For the third year in a row, it was a nice day to watch some football in Beaver Stadium. We caught a glimpse of what things will look like under the new regimes. The offense operated smoothly, ran plays at a quick pace and was effective for the entire game. We also caught a glimpse of what may be the return of the tight end as part of the offensive arsenal, with Mike Gesicki and Danny Dalton being featured prominently in the passing game, relatively speaking. The defense looked the part in stopping the White team offense, and some of the second team guys looked promising as well.
The Blue team, composed of mostly the first-team, had its way with the White team 37-0. They scored on their first drive, forced a safety on defense, and killed it from there. Trace McSorley had a day for himself, going 23-27 for 281 yards, and throwing 4 touchdowns. For most of the day, he was on point with his throws, finding his targets and avoiding pressure. He didn't pick up and run on every play, which may be seen as a positive. His best throw of the day came at the end of his day, when he scouted the field and found DeAndre Thompkins in stride over the middle for a 35-yard touchdown. He did throw an interception on a pass that went off the target, and Amani Oruwariye made him pay for it.
Tommy Stevens wasn't too bad himself, but playing for the White team and going against the starters all day limited his production some. He had some pretty throws that were dropped by his receivers, and showed the ability to take off and run when things didn't develop quickly enough or when the play was blown up. He looked much better once he was able to play with the first team late in the fourth quarter.
The line, the story of the past two years, looked OK for the most part. You can tell that running this many plays at this pace has been a blessing for these guys. By the time guys were beaten on the line, the ball was out either to a receiver, to the running back, or by the quarterback himself. The line still has work to do, but if this game is any indication (it isn't), blown coverage won't always lead to tackles for loss or sacks.
Ill-Advised Conclusions of the Game
Mark Allen Wants Playing Time
Allen played with the first team for most of the game, and he took advantage of his time. Allen showed the shiftiness that has been a staple in Barkley's game, gaining yards when one would have thought the play would go for a loss. Even when he switched to the second team, where Andre Robinson was slowed down some, Allen was able to make positive gains out of blown plays.
Saeed Blacknall Wants Playing Time Too
With Chris Godwin being used sparingly in the game, Blacknall showed he can make the jump to solid contributor in the offense. He caught two touchdown passes in the game and showed an overall ability to be at the right places in the open field.
DeSean Hamilton Isn't Going Anywhere
If there was any doubt that Hamilton is still a staple of the offense, this game should have put those doubts to rest. Next to Blacknall, Hamilton was the most consistent receiver on the Blue team.
The Freshmen Linemen Probably Need Time
Connor McGovern, who played with the White team, showed that while he has the tools and ability to play right away, he may still benefit from sitting early on.
Hope your hunger for football was satisfied with Saturday's display. What Ill-advised conclusions did you draw from the game?