Premium Scrimmage Notes

The Blue Devils competed in their second preseason scrimmage of the year on Saturday in Wallace Wade Stadium. The event spanned 100 plays and showcased some big offensive performances from players such as Devilback Ronnie Drummer (70 yard touch down run); several freshmen; and, of course, the defensive unit.

Weekend Scrimmage Notes
Duke Football 2006
August 14th

Offensive Observations:
Freshman TE William Ball was much more effective than we had originally projected him as. He spent most of the scrimmage breaking out and then positioning himself as another receiver. Once the ball is delivered, Ball can make opponents miss and is very quick to turn and get up the field. Based on his performance on Saturday, we believe that Ball will in fact play as a true freshman. At this early point in his career he still needs to improve as a blocking tight end. Of all the freshman tight ends, it would appear that Brett Huffman will be the back up, with John Lubischer likely still on the fence when it comes to sitting down for a redshirt year or playing.

The running backs all had their moments. Of course there was Ronnie Drummer's 70 yard scamper. In the more traditional running back role, Justin Boyle and Requan Boyette both had a few good runs. Boyette did fumble once. Boyle was brought down in open field one on one with Catron Gainey. He tried to run over him and Gainey stood him up long enough for the cavalry to come. One of the few times I've seen the first guy stop Boyle. I don't have the game film to review, but I think Boyle is the best of the bunch right now. He looks really good out there.

Rafael Chestnut was the star receiver today, working well along the sidelines. Had some great catches and almost broke a punt return for a TD. He finished with six catches for 81 yards.

Concerned about the number of times our QBs mishandle the ball. Whether its a snap or a drop while scrambling. that's something that should be worked on this week. Thad Lewis and Jones both looked OK today, but Jones was the better QB during the scrimmage. Made some great throws.

The offensive line is coming along, but there were still a couple of jail break situations in the offensive backfield as the D-line broke through. Matt Rumsey sat out, but will be back at full speed monday. Jarrod Holt (left tackle) worked with the first team today, while Cameron Goldberg played guard and Maurides worked in at center. It appears Holt is strictly being groomed as a tackle. They moved Goldberg inside rather than have Holt try and play guard.

Overall the offense appears to have more big overall potential than last season, however at this point it would appear there will instances of feasting and those of famine.

Defensive Observations:
Norm Gee is really taking to the DE position. He played pretty well today after making the move from tight end to defensive end.

John Talley was on receivers like superglue today, which is to be expected with his preseason accolades. Leon Wright is the #3 CB, behind Talley and McCormick. Talley was all-conference today. the receivers didn't have a chance, he was on them like white on rice. Classmate and fellow freshman Catron Gainey will probably be the backup at free safety to start the year. He made some good plays throughout the day.

At linebacker, Duke appears to finally have added some depth behind the starters. Vince Rey and Charles Robinson both look like they will have big careers in Durham and both made a big impact today on the field. From his middle linebacker position, you could hear Mike Tauiliili directing his defense, and if someone met him in the open field, or on a blocking assignment, it didn't end well.

The defensive line got into the backfield a few times. However red-shirt freshman defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase was held out of the scrimmage (likely to prevent any attending scouts from getting the low down on the big Texan).

Special Teams:
The kicking job is clearly in the hands of Joe Surgan, who connected on all three field goal attempts (19, 33 and 34 yards). Right now the inside track on the starting punting gig appears to belong to converted kicker Alex Feinberg. Freshman Kevin Jones has a very good leg, but is not as consistent as Feinberg.

Chestnut and Leon Wright will probably the tbe punt returners this year. Chris Davis has a banged up hand or wrist and I don't think he'll be returning punts with the wrap he has on. good news is, he played in the scrimmage today. Wright will also be handling KO return duties with probably Drummer and/or Jabari Marshall.

Notable Hold Outs:
John Lubischer, Matt Rumsey, Vince Oghobaase. None are expected to miss any time.


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