Scrimmage Notes & Observations for 8/15
The Owl's held their first and only scheduled scrimmage of fall camp Saturday morning inside FAU Stadium. With uncertainty lining a number of positions, the coaching staff rotated almost the entire roster in the two-hour scrimmage.
Head coach Carl Pelini had mixed feeling following the simulated game, but walked away with more positives than negatives.
"It was about what I expected. The defense is a little bit ahead of the offense – the timing of the offense is always going to suffer until you name your starters and they are working together," Pelini said.
The team continued to focus on red zone offense and defense, along with two-minute situations. Melvin German and Jaquez Johnson both got a chance to lead the first team offense, and it's apparent that there is some separation forming between the two quarterbacks.
Johnson (pictured above) struggled with the ball in a two-minute drill, and ended the scrimmage with a poor pass over the middle that was intercepted by D'Joun Smith.
German was the near opposite, as he looked efficient. The senior moved the offense down the field with authority as the clock moved under a minute and used his legs to set up a short field goal.
"I think there will be some more certainty in term's of our depth chart when we take the field on Monday," Pelini said. "The equal reps are going to kind of go away and we're going to start giving the guys who have earned the one spots more reps and start working on the timing."
While no decision has officially been made regarding the starting quarterback gig, it looks as if it's sorting it's self out on the field.
He said it: "We don't have no one's or two's. A team is only as good if you have all one's –– because that means when the person in front gets hurt, the person behind them can make the same plays or play better." - D'Joun Smith on the defensive depth chart.
Scrimmage Observations: Unlike most practices, the media was given a little more access to the team on Saturday. Here's what I saw.
- The offense featured a wide array of formations, and unfortunately because of team guidelines I'm not allowed to publish what exactly they were. I will say however that both Lucky Whitehead and DJ Juste received the ball on motions from the slot position.
- Freshman quarterback Greg Hankerson had probably the play of the day, scoring on a 43-yard run. The youngster faked a handoff to Martese Jackson and jetted up the middle untouched for a score.
- While the team was using Saturday as preparation for actual game situations, the coaching staff also used the scrimmage as a walk-through for themselves. The coaches all communicated through head-sets and brought in Conference-USA officials to referee.
- Notably absent from the scrimmage: LB Randell Johnson, LB Adarius Glanton, DE Martin Wright and RB Jonathan Wallace. Pelini mentioned that no players have serious injuries, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
- Because of the lack of bodies on defense, linebacker Robert Relf and defensive end Trey Hendrickson were regulars with the first team defense. Both freshmen should contribute this fall.
- It's still not clear what exactly the rotation will be at wide receiver, but some players have stood out. Jermey Glinton had a good scrimmage along with Derek Moise. DeAndre Richardson continues to be a non-factor in the passing game.
- Linebacker Andrae Kirk said after the scrimmage that he lost weight in the offseason in hopes of gaining speed. It showed on Saturday.