Saturday’s scrimmage was an opportunity for players to compete for spots.
On defense the influx of new players and the return to health of others has made for a great deal of competition. Cauthen said the scrimmage will help determine who starts and will get the most attention heading into the preparations for USC.
The offensive side of the ball is a different story in the skill positions. Bell says with so many players returning it has been difficult to get reps for younger players. There has been more competition for offensive line spots. Bell says the Red Wolves have quality depth with 10 players who can help and four or five capable of playing center compared to having only one true center last season.
While Cauthen indicated the fall camp has been about finding the right players and combinations for the defense, for Bell the struggle has been fighting against complacency among the established players.
A common theme every fall camp is dealing with mistakes and errors. Bell says part of the struggle in the early part of camp is you are installing the base offense and building on that rather than planning for a specific game. He says that until they begin game planning, the focus is on putting the offense into hard situations and bad positions to force mistakes and then working to correct those mistakes.
Newcomers have caught the attention of both coordinators.
Cauthen says Tajhea Chambers has done very well with the move to linebacker and moved up the depth chart. He said he was anxious to review film from the scrimmage to see how well he had done.
Walt Bell says Warren Wand is proving to be a special player. He says that while Wand is short, at 185-190 pounds with a low center of gravity and great core strength that players hit him and fall off of him like he is a much bigger player. Bell says Wand has the potential to leave Arkansas State holding all of the school records. Bell says Cameron Davis and Dalton Ford have also impressed.
The players will have Monday off and the coaches will begin working on the game plan for USC. Walt Bell laid out the basics of the offensive game plan.
“We’ll do what we always do when we get in a situation like that. Try to play at an incredible pace, get them as tired as we can get them running sideline to sideline and then we will see who wants to play.”