Early in the first half of Saturday’s spring game, running back Ryan Nall broke through the line and into the open field with no one between him and paydirt.
The 240-pound running back went full Reggie Bush and flipped his way into the endzone for a for a 37-yard touchdown.
“I was in the air for a lot longer than I thought,” Nall said. “It was one of those game-time decisions, I was running down and I was like ‘I gotta do something’ so I just dove into it.”
“That was a celebration of the day,” said senior wideout Hunter Jarmon.
It was that kind of day that foreshadows what’s ahead for this program. A team that is going to have a lot fun—and in turn, will be a program that will be loads of fun to watch.
The fun started on the first play of the game when Nall threw his hat into the quarterback battle when he found a wide-open Jarmon for a 60-yard score. Sure Nall has thrived as a running back last season, but his best position may be under center.
“Ryan is playing the wrong position,” Jarmon said. “He’s playing the wrong position.”
“I’m going to bug (quarterbacks coach Kevin) McGiven about it,” Nall said. “I don’t think he can be upset with it, we scored a touchdown, I’m one-for-one.”
The fun only continued.
While Nall’s flip may of been of been the most physically impressive celebration, Jarmon may have been the most exciting, and may have drawn the most excessive celebration flags.
On his score from Nall he jumped into the student section and ripped off his helmet. When he caught his 68-yarder from quarterback Marcus McMaryion, Jarmon dunked the ball over the goalpost, ran over to the cheerleaders, stole a cheerleader's megaphone and joined them in their dance.
“It’s my last spring ball,” Jamron said. “I wanted to have as much fun as I could.”
“I told the team before the scrimmage started, that celebrations were...what’s the word I’m looking for...encouraged,” Andersen said. “Highly encouraged on this day and this day only.”
Football is pretty fun when you have a day like Jarmon did. In his final spring game, caught five passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns of 60 and 68 yards.
This spring has been different for Jarmon, in his junior season he was hampered by injuries and wasn’t able to practice everyday. This spring, he was one of the few receivers who was able to practice for the duration of spring.
“Practice and repetition makes you perfect,” Jarmon said. “Being able to practice day in and day out has just been helping me out."
In a game that was strictly offense versus defense with an interesting scoring system, the 72-69 final score reveals that plays were made on both sides of the ball.
The kind of give-and-take one wants to see when the two teams playing happen to be the same team. The offense jumped out to a 20-0 lead, but it was the defense that stormed back and came away with the victory.
“We started off a little slow,” said redshirt freshman Jaydon Grant. “But we picked it up and ended up playing great team defense.”
“We moved the ball well and there were a few mistakes in there,” Luton said. “I thought it was a good day overall.”
The past two spring games have had one quarterback separate themselves from the pack whether it was Seth Collins or Darell Garretson. Today’s scrimmage saw three quarterbacks perform at a high level.
Luton finished 13 of 21 for 118 yards, one touchdown and he was picked off twice. McMaryion finished 9 of 14 for 126 yards and two touchdowns and Garretson finished 8 of 11 for 118 yards and a touchdown to Tuli Wily-Matagi.
“It is awesome to have quarterbacks who can manage the game,” Andersen said. “I truly believe we have three quarterbacks who can manage a football game in the Pac-12.”
Luton was the one quarterback who turned the ball over during the game. The first by linebacker Wesley Payne, the second by Jaydon Grant in the closing seconds of the first half.
For Grant, getting an interception is what he has been doing all spring. The redshirt freshman who has been praised by his coaches for being coachable and being a good student of the game put those traits to use when came down with the pick.
“I knew there was 11 seconds left so I knew they had to throw something deep,” Grant said. “(Jarmon) ran a fade and I was able to stay on top of it, I looked up and the ball was right there.”
In the last practice before fall camp opens up in Bend during the summer, it was mission accomplished for Saturday’s game.
“This is a fun day,” Andersen said. “And I want spring games to be fun.”