performance during this game. I missed the game live but now that I read the articles from the various beat writers and the knuckledraggers on the message boards, I see people completely down about everything and saying Tajh Boyd sucks and that things aren't looking much better than last year. The defense knows their system and have trained in it for years, so they should perform well in scrimmage settings until the offense gets enough reps to refine their execution. Again we took 50-55 scholarship players and split them between 2 teams, so many of these guys will not get on the field again.
That said, I wasn't thrilled with the overall defensive performance, particularly in tackling. This is a game to watch individual players and look for an overall feel rather than statistics, but my overall feeling is that our front was pitiful against the run. I counted far too many plays where guys on the 2-deep, and who will be on the 2-deep in September, made weak arm tackles and got run over. Some guys were not getting off blocks and the interior line allowed themselves to be moved too easily.
At DE, I'm still wondering why Malliciah Goodman looks too big and too slow. He is putting on weight and needs to get his conditioning improved. I thought Corey Crawford showed some exceptional raw talent, but that Brandon Thomas should not be getting beaten by the freshman like that either. I expect Crawford to be on the 2-deep in August, but could potentially take the #1 spot this August over Goodman. I doubt he passes Branch but Brown needed his technique work and he stands no chance in keeping a spot against Crawford.
Brandon Thomas needs to decide whether he wants to be as good as his talent will allow him to be. I think I could say the same thing about Kalon Davis, but I already said that Rennie Moore was going to be a quality pass rusher for us this year. Rennie is too fast for him. Backup right tackle is going to be another big problem, but I do beleive the reps this August will firm up some answer at that position. Reid Webster looked outmatched. The interior line did well in run-blocking however, and most of our run plays were inside runs. I did note how often we ran inside plays, I did like the play-calls we used to run them. Lots of Power O, I think I saw a few counter plays and traps. The rest was zone read. Its the same as Auburn/Malzahn in that respect.
Demont Buice has the makeup of a situational guy, as a change of pace or an H-back, but will not make the 3-deep here. He's not a feature back. D.J. Howard is firming up his #3 position. McDowell still doesn't run as tough as he did in HS to my eyes, and I don't see him getting many snaps this fall.
I dont know what Dwayne Allen's problem is. He talks a big talk in the interviews our writers do, but then fails to catch passes that hit his hands and doesn't give full effort on run blocks. Put up or shut your damn mouth Allen. If you dont want to give 100% on every play get off the damn football field.
WR play was good and bad, they did some good things but they have a long way to go. I was saddened by the lack of burst when throws were catchable. I hoped McNeal would perform better than he did, likewise with Jaron Brown. I think Craig needs reps...lots of reps. Craig shows his flashes of speed but is as raw as I suspected. Marquan I've given up on.
Finally the Quarterbacks need lots of reps. I was disappointed in how Boyd wasn't throwing guys open, threw into coverage, didn't take what the defense gave him, and his overall accuracy. He looked like he wanted to throw a TD on too many plays instead of taking the free yardage. Granted, I thought our CB coverage was quite good outside. If Cole Stoudt was a year older we may have a controversy. Cole threw a good deep ball, showed some poise, but is not a fast guy. He also has a curious leg kick on his follow-through. Tony McNeal looks like a true freshman and should get into the weight room and take a RS.
Overall tempo of the offense I liked. They got the ball snapped quickly and hurried after successful plays. Many were snapped with 20 seconds on the clock. We did not show much schemewise. If the QBs take things seriously this summer I think we'll be ok.
On defense I've hit on a few things already, but Bashaud Breeland looked really good to me. He should become a special player here. Garry Peters looked good, as did Meeks. Their inexperience will catch them this fall, but I'm less worried about our man/man coverage than I was before. Our pass defense will be fine for the season.
Linebackers were affected by the tackling issues, but were fairly sound in coverage. Justin Parker has improved as we've been hearing. He's using his gifted abilities now. We thought earlier that his stiffness was due to a combination of S&C and lack of knowledge of the scheme, and right now it appears to me that it was moreso the latter. Christian we already knew was good. Beasley looked like he was in shape but he's not ready to play, his position switch to WLB was the correct one.
Thats all we'll have for this one, overanalyzing a spring game is pointless. Your thoughts on the contest?