Let me start by saying this practice report is going to be rather short. I was on the field for most of the game because I was helping look after the Reck. I missed several plays and I didn't have the best viewing angle of the team. With that said, it was a beautiful day for a football game. I was excited to see the large crowd that came out to watch and support the team. I expect that number to continue to grow here in the next couple of years. I got to see a lot of former Tech players on the sideline today, and I really got to see how tiny Little Joe is. I'm 5'8" and our eyes were on the same level.
1. Since the first string defense and the second string defense were on different teams, it made substituting players a little strange. When they took a first string player out on the white team they had to replace him with a third string player. This is what happened as the game went on and one reason the gold team offense scored as much as they did. Morgan Burnett played very little, but he looked very good when he was in. Mario Edwards impressed me today after a suspect Spring. I didn't know how he was going to handle the wolf position after Cooper went down. Sedric Griffin continues to get to the ball very quickly and lay some hard hits. He was by far the best LB at the end of last season and I think he has only gotten better since then. The defensive line is still a huge question mark. The first string defensive line is very athletic and quick to the ball, but size is not in their favor. Well, Hall and Morgan are good sized DEs, but Peters and Anderson are lightweights for the DT position. TJ Barnes could add size to the line, but his play seems to rather up and down and he still needs to lose a lot of fat to be in shape. I'd hate to hold out hope for an incoming freshmen (JC Lanier), but that is probably what we are going to have to do.
2. Tevin VS Jaybo! The battle of the two backups was an exciting one. Many believe Tevin had the best day, but I believe it was pretty even. Tevin completed a high percentage of his passes, but you should have seen those passes. Many of Tevin's passes were wobbly and basically end over end. One of his passes should have been intercepted because the ball hung up in the air way too long, but the defensive back lost sight of the ball. His passing has improved, but he still has a long way to go. Tevin also had trouble running the option at times and making the right reads. This was partly due to the offensive line getting blown up. Jaybo had one of his worst days yet of Spring practice. He made several bad reads, had a couple of bad passes, and fumbled the ball. For some reason people still criticize him for holding onto the ball too much and not pitching it (some pitch reads were indeed wrong). He carries the ball as much as he does because that is what defenses are going to give us when we start playing. Virginia Tech and LSU used the idea of making our QB beat them with his legs. They devoted all their attention to stopping Dwyer and the pitch. Jaybo still had several nice runs and completed several last second pitches. The B-backs all looked great today. Preston Lyons continues to impress me. The A-backs also had wonderful a day. The offensive line has gotten better at pass protection and it showed several times. The run blocking still left a lot to be desired though. We really need the rest of the starters to get healthy and get back out there.
3. The kicking game was abysmal. Blair continues to show why he can't continue to do all kicking duties. The backups haven't looked any better all Spring, but that could just be due to not getting enough reps. Hopefully Brady Biggers can come in and give Blair a run for his money.