Tyler Wilson, operating mostly with the ones, didn't have a lot of time early as the offense failed to protect against a series of different blitzes from the first defense. Brandon Mitchell, who was succesful on one possession with the ones, was able to take advantage of better blocking by the twos and also saw the second group of receivers outperform the second secondary. Mitchell operated briefly from the pistol formation and had three carries for 32 yards.
Ronnie Wingo had 14 carries for 98 yards and 1 TD. He did leave the scrimmage with an injured right shoulder. Broderick Green had 15 carries for 56 yards.
Jarius Wright had six catches for 106 yards with 1 TD. Julian Horton had five catches for 199 yards and 2 TDs.
Tight ends Austin Tate, Garrett Ueckman and Denton Simek all were utilized over the middle and had solid days. Tate had a couple of runs after catch that were nice.
One of the big highlights was the play of free safety Tramain Thomas. He showed his range covering a lot of ground to get to the pylon to intercept Wilson on a deep ball. It was a one-hand stab/bobble and then a gather with the other hand. It was probably THE play of the game. It looked like a potential TD pass then Thomas came across the field to get there in the nick of time.
It wasn't a particularly strong day for the running backs. There were no real big pays among those guys. Knile Davis was kept in check throughout. The secondary also did a nice job of bottling up Joe Adams throughout the day.
As Wilson noted, the Hogs "have a lot of weapons, but the defense didn't give them any room today. There weren't a lot of things wide open for the first offense and that is a credit to the first defense."
Cornerback Darius Winston had a nice day in coverage and against the run. He had a couple of stops against Knile Davis in the open field. And he produced solid coverage.
Freshman wide receiver Quinta Funderburk was not at the scrimmage. Bobby Petrino declined comment, noting his policy of not commenting on those not at practice. He was asked twice and had the same comment both times. Hawgs Illustrated has learned Funderburk is not currently with the team.
Anthony Oden sustained a shoulder or upper arm injury during the scrimmage. He missed a few possessions but returned to play well in several series, including one possession where the first offense rolled with smashmouth for a touchdown drive. Isaac Madison (groin injury) did not practice.
The first defensive line was impressive. Petrino praised Robert Thomas, Jake Bequette and Tenarius Wright. They were a handful -- especially early -- for the first offensive line. The first defense opened with a hefty blitz package and was successful in getting players free in the first half of the scrimmage. Petrino said he didn't want to "baby" either quarterback because they've had plenty of experience in the system.
"There were definitely two things that stood out," Petrino said. "In the first part of the scrimmage, the defensive line got after our young offensive line."
Petrino said that result wasn't all that surprising. He noted the first defense is full of four-year players in their system. And Robert Thomas adds a lot of talent to the mix up front at defensive tackle.
"He gives us something we've been missing, an interior pass rush guy that really helps us," Petrino said. "He's still got a lot to learn in the playbook, but he did some things today with pure athletic ability. He's exciting. He doesn't know the scheme, but he made things happen. He's only been in (the scheme) for seven days. You saw his ability.
"The defense flew around. Our offense has a long way to go. We have a lot of weapons, but we are not where we need to be. We have to be more consistent and we have to execute. We've got a lot of work to do."
Petrino said he saw some definite advantages and disadvantages on the field that contributed to the way the ball moved at different times.
"I think the first defensive line made it tough on our first offensive line," he said. "They held an advantage there.
"Then, you also saw that the second offensive line had an advantage over the second defensive line. The young receivers had an advantage and could make plays against the young secondary. They made some nice catches."
Wilson said it was a frustrating day.
"You could see what we could do when I got the ball out of my hand quickly," he said. "But there wasn't a lot of time. We'll get better. There's a speed to the game that takes time for young players to get and we'll be fine."
That was in reference to the protection mistakes early in the practice.
"Our young tackles are going to be good players, but they saw the speed today," Wilson said. "We'll keep working it and we will get better. I thought we got better as we went along today. But we started slowly. It was a pretty physical day and the defense played well. That defense has four experienced guys up front and you saw what they can do. They stunned us a little offensively at the start. The offense didn't come out the way we can at the start. I was impressed by our defense today."
Offensive coordinator Garrick McGee saw the same things.
"It comes at you pretty fast," McGee said. "We've got a good team. I think we started slow, but we responded. You can see that we have a very good defense. That's what you hope to see. That's when you know you have a good team. There are times that one side wins in practice and then other times when the other side wins. I think we have a very good team.
"It's a good competitive situation, offense versus defense. It is going to go back and forth this spring. If you can do that and make it more like a game where there are constant battles between the two sides, that's only going to help you. It was a battle today."
As far as quarterback play, McGee said, "Brandon Mitchell is showing that he has some talent in the throwing game and that his pass skills are developing. As he gets more reps, it's going to help him.
"But there is more to it than that. There are a lot of things that go into playing that position. He's still got work to do as far as running the total offense. We are going to keep giving all of them reps and develop them."
Both Petrino and McGee praised sophomore wideout Julian Horton.
"He's impressive," McGee said. "He can run, jump and catch it with his hands. What he did today doesn't surprise me."
Petrino said, "He's got a big body, and he's one who really stood out today. He can catch it and he's really big and strong. He's got the speed and size and we expect that."
Defensively, there were plenty of big plays. Jerico Nelson knocked the ball away from Wingo. Jerry Mitchell forced a fumble by Dennis Johnson that Ross Rasner scooped for a TD return. There were interceptions by Seth Armbrust, Austin Moss, Austin Jones and Tramain Thomas.
Petrino was not pleased with the fumbles or the lack of big plays from the running backs.
"I didn't think our runners were like themselves," Petrino said. "Green made some nice runs late when we were in the section that you've seen us do when everyone knows it's going to be a run, where we work to make ourselves tougher. We had some fumbles. Wingo made some nice runs, but he fumbled. I guarantee you we will work on the fumbles."
The offensive line will need more work, too.
"We have to be more physical," he said. "We have to be more consistent. It's very much like it was last year at this point. It's the hardest position to get that gel. We have really good talent there. I do like they way they work. It's got talent and size. We just have to keep working, keep bringing them along. It's a process."
Horton was pleased with his performance.
"I had a good day," he said. "But it's been a really good spring. I've tried to make improvement every day. I have confidence in what I can do, but it's about staying humble and trying to learn something every day. You just have to look the ball in and make tough catches in traffic. I tried to do that today.
"You try to be physical and know what the defense is doing. That's where I've improved from the middle of last season to this point. I know our offense better and I understand what the defense is trying to do. That tells you what you are going to do. It's about being smart and learning the game.
"We have some veterans that have helped us. We know our time is coming and we want to be ready when it arrives."
Tyler Wilson 21-for-35, 234 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Brandon Mitchell 19-for-31, 310 yards, 5 TDs
Jacoby Walker 7-for-17, 73 yards, 1 TD
Brian Beuhner 8-for-14, 121 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INT
Ronnie Wingo 14 carries, 98 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble
Broderick Green, 15 carries, 56 yards, 1 TD
Knile Davis, 10 carries, 35 yards
Tyler Wilson, 6 carries, -19 yards
Dennis Johnson 10 carries, 46 yards, 1 fumble
Brandon Mitchell, 3 carries, 32 yards
Ronald Watkins 15 carries, 39 yards, 1 TD
Jacoby Walker 1 carry, 6 yards
Jarius Wright 6-106, 1 TD
Austin Tate 5-83
Chris Gragg 1-5
Maudrecus Humphrey 5-100, 1 TD
Joe Adams 4-26, 1 TD
Knile Davis 4-14, 1 fumble
Garrett Uekman 3-32, 1 TD
Morgan Linton 1-13
Julian Horton 5-119, 2 TDs
Jevontee Herndon 3-31, 1 TD
Cobi Hamilton 1-28
Dennis Johnson 2-19
Ronald Watkins 2-14
Ronnie Wingo 1-5, 1 TD
Marquel Wade 2-56, 1 TD
Denton Simek 2-31
William Serrano 1-10
Hunter Jarvis 1-8
Kelvin Griffin 2-34, 1 TD
Tackle leaders - Jerry Franklin 9, De'Anthony Curtis 8, Elton Ford 7, Alan Turner 6, Bret Harris 5, Eric Bennett 5 (fumble recovery), Jerico Nelson 5 (forced fumble, sack), Terrell Williams 5, Braylon Mitchell 5, Alfred Davis 4, Jerry Mitchell 4 (forced fumble), Jarett Lake 4.