It was hard to gauge who was where and doing what on the depth chart. I saw no previous starters that seemed to be second team today and a few of them sat, so we won't try and guess on any movers and shakers today/
Well the defense really was hitting today, and in my opinion especially the safeties. The receivers coughed up so many balls, one has to wonder if they were seeing these guys back there and waiting on the hit rather than catching the ball. Whatever it was, the receivers did nothing to help the quarterbacks out today.
Plays of the Scrimmage:
It is so hard to get names of tacklers when the defense swarms like they do, plus I am an offensive guy by trade, but I think it will be easy to see in the best plays that the defense had their way a lot with the offense.
On the first play from scrimmage, Leak hit Dallas Baker on a 24-yard skinny post ... To end the second series, Jemalle Cornelius let the ball go through his hands and right into the waiting arms of Tremaine McCollum for an interception ... Avery Atkins continues to play well in spurts and on one particular play to end a series he was all over Dallas Baker and caused an incompletion on a medium range route.
Daryl Gresham showed what he can do to the ball carrier when he laid a whack on Skyler Thornton who coughed up the ball to Nick Brooks on a first down ... Leak showed his wheels twice today, the first on a 10-yard keeper around the right end, the second a little while later that would have gone for about 40 yards, but was stopped by the whistles for a gain of 19 ... Leak and Cornelius hooked up for a crossing pass and Cornelius did his best superman impression to lay out and get the ball for a 10-yard gain.
Cornelius Ingram reminded us that he's a tough runner when he kept for eight yards over the right side … Vernell just jumped the heck out of one Leak pass, intercepting a 15-yard post route … Josh Portis tried to hit David Nelson crossing 12 yards deep but Kyle Jackson welcomed him officially to college football with a hammer of a hit as the ball arrived … A few series later Kyle leveled Bubba Caldwell on the same kind of route. Two posts, two hits, two incompletions, two wide receivers knocked into next week.
Leak threw to Dallas Baker, covered tightly by Tremaine McCollum. The ball hit McCollum in the back and popped into the waiting arms of Tony Joiner who took off for the goal line … Portis ran the shovel pass to Manson for 11 yards over the left guard … Atkins slammed into Kyle Morgan late in the scrimmage to force a dropped ball ... Gavin Dickey completed a pass for 13 yards to Tate Casey near the goal line. Gavin hung in there with the pass rush as he was nailed the moment he cut loose with the ball.
Plays of the Scrimmage: There were two that stood outthe most. Portis bought some time with a half roll to the right, allowing Dickey and Louis Murphy to get totally by the defense. Murphy made a leaping grab at the goal line for a 45-yard touchdown completion right in front of Dickey who had also run free from the coverage.
The next was a short Potis pass on which Caldwell figuratively broke the ankles of Brian Crum and another defender. The play began at the 28 and Caldwell made the two miss, then side-stepped a safety to step into the end zone for the TD.
Player of the Practice:
Kyle Jackson looked like the enforcer in the middle today, smacking receivers around and making his presence known. I mentioned last night the safeties looked good but that it's hard to talk about them until the hitting starts. The hitting started today and Jackson was a real hammer. He forced two dropped passes and caused an interception.
Solid as a Rock:
Jon Demps was really solid near the end of the scrimmage and seemed to be getting a lot of playing time. Kestahn Moore (see below), also. The quarterbacks really weren't that bad overall. Avery Atkins, Tremaine McCollum, Terrance Holmes, Tony Joiner all had good days in the secondary.
Freshman of Influence:
This is just my opinion, but I thought Kestahn Moore showed more today than Markus Manson did all last spring with the exception of the spring game. I have made several comments on here that Manson was hampered by the second and third offensive lines until the Orange and Blue when he ran behind more experienced personnel. Manson didn't have a great day today but Moore sure did. He ran hard, getting 4-5 yard runs where there was nothing and showing plenty of power and quickness. I really liked what I saw.
What I liked:
The safeties showed up in grand style today punishing receivers all over the field ... The front seven was getting a lot of push ... Drew Miller filled in admirably at the center position ... Caldwell's moves on the one touchdown catch were what everyone has been waiting for from him.
What I Didn't Like:
Okay, I need to preface this by saying I have been the most ardent supporter of the top four receivers for the Gators. I honestly believe any of the four could be All-SEC caliber and higher. That said, they have got to step it up and make something happen. They have let one All-SEC corner (Webb), a pair of 5-8s (Brown and Tremaine McCollum)two 5-8 tall, and one freshman (Atkins) along with a few good safeties totally take the game away from them this fall. Too many times the glory and the abuse go to the quarterbacks. This receiving corps has to lead by example and right now they are not getting it done. They are getting out-muscled and out-worked in pro scout terms, by "lesser competition".
Heard It On The Field:
Offensive Coordinator Dan Mullen said to the whole offense at one point, "You guys want to lead or not!? Someone take control!!"
When Caldwell did his dance and two-step, Mattison belted out to the guys to chase the ball carrier. "We've got to make plays" he yelled. "Get to the football!!"