Against a spread offense, Sean Spence found himself matched up against wide receivers very often and it looked as though he had not seen crisp routes run quite like the Southlake Carroll offense runs. He bit a few times on double moves and once he let a receiver get behind him on the first series. After adjusting, Spence easily got used to the passing game and was tough to get behind as he stepped into several passing lanes. Against the run, if he is able to keep his jersey clean Spence can run with anybody and makes plays sideline-to-sideline with a great motor. Thanks to his massive defensive line, he is able to keep clean and scrape down without worrying about the offensive line making it to his level.
Fellow linebacker Quavon Taylor took advantage of the free run as well, showing some pretty good lateral movement and wrapped up the ball carrier with good technique and a little bit of a push back as well. While he may be a little small for a linebacker, and he could play weakside in the right system, Taylor could best project at safety as Taylor showed some pretty good awareness dropping back into pass coverage.
Marcus Forston has always been unstoppable when he wants to be, but on Saturday he was more of a clogger than a game-changer. He had trouble adjusting to the blocking below the waist and for a guy that plays high it was not a surprise to see that come. He has to keep his legs clean and he adjusted to it in the second half, but by then he was completely gassed and most of what he did was played on instinct. Still, Forston's instincts and awareness are incredible and when matched with his ability to actually play laterally he was a force along the line (just not behind it on Saturday).
His counterpart, Todd Chandler had one heck of a game and if the defensive tackle is a sophomore he has plenty of room to grow from his current size of 6-2/250. Throughout the first half, the Bulls ran stunts and twists almost every other play and Chandler reaped the benefits of being able to get into the backfield and get pressure on the quarterback. He looked to be the superior player on Saturday between the two defensive tackles as he had a motor that just never stopped.
Jacory Harris continues to show he has everything you want in a college quarterback, minus the perfect size and a big arm. Harris makes good presnap reads, can check down quickly through his progressions, and spins the ball about as well as anybody in the country. His passes to the sidelines seemed to dip down a little bit and receivers caught a few at their knees. He also needs to come off of his primary receiver more as he locked in early and often last Saturday. Harris appears more comfortable in a vertical offense throwing the ball up and letting his receivers make a play rather than throwing timing patterns at a spot.
Tommy Streeter was the big-play receiver on Saturday, as he normally is for the Bulls as he averages nearly 20 yards per catch so far this season. With four catches for three touchdowns, Streeter showed a little bit of everything in getting into the endzone. He is a long-strider with deceptive speed who is best used getting upfield and making a play rather than going over the middle or sitting in a zone. Streeter is very dangerous against a man coverage. His hot zone for catching the ball is not that big, so he needs a pretty accurate quarterback to the get him the ball.
Aldarius Johnson is a big-time versatile playmaker who can do a little bit of everything as a receiver. Johnson is great at playing the ball in the air, adjusting to any pass thrown high or low (especially high), and can make a defensive player miss out in space. Together, these make Johnson especially dangerous in the redzone as he can create separation at the last second to make the catch. His routes were not extremelly dangerous, but he is a playmaker none-the-less and could be the best prospect on this team.
Brandon Washington plays left tackle for Northwestern and seems to be a little odd sitting on an island in pass protection. Washington would do much better playing inside at the next level where he does not have to worry about setting up for an outside rush. His run blocking is dominant, especially against the second level where he set up several big runs for his running back. Washington has a huge punch and maintains a good base most of the time when blocking.
It is interesting to see Benjamin Jones at offensive tackle in his senior year after missing his junior season. He is very athletic and more athletic than his left tackle teammate Brandon Washington, but very raw. Jones plays with more of a reactionary style of play and is almost too fast for his body to react which allowed several defensive ends to stay clean into the backfield. Right now, Jones appears to be better as an offensive lineman than he did as a defensive tackle with regards to his potential, but he has a long ways to go.
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