Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Game Report: "The players are there."

So, the spring game was played last night at the Doyt.

Here's a little trivia question for you.  Which happened more times?

A)   Points scored
B)   First downs
C)   Onside kick recoveries
D)   Made field goals
E)   The PA Announcer correctly identifying one of our players.

Tough call.  The answer is, however, B.

I kid.  Anyway, it was a nice night.  There have plenty of spring games that were colder than the game from the previous November, and that wasn't the case.  It was pretty comfortable, and as a fan, it is much more enjoyable with a game format.

Now, as for my impressions....a couple of things.  First, as a disclaimer, every play is either a good play by one side or a bad play by the other side, and it is difficult to figure out which.  That's the problem with playing against yourself.

Having said that, the defense clearly won most of the matchups, which we hear they did in the previous scrimmage as well.  The offense on both sides started off with some nice drives, but over the course of the entire game, the defense outplayed the offense most of the way.

In fact, I think that the two defenses and Brian Schmeidedbush should get steaks and the two offenses should get beans and franks.  But that's just me.

In particular, I though the d-line dominated the o-line.  It seemed like the offense had a hard time running the ball, especially in the red zone, (although Martin ended up with a nice night) and they gave up 7 sacks in total.  I know that Samuel and Hopgood didn't play, so maybe that had a role, but it seemed like there wasn't much room for Pettigrew in particular.

I also thought the D-backs dominated the WRs.  The passing numbers for both QBs were very average, and that's in an environment where they didn't have to worry about getting hit.  There were just a lot of plays where the WR didn't get any separation from the D-back and there was an easy deflection.

Now, this is a good example.  I'd love to think we would have a commanding defense this year.  However, as Coach mentioned in his post-game presser, the WRs are mostly new and have not played much, so that is a concern.  Everyone thinks we have talent...Joplin and Stokes are both good players, and the younger WRs were highly regarded when they came.  I know they are new, I'm surprised they weren't a little farther along.

For that matter, there were  a couple of times when they did get separation and the ball was not delivered anywhere near them.

Matt Schilz said in his comments that we are "close."  That may well be true.

Anyway, that's the biggest takeaway for me, which is that our offense is behind our defense at this point.

Coach said at the end of last season that the highest priority is for the team to get stronger.  He said after this game that he thought much of that had been improved over the winter, and that there is now time for it to grow more in the coming months.

Other takeaway--Brian Schmeidebush is a great punter.  Could be an NFL quality guy.

Tyler Tate made both his FG attempts, though they were both chip shots.

Finally, and I alluded to this, the offense continued to be better between the 20s then inside the 20s.  This is a continuation of what has been a trend stretching back to the middle of the Brandon years.  While conceding that we were missing 2 top backs, it is still something that makes you a little nervous.

Someone asked Coach what he thought about the onside kick and he said that it didn't matter what he thought, what mattered was what did the media and the "Internet boys" think of it.

I don't care about the onside kick.  So there.

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