Football is back and it came at just the right time. This really the first chance the fans or media has had to see the Cowboys in action this spring. Only the first 30 minutes of practice are open so there has only been a chance to see the team in warmups. Due to weather conditions the scrimmage was held indoors and lasted for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Using a unique scoring system that allows both sides to score points the offense won 55-37. By all accounts it looks like #1 defense is way ahead of the #1 offense while the #2 offense outperforms the #2 defense. This is what I was expecting heading into the scrimmage. The #1 defense has way more returning starters than the offense.
"I really liked the physical nature of the scrimmage, and thought our kids gave great effort today," said head coach Dave Christensen. "The quarterbacks did a great job of managing the offense and protecting the football. We no doubt had two many penalties today. A lot of those came from young players. But those hidden yards lost by penalties are something you can’t allow to hurt your football team. We’ve got to get that cleaned up. Other than that, I thought it was a real good scrimmage."
The most watched battle was the QB battle with Emory Miller and Brett Smith. Miller led the 1's and went 13-22 for 83 yards passing, he did score on a touchdown run but finished with -16 yards due to sacks. Smith spent most of his time with 2's and was very efficient: 21-27 for 208 yards and touchdown passes to Jonathon Aiken and DeJay Lester. Showing off his scrambling ability Smith had a team high 73 yards on the ground.
While Brett Smith did have a great day it doesn't mean that this QB battle is over by any means. The strength of defense that each QB faced was very different. What we'll need to keep our eyes on is how many reps Smith gets with the #1 offense in the scrimmage next Saturday. Great start by the freshman in his first action, there is still plenty of time before a true #1 is named.
In other offensive news Nehemie Kankolongo worked with the #1 offense and had 58 yards on 9 attempts and two yard touchdown run, he also added 5 catches for 20 yards. Alvester Alexander and Ghaali Muhammad both missed the scrimmage due to injuries. Robert Herron had 8 catches for 40 yards but the biggest surprise from the receiving corp was converted QB Sam Stratton who had 7 catches for 67 yards.
According to Gagliardi:
–Senior receiver Jonathan Aiken caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Smith, and finished with three catches for 40 yards. Coach Dave Christensen said Aiken won’t move up the depth chart until he takes care of some academic issues.
LB's Brian Hendricks and Todd Knight both led the way with seven tackles. Great to see Knight making some noise heading into his sophomore year. He was highly touted when he was became a Cowboy back in 2009 as a member of Christensen's first recruiting class. James Caraway and Alex Borgs totaled six tackles, Borgs is a freshman from Germany.
The defense totaled five sacks and 11 tackles for loss. Tashaun Gipson intercepted Miller but it was called back due a taunting penalty afterwards. Patrick Mertens had a pair of sacks and tackles for loss. Kenny Browder showed some great quickness at the free safety spot
–Many got a laugh from watching the players UW has right now at kicker. There are a pair of redshirt freshmen walk-ons in Everett Scott and Stuart Williams, along with senior linebacker Oliver Schober. Williams and Schober made all four of their extra-point attempts. Scott was 3 of 4. But the three were a combined 4 of 13 in field goals. Schober kicks the ball hard, but often too low. Schober could have hurt someone if the ball would have hit them. True freshman Daniel Sullivan is expected to take care of the kicking duties when he arrives this summer.
FOR FULL SCRIMMAGE STATS CLICK HERE.
REMAINING SPRING SCHEDULE
Monday, March 28 3:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #8)
Wednesday, March 30 3:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #9)
Friday, April 1 3:30 p.m. (Coaches’ Clinic, Shells Practice #10)
Saturday, April 2 9:00 a.m. (Scrimmage #2, Practice #11) (Open to the Public)
Monday, April 4 3:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #12)
Wednesday, April 6 3:30 p.m. (Shoulder Pads, Practice #13)
Friday, April 8 3:30 p.m. (Non-contact, Practice #14)
Saturday, April 9 2:00 p.m. (Spring Game, Practice, #15) (Open to the Public)