The Rambling rebel
The Grove Bowl is back and it had some fun moments. Some of it was pretty some was ugly so lets break the whole thing down by groups. We'll grove each position and go over what was good and what was not so good.
The Passing game: Anyone who saw this knows that this was clearly the best part of the day. Not only did the first stringers shine, but Ta'amu also looked like a starting caliber Qb. This is good because injuries can happen as shown by last year. The throws were accurate and resulted in big plays all day. As usual the passing game will clearly dominate our offense this year. Shea looked more mature and clearly has improved his accuracy and awareness. The receivers were a big part of what made the day. AJ Brown in particular had a lot of big plays including a broken tackle run for a TD. Other notable receivers included Van Jefferson who has a lot of big plays down field and Markell Pack who continues to be an impressive complementary receiver. Adding in the Freshman D.D. Bowie will only help an already stand out offense
The Run Game: Jordan Wilkins will clearly be the starter for this season, but many people are unsure of who will be rotating in. If Eric Swinney remains healthy it will most likely be him, but we did have a lot of talented performances. The biggest stand out in my mind was Eugene Brazley. Obviously Brazley won't be the starting back, but I think he has a great opportunity to work in on hurry up packages or 3rd down pass run situations. He has huge benefit of speed with enough strength to be dangerous in the air and on the ground. Working a Jordan Wilkins Eugene Brazley one two punch would be a great way to keep defenses on their toes. I was slightly disappointed with the performance of D'Vaughn Pennamon. I don't think we saw enough to fairly evaluate him, but He showed a lot of potential last year and that didn't translate during the game. I'm sure he'll get better looks. DK Buford had a pretty good day making himself chug forward. Nothing fancy just a guy who tried to do his best bowling ball impersonation. Finally I just wanted to throw a quick shout out to Ke'Shaun Wells. I had no idea who this kid was until Saturday and he was a lot of fun to watch. I doubt we'll see a lot if anything of him, but It was a fun moment.
The Offensive line: Pretty good looks all day. They kept Shea safe for the most part and allowed the run game to break out. What did however bother me was later in the game the penalties. Too many offside that took us out of scoring situations. That's completely unacceptable even if it is just a spring game. Another poor moment was the snap over Sheas head which resulted in a safety. It didn't hurt the performance, but in a real game that can kill momentum. I did like the running lanes I saw particularly on passing plays. With our two QBs scrambling for first downs and more is gonna be a crucial part of our game so it's nice to see holes opening up for them if our receivers are covered.
The Secondary; By far the worst part of our team during the game. Their were way too many times when someone was wide open down field. The good news is a lot of our incoming freshman will be taking over, but thats only a small consolation. Depth is gonna be key and we can't have guys getting burnt down field. I don't care if this offense is just that good the looks we got were down right bad.
The pass rush. The best part of the defense was definitely found here. Benito Jones And Breeland Speaks both had great pressure all day. I think it's safe to say that our line is gonna have to carry our defense next year. Stopping the run game was a huge issue last season so we need these guys to step up and shut down teams in a run heavy conference.
So that my analysis. Spring games aren't that big of a deal, but it is fun to speculate. Only time will tell how accurate my takes are. Sco Rebs.