Huskies Keep It Basic In Blue-White Game
EAST HARTFORD - The vanilla was, well, full of flavor at Rentschler Field Saturday.
And we're not talking about any concession stand.
That was a good way to describe the offense and defense fans got to see, by design, as UConn capped spring football practice at the Blue-White scrimmage.
Most of the stuff the team has been practicing the past five weeks, particularly with the passing game, was kept under wraps.
Sure, there was the no-huddle and the pace was faster than in the past. But the public will have to wait to see the true depth of the offensive changes.
"The defense was limited in terms of what they could do," coach Randy Edsall said. "We only played one front and one coverage the whole day. And offensively we limited ourselves because we didn't show certain things. So we were very basic; very vanilla."
Still, it was pretty good. And reserve receivers Marcus Easley (10 catches, 169 yards, two touchdowns) and Gerrard Sheppard (four, 89, including a 50-yard catch) were downright impressive.
The two guys battling for the top tailback spot each carried nine times, with Jordan Todman gaining 65 yards and Andre Dixon 42. Kelmetrus "Meme" Wylie had 18 carries for 64 yards.
"I wish we could have shown a little bit more," Todman said. "Just a little, but we ran all basic stuff and we ran it well, but I am excited about the new offense. I'm very excited."
The quarterback duel continues between Zach Frazer (13 of 22, 115, 1 TD) and Cody Endres (9 of 19, 68 yards), but freshman Johnny McEntee was 9-for-9 for 143 yards and a TD, despite a windy day.
The final score, using a zany scoring system, was Blue (offense) 83, White (defense) 57.
The D had myriad ways to score, and it did, but it knew everything the offense was going to run, and as good as that unit is, it got dinged a little by the offense.
Raw TalentEdsall will take the next few days to evaluate the video before he starts breaking down starters and reserves, but there's no question redshirt freshman linebacker Sio Moore used Saturday has an opportunity to get noticed. He had a team-high 16 tackles, including three for loss.
"You can't really compliment him because he doesn't know how to handle it," Edsall said. "But he's got as much natural and athletic ability and speed than we've had in any inside linebacker since I've been here. Now, can he go and do the things we expect out of that spot and be disciplined enough to execute all the things we need executed? That will be the key for him."
Run Stops HereDefensive play of the game could go to linebacker Scott Lutrus, who tripped up Dixon on a reverse. Lutrus, announced as a captain for the 2009 season along with kicker Desi Cullen, cornerback Robert McClain and running back Anthony Sherman, was the last man in Dixon's path.
"I was gone, man," Dixon said jokingly as he walked past Lutrus in the interview room.
"He was," Lutrus said. "I was supposed to be outside the fullback, keeping contain, and I kind of looked inside thinking reverse, but they repped that before, too. We knew it was coming, but I bit on it a little bit and got lucky that I happened to grab his shoe. He's right. He was heading for the sideline with nobody else out there."
Evaluation TimeEdsall said he will take the early part of this week to talk with his coaches about a depth chart. Some positions might not be decided until summer. Frazer is hoping quarterback isn't one of them.
"I'd rather know going into the offseason because ... I think it's important to have a team, form a team, knowing what you have to do and just get used to everybody, just get a comfortable feeling for everyone. I think that would make the offense that much better." ... Defensive tackles Kendall Reyes (three tackles, two for loss and a sack), Twyon Martin (three tackles, two for loss) and Ryan Wirth (eight tackles, one for loss) were outstanding. The defense had three sacks , but creating a pass rush had been a focus this spring.
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