[ED: Thanks again to BeardedGinger for doing this.]
This Saturday's scrimmage went a lot more smoothly than last Saturday's. The offense moved much more efficiently and the defense was all over the field. Overall, Hugh Freeze says "we weren't bad," which is a step above "we were bad," so we'll take it.
The starters for the scrimmage were as follows:
- QB - Bo Wallace
- RB - Randall Mackey
- WRs - Donte Moncrief, Vince Sanders, and Korvic Neat
- TE - Ferbia Allen
- OL (left to right) - Emmanuel McCray, Aaron Morris, Evan Swindall, AJ Hawkins, Pierce Burton
- DL (weak to strong) - EJ Epperson, Byron Bennett, Gilbert Pena, CJ Johnson
- LBs - Mike Marry, Aaron Garbutt
- DBs (corners then safeties) - Dehendret Collins, Louis Covington (Wesley Pendleton didn't play), Senquez Golson, Cheif Brown, Cody Prewitt
That being said, the entire DL was rotating in and out with the first team as were the RBs, who all received first team snaps. Another interesting note is that Aaron Morris and Justin Bell were rotating in and out at left guard all scrimmage. With Aaron having missed a few practices earlier this week with an Achilles injury, Bell really took the opportunity upon himself to improve his stock.
Below the jump will be my analysis of position groups.QBs - I'll start with Barry Brunetti. Barry made a lot of plays with his feet thoughout the scrimmage, but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. He made a few nice throws but also had several overthrows or underthrows. Barry's best drive came when he was running the first team offense against the second team defense. They were imitating an overtime period and on a 3rd down pass he threw a jump ball to Moncrief who made a phenomenal catch. On the last play of the scrimmage, Barry was running the 2nd team O vs 2nd team D, when made a poor decision with a throw allowing the combo of Denzel Nkemdiche and Tanner Burns to make the pick.
I still stand firm in my belief that Bo is the better of the two and today further showed that. Bo effectively moved the 1st and 2nd team offenses most of the day. Early on, he ripped off a run that may or may not have gone the distance but was ruled down due to contact. It was really impressive. Bo's only TD came on the first play of his OT period. Bo was running the 1st team O against the 1st team D. He threw a perfect pass to a wide open Moncrief who was running a seam route. Bo also had one interception on the day, so don't think he was perfect out there. It was a poor decision combined with the receiver slipping on the route. If he doesn't fall is it an incompletion perhaps? I don't know.
My only question on the quarterbacks is when Freeze is going to make a decision here. It seems Bo has been the better QB all fall camp. I understand the competition; I do. But at some point don't you have to pick one so he can start building consistency with the 1st team offense?
RBs - Jeff Scott did not participate. Mackey again was electric today and was making people miss consistently. He seemed to tweak something after one run and I didn't seem him back on the field. Didn't seem serious as he was still walking and running around on the sideline. He did have a nice 40 yard run today. It's a close race between Mathers and Walton for the 3rd best RB. They both were making people miss and Mathers, while running with the 3rd team O against 3rd team D, ripped off a 60 yard run.
WRs/TEs - The receivers played much better today. There weren't as many drops today. As always, Moncrief had a solid day, and Vince Sanders had a pretty good day. A big surprise to me was Jordan Holder. He ran with the 2nd and 3rd offense today but caught every pass that was thrown his way. Wouldn't surprise me to see him work himself into the 8 man rotation this offense is expected to use.
OL - The line is making large strides but still need some work. They would have a few plays where they blocked well and the next few plays there would be multiple defenders in the backfield. Aaron Morris was really impressive. He had several pulling blocks where he pancaked a linebacker.
DL - CJ Johnson and EJ Epperson probably had the best day on the DL. Epperson was in the backfired multiple times as was Johnson. It's good to see Epperson take on his new role well. Issac Gross and Gilbett Pena were taking turns at nose tackle and both are good options and should be solid players.
LBs - As I said last week, the LBs didn't really 'stand out'. They played very well though. They made tackles and covered the TEs pretty well. I didn't really notice or pay much attention to what the LBs were doing. I do know that Garbutt sacked Brunetti on one play.
DBs - The CBs are still playing really aggressive football and trusting the safeties to have coverage over the top. Senquez and Collins had their receivers blanketed all day long and the safeties didn't allow any long plays. I have been very impressed with the way the DBs have been playing this fall.
Special Teams - Just wanted to post one thing about special teams. Bryson Rose was hitting 45+ yard field goals with absolute ease.