First scrimmage a bit sloppy

It may have been sloppy, but that was to be expected as the Wildcat football team had their first scrimmage of spring ball. Dropped passes, missed assignments and a load of penalties were all part of the show, but so were some very good performances as well.

The defense may have held the overall advantage at the end of the day, but the offense ended things on a good note. With just a few minutes left in the scrimmage coach John Mackovic announced the first offense and the first defense would meet, with the offense getting the ball at the 35.

Ryan O'Hara, who had worked all day with the second team, got the call and quickly made his mark with the first string line in front of him. It only took four plays, but O'Hara found walk-on tight end Clarence McRae over the middle for a 12-yard score, the only passing touchdown of the day.

O'Hara opened the drive with a quick hitter to fullback Pedro Limon in the flat. The 235-pound Limon lowered the shoulder and rumbled for 11 yards. Mike Bell had the highlight play of the day on the next play. The sophomore took the handoff right but found a wall of defenders waiting. Bell reversed field, broke a tackle and scampered around the left for 11 yards.

Chris Harris' two-yard run preceded the final pass to McRae for the score.

For the day O'Hara was 9-16 for 99 yards and the score. O'Hara showed great poise in the pocket, making good decisions on most plays, although he missed receivers on a couple of occasions. O'Hara did struggle with the deep ball, missing a streaking Andrae Thurman by less than a foot and having another long ball batted away by Clay Hardt after it took too long to reach a wide open Ricky Williams.

Nic Costa got most of the snaps with the first team and was plagued by dropped passes. For the day he was just 5-12 for 43 yards, but five of his incompletions were passes that should have been caught. Costa showed that he is still more confident outside the pocket, often times getting on the move before the pressure got there. The sophomore seems more comfortable rolling out and was not hesitant to tuck the ball under and take off.

Both quarterbacks saw their share of pressure. The defense registered nine sacks. Vince Feula led the way with 2.5. Marcus Smith had a pair and Pat Howard, Jeremy Willoughby and Copeland Bryan each got to the passer once.

Luis Nunez had the lone takeaway. The junior corner back was in the right place at the right time. Costa threw a tad high to Biren Ealy, but the receiver tipped the catchable pass and Nunez was there for pick. Lamon Means picked off an O'Hara pass but the play was ruled a sack and whistled dead just before O'Hara threw the ill-advised pass over the middle.

The only other score came on the ground. Beau Carr took a sweep around the outside, hit the corner and raced down the sideline for a 23-yard score. Carr led all rushers with 45 yards on eight carries. Mike Bell, Gilbert Harris and Chris Harris all got their share of carries as well. Bell got the bulk of his work with the first team and had 26 yards on only six carries. Little used Chris Harris picked up 27 yards on eight rushes. The other Harris, Gilbert, struggled gaining just 11 yards on five attempts.

No receivers really stood out. McRae led all receivers with 29 yards on a pair of catches. Just two other receivers, Juan Valentine and Ricky Williams, had more than one catch. All told 12 different receivers hauled in catches.

The kicking game was not without its share of difficulties. Bobby Gill hit just 1-of-3 field goal attempts, hitting from 45, but missing twice from 38. Nick Folk missed a 39 yarder, but hit both of his extra point attempts.

NOTES: *Gainus Scott and Sean Jones sat out the scrimmage.
*Nic Costa worked most of the day with the first team. O'Hara worked with the second team until the final drive. Walk-on Adam Austin had one series. He completed just 1-4 passes.
*The Cats will scrimmage again next Saturday, this time as their annual Red-Blue Spring Scrimmage. Unlike past years it will not conclude spring drills.

Talk about this on the Cat's Lair MESSAGE BOARDS

Wildcat Authority Top Stories