5 Things to Watch at the Orange & Blue Game

From a new, big-time starting quarterback to up-and-coming contributors in the making, here's what we'll be watching at the Orange and Blue spring game.

1) Ah, yes, Wes Lunt has arrived. Well, he's been around for some time. And fans have already heard (from me and everybody else) just how good Lunt's spring has been. The Springfield Scrimmage gave folks in the state's capital a chance to see Lunt playing in his own backyard. Saturday's Orange and Blue game will gave everybody else a taste of what's to come. Look for Lunt to take the quarterback position from a ‘nice guy you love to pull for' look to a ‘money in his near future, pro in the making' you'd hate to root against. 

2) So who's Lunt going to throw to? A couple of first-timers in Mike Dudek and Geronimo Allison should see plenty of targets in 2014. Saturday they'll be catching passes from Aaron Bailey, joined by Martize Barr on the Orange Squad. Lunt will have Justin Hardee on his side, a plenty good option and a potential breakout guy heading into his junior season.

3) This is a major opportunity for Bailey. Lunt and Reilly O'Toole will be on the other sideline and there's plenty of weapons for Bailey to put to good use. Along with Dudek, Allison and Barr, Bailey will have running backs Josh Ferguson and Donovonn Young and offensive linemen Ted Karras and Simon Cvijanovic in his huddle. It's as close to a starting offensive lineup a split squad scrimmage could provide. Since Bailey and the rest of the quarterbacks aren't live (two hand touch counts as a tackle), his biggest strength, the ability to run, won't be as practical. We'll see what Bailey can do in the pocket.

4) A new wave of defensive linemen is crashing in. Kenny Nelson, Teko Powell, Jarrod Clements and Joe Fotu have made their way up the depth chart. The new blood is much needed and is still a work in progress, as Jihad Ward and Carroll Phillips will be added to the mix in the summer. There's clearly more options on the line than last season. We can begin to form an opinion on Saturday as to whether the play from the unit will improve this season.

5) Exciting faces, new and old. It's a shame DJ Smoot can't play because he's had a great offseason and created tons of momentum this spring. But there are other young guys that will probably become household names sooner than later. Linebacker T.J. Neal, tight end Tyler White, cornerback Caleb Day, running back Devin Church and offensive lineman Joe Spencer are a few guys who could end up as main contributors next season. You should be watching those guys during the scrimmage, as will a few familiar faces from the past. Juice Williams, Dana Howard, Rashard Mendenhall, Martez Wilson, Dino Pollock, Eric Rouse and Tim Simpson will serve as honorary coaches. The group represents recognizable faces of past success, tangible evidence fans can reminisce over and recruits can draw incentive from. 

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