Ok, so living in Texas I didn't get to watch game. RUTS had to go to a wedding in New Jersey or something, so he didn't go or watch. Kevin was either shopping for curtains or going on another one of his weekend benders. Either way he didn't watch the game. So none of us saw the game, but the people expect a recap. And so a recap they shall have. I
drew the short straw got elected to put something together, so here are my thoughts from the things I've read and what I see in the boxscore.
Daryll Clark looked sharp completing 10-of-13 passes for 123 yards. This isn't really newsworthy, but we should be glad he didn't suck. Otherwise everyone would be pointing fingers at the wideouts and offensive line right now. The coaches pulled him after the first quarter to get the younger guys some work.
Kevin Newsome passed the looks test from everything I've read. Fans were hitting the panic button a few weeks ago after he apparently stunk it up in the coaches clinic scrimmage. But let's keep in mind it was his third or fourth practice ever in college. And it was the first time he had played anything close to a live football game in several months, so there was probably a rust factor at play there. But on Saturday he looked the part completing 9-of-13 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Observers say he still needs some work on his mechanics showing some happy feet when the rush starts to get to him, but he looked very athletic in evading the rush and threw well on the run.
The other promising news is that Matt McGloin appears to be a very capable backup if needed. Everyone says his mechanics look solid, and he threw for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 9-of-13 passing. He also had a nifty 28 yard run which qualified him as the second leading rusher in the game. But let's not get too excited about any of these quarterback performances. The defense in the Blue-White game is always very basic and blitzes are not allowed.
The running backs didn't get much work as the coaches opted to focus on the passing game to break in the new quarterbacks and wide receivers. Evan Royster only had three carries but gained 21 yards. Beachum saw the bulk of the work as I predicted and gained 38 yards on 10 carries. The two teams combined for 127 yards on the ground, which isn't bad considering the depth on the defensive line. Hopefully this is a sign the offensive line is coming along nicely.
Graham Zug reportedly looked pretty sharp on his routes and showed good hands. He caught four passes for a game-high 62 yards and a touchdown. In contrast to the modest running game, both teams combined for 388 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
I have no idea what to tell you about the defense, but they didn't give up much on the ground and kind of got torched through the air. I think it's safe to say this is pretty much what all of us fear come September. But as I read somewhere (but I can't remember where), who on the schedule really scares the crap out of us with their passing game? The secondary will have ample time to get their act together before we meet up with the big guns on the schedule.
So what can we conclude from a spring game? Not much really. Key players are rested to keep them healthy. Young players are plugged in and moved around to see what they can do. Fans have to remember the coaches see this as just another practice. I think it's good to step back and look at the big picture, i.e. - the passing game looked sharp, the defensive line was ok, the secondary needs to tighten up, but as a general rule I never get excited over individual performances in these things. When a kid looks like he's dominating out there, it's usually because he's beating a third string kid pretty bad.
For those who couldn't see the game, here are some highlights from the Big Ten Network.