Yin & Yang

After a scrimmage, most coordinators will approach questions with a critical eye. Rebel OC Dan Werner and DC Dave Wommack are no different. They saw the good, the bad and the ugly of Saturday's scrimmage in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Yin and yang. . .

Give and take. . . that's how Co-Offensive Coordinator Dan Werner and Defensive Coordinator Dave Wommack saw Saturday's cold, windy scrimmage in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

On the bad side of the coin for offense, Werner didn't - rightfully - like the amount of turnovers (5) on the day.

"The thing that upsets me is that in our meeting before the scrimmage started, we stressed two things - take care of the ball and get first downs," Werner lamented. "That's all we cared about, the way the scrimmage was set up.

"My position did not take care of the ball and that's what cost us the scrimmage. We had three fumbles and two interceptions and the defense won by one points. Take those away, and we win the day, no doubt."

On the good side of the ledger, Werner had some things to celebrate as well.

"We ran the ball well, we made a lot of nice completions and we saw quite a few positives," he continued. "We did that without our starting tailback (Jaylen Walton) and our starting slot (Quincy Adeboyejo).

Jordan Wilkins
Thomas Graning

"For us to move the ball the way we did, I was happy, but you know those turnovers stick with me. That's the number one thing we talk about and we just didn't do it."

Werner was pleased, for the most part, with starting QB Bo Wallace.

"Bo was fine. The one interception he had, we asked him to throw it to the corner to test something and it was picked. That one was on me. The rest of the way, he looked real shard and had some throws only veterans would make," Werner stated.

The race for number two QB is not settled, not by a long shot, but Werner believes both Devante Kincade and Ryan Buchanan are showing "flashes."

"They look brilliant one play and not so good the next. They are getting better, but they are still allowing too many negative plays," he added. "It's pretty even right now. DeVante can make you miss, but some of those times he should have thrown it instead of running it and that's what we have to clean up."

The Rebels were able to muster a run game that pleased Werner also.

"I think the OL is developing, we are keeping things pretty simple and the kids are developing some confidence in it," he explained. "The OL is coming off the ball and the backs are running hard."

Werner Footnote: Freeze announced Friday that Wallace would be seeing an arm strength specialist this summer for a week. Werner tells the story of how that came to pass.

"I was watching Real Sports on HBO about a pitcher who rehabbed his hurt arm.shoulder and had gotten a lot stronger. I investigated it on the internet and found who it was," said Werner. "We believe it will help him. We just need to get his strength back in his arm. The guy we are sending him to is named Tom House, the Southern Cal assistant baseball coach."

Wommack didn't like the slow start by his defensive troops, but he liked the ending, a win for the defense on the day.

"We started off a little flat, but when we got the big turnover TD by Serderius (Bryant) on an 80-scoop and score, our guys kind of turned it on and started making plays," Wommack noted. "I don't know why they came out flat, but they did well in the long haul.

"I was a little disappointed in our run defense because I didn't think we fit things properly at times, but I think the offense deserves some credit too - they are getting better daily."

Cliff Coleman
Thomas Graning

What did please Wommack were the turnovers - five in all - his defense created during the scrimmage and, actually, all spring.

"It's pretty amazing how many turnovers our guys are creating," he said. "We are going after the football. Some of it comes from being able to get more pressure from our front four, some of it comes from how hard we have worked on stripping the ball and some of it is us doing some different things inside.

"It's starting to come together now in the turnover department more than it did our first two years here."

There was only one personnel change on the first unit - Wommack went with Carlos Thompson in place of Fadol Brown at DE.

"Carlos is having a good spring and it's goo to have those three speed rushers we can call on in C.J. Johnson, Carlos and Marquis Haynes," he said. "We had none last year for most of the season. They make a difference.

"It's nice to have a pass rush without having to blitz all the time. Marquis has shocked me with how smart he is and now quickly he picks things up. He's gotten more reps than anyone on defense and it's paying off."

Detterian Shackelford, it appears, will be the starting MLB next year and is having a good spring, but Wommack says he needs to play more under control.

"I love his energy and leadership, but sometimes he overruns gaps and plays a little out of control. We just need to refine his game a little and he will be fine," Wommack stated.

On the day, the defense got the victory and Wommack was pleased with the final result.

"The offense gave us a real battle today, but in the end we pulled it out and finished really strong. I'm happy about that," he closed.

Yin & yang. . . it's always like that after a scrimmage with coordinators.

OM Spirit Top Stories