Cowboy Football: Scrimmage Rewind

Oklahoma State's scrimmage Friday was a good example of how coaches can influence what actually happens even when you lay it and play it. It was obvious during the scrimmage that the defense was using a lot of different looks and coming with some blitzes not previously used before. The offensive coaches knew about it, but rather than adjust they instead left their players to make the adjustments.

Yes, there was some advantage to the defense in the scripting and scheming of the scrimmage, but still credit the defensive players for executing and pulling it off. It is not a bad thing at this point for the improving defense to develop a little added confidence.

Notice the pattern to the three scrimmages this spring. The brief thud scrimmage before spring break was defensive dominated. No scoring on offense and plenty of defensive highlights.

The second scrimmage more offense in nature, but still a good day in several areas for the defense. The third scrimmage a defensive affair, but still some drives and plays for the offense to feel good about. Add it up and it is a pretty good ledger for a spring practice.

Next Saturday's spring game will split the squad and won't be scripted. It will be more about individuals and the Orange and White squads. Somebody will have bragging rights, but it won't be split by side of the ball. Also, the defense will be vanilla and basic and the offense will be basic with some fun plays for the fans that won't be on the docket to use next season. Spies could be in the house. If I was part of that new staff at Washington State I would have a friend in attendance.

Okay, here we go by position, the winners in Fridays's scrimmage

Brandon Weeden only hit on 7-of-16 passes but threw for three touchdowns. That was a good day for the former minor league pitcher. The coaches like his throwing fundamentals. Oddly enough, if there was a game tomorrow and a backup was needed at quarterback then with a lead I would play Alex Cate, while if the team was trailing I would play Weeden. The sincerest hope is no backup is necessary because Zac Robinson is really, really good.

Running Back: Beau Johnson got a lot of love from the coaches and for good reason. He has come a long way since arriving. He seems to really know the offense and he can make plays. He has pushed Kendall Hunter, who in my opinion, is the clear starter but both will play. This may be the second best development of the spring behind the defensive improvement.

Wide Receiver: There needs to be some more maturing with the younger guys but there is plenty here. Dez Bryant is what we all thought, a potential dominating receiver. I think he could have the same impact this season as Michael Crabtree had last season for Texas Tech. I know, that's big talk, but Bryant is capable. You know I love Artrell Woods, but get ready because Damian Davis is going to be another really good weapon next fall. Broadway, Bowling, Cooper, they all will help.

Tight End: We know about Brandon Pettigrew and give redshirt freshman Wilson Youman credit because the last week he has come on and made me feel better about the depth here. You will still need to see a freshman pick it up and be ready to help next fall. Youman is now improving at a rapid pace.

Offensive Line: You can't tell much without looking at video. The tackles appeared to play pretty good. Better foot worl will be required. We will not and should not second guess offensive line coach Joe Wickline. He has the video to look at and a great track record.

Defensive Line:
Credit Glenn Spencer, I like what I've seen of him working at practice, but the defensive line is so much better than I anticipated at this point. I expected the ends to be making plays, but Derek Burton, Ugo Chinasa, Richetti Jones and Jamie Blatnick are all deflecting passes, getting jumps on the protection and the blitzes helped, but the defensive line is improved. The tackles also made plays. Jeray Chatham is a real leader inside and Tonga Tea is just what I thought he would be, a gap dominating run-stopping tackle but his speed and footwork has improved.

Linebackers: This is case by case, but Orie Lemon doesn't want to roll over and give up his spot to either Tolu Moala or Donald Booker, two junior college linebackers coming this summer. Lemon is really improved and you have to love the improvement coming from the star linebackers in Andre Sexton and Deron Fontenot. This is still an area of concern.

Secondary: Just the improved physicality is great with Lucien Antoine and you should have seen those mangled shoulder pads he wore out and destroyed. It is contagious and the corners are all playing pretty good.

Special Teams: No complaints, but this is an area that gets more attention and is more serious in August. The returners are fun to watch and all have ability, especially Bo Bowling.

Not the finished work, but better. Let's play the percentages like Dean Belvins...

Compared to last year, right now the ...

Offense is 88 percent as good as it was a year ago.

Defense is 125 percent better than it was a year ago.

Chances OSU will win 8 or more games is 78 percent.

That was fun!

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