The second scrimmage of the spring did a fantastic job of simulating real game situations and consequences. This scrimmage started off fairly similar to last week where the defense started off strong and then the offense worked their way back. The offense had a stronger performance and were able to force a 63-63 tie using the coaches modified scoring system. To a decide a winner the staff setup a situation to determine a winner: 4th down on the 2 yard line and only one play allowed. The football version of sudden death.
Before the offense could snap the ball they committed a penalty and were pushed back five yards. The offense went with a screen pass to Kody Sutton who was tackled at the one yard line by Mike Purcell. With the stop by the defense they were awarded one point and the victory: 64-63.
"It’s great to see our kids compete," said Christensen. "The offense got behind by quite a ways early on, then came back and tied it up. We put it fourth down and two on the two-yard line to see who was going to win it all. We learned a tough lesson there -- don’t get a penalty on fourth and two. The offense had seven yards to go -- they got six, and the defense came out on top.
From my standpoint, the best situation is for it to be tied at the end. That means we did good things on both sides. I think offensively, we’re making some progress, but the defense has certainly dominated through most of spring, which is exciting. You want your defense to be strong in the spring, and our offense will come along when we get some guys back."
After the jump we'll break down some of the highlight performances on both sides of the ball.
Colby Kirkegaard was more comfortable behind center and got his throwing percentage north of 50% this time. Kirkegaard finished the day going 27-48 for 254 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Josh Smith didn't complete a pass as the backup QB but he another strong performance at wide receiver. Smith caught three passes for 18 yards and his second touchdown of the spring.
Robert Herron led the team with receptions for the second straight week, six catches for 42 yards. Trey Norman had a much stronger second scrimmage with five catches for 47 yards and two scores. James Caraway had 3 catches for 54 yards including the longest catch of the day for 43 yards.
Last week the running backs struggled but got some more traction going this time around. Kody Sutton finished with 10 carries for 31 yards. Zaquoya Parham had nine carries for 26 yards and Brandon Miller ran eight times for 15 yards and a score. No carries for Tedder Easton this time around. Overall the offense gained 91 yards this scrimmage which nearly tripled their production from last week.
The defense had three interceptions on the day. Blairs Burns, Zack Berg and Andrew Meredith each had a pick. Burns returned his interception 42 yards for a touchdown. He certainly seems to be picking up where he left off last year when he was a Freshmen All-American.
J.J. Quinlan had another strong performance with a team best 10 tackles and one sack. Devyn Harris had six tackles and a sack, Meredith had six tackles to go along with his interception. Korey Jones and Berg each had five tackles and a sack. Sonny Puletasi had three tackles plus one sack.
Nice to see the defense continue their strong performance again this week. Though they did let their foot off the pedal and let the offense get back into the game. I hope there is a killer instinct for the defense once September rolls around. Letting a team like Texas or Boise have a second chance is an easy way to lose a lead quickly.
Daniel Sullivan was certainly the better kicker today. Sullivan converted all six of his extra point attempts and went five of seven on field goals. He showed a strong leg by connecting from 50 and 47 yards, his misses were from 38 and 44 yards. Stuart Williams was perfect on extra points but went 3 of 6 on field goals. Both kickers had to deal with kicking into the wind at times.
Tim Gleeson only averaged 41.8 yards per punt on four tries but had a long of 57 yards.
The spring schedule will wrap up on Saturday, April 21st with Brown and Gold game. Game time is 2pm and will be held at War Memorial Stadium. The game is open to the public and admission is free.