Great Experience for a chilly spring game at The Hawk. Want to say hat tip to Athletic Director Tim McMurray and Josh Manck (The SID for the Athletic Department) for putting on a good event. Concession stands were open, coffee and hot drinks were there for the fans, and there was a great time as we got a first look at what HC David Bailiff and his staff had in store. Let’s get to it.
- Offense-Having my partner Russell McLean (hat tip to him) there with me taking some figures down, we had a total of 63 plays, 37 run plays, 26 passing for a 56/41 run pass ratio. Not really used to seeing much of that, but for the first time in what has been years, I see a Lion QB under center. Kane Wilson did not play due for precautionary purposes, but we got a look at Preston Wheeler and other QB’s. All of the QB’s who played looked very comfortable under center, and that my friends is just good coaching, Considering most of the QB’s came from spread offenses and probably never went under center in high school or early college.
- Package Plays-Multiple sets are one of the most potent forms of offensive attack in Football, it keeps defenses guessing. There were double tights, then there were 4 wide, twins pro, and just good old fashioned I formations. While you can tell there are some adjustments that are being made, nothing really stuck out as being a totally foreign concept to the offensive guys, which helps.
- On defense, the 4-2-5 made it’s debut and I was very impressed with the pass rush they were able to get along with the good downfield coverage.The pluses were the pass rush and also tackles for loss. I have to say that I have always wanted to see that defensive set run against talented offenses on the division 2 level an I got to see that. The defense is absolutely LOADED with both proven and promising talent and there is a lot to be excited to be about with the defensive playmakers we have.
- Special teams are usually limited during Spring games, but you got to see a stable of punters vying for kicking time. Tristan Perry, who is returning for his Junior season, did not punt despite suiting up, so we got to see some others. Let’s just in my opinion there is room for development for punters. Now, we are replacing the best kicker in the country and that is no small task. The first score on offense was a 50 yarder (that would have been from 55 yards) by Redshirt Freshman Emmanuel Adagbon from Mesquite. He also kicked it in a swirling wind that was no help of any kind which made it even more impressive. If you need to see his credentials, check out his profile on the official school site and see what kind of career he had at Horn High in Mesquite.
- Spring Game Standouts-Gunnar Palacios of Canyon had the best game of any of the QB’s on offense. I remarked he reminded me of Gabe Rodriguez when he was at McMurry and torched us back in 2013 for 400 plus yards passing and 43 points scored as a true freshman. Mobile in the pocket, good downfield throws, and good overall command of the offensive unit. We also got to see Dominique Ramsey on offense and will be seeing him play both ways when the season comes. I don’t think you are going to get any argument from that, Ramsey has so much natural athletic ability and he can score from ANYWHERE on the field. Overall I felt it was a good game and the players were completely into it. Bailiff so far is doing what he said he would do, which is keep the blue print but just add some wrinkles here and there and that is what we saw on Saturday. Looking forward to August.