Prediction: Garnet to Crush Black
The Garnet offense has Blake Mitchell, Kenny McKinley, Jared Cook, Bobby Wallace, Nick Prochak, and Larry Freeman at the skill positions. They've also got Carlos Thomas, Brandon Isaac and Dustin Lindsey to name a few on defense.
Coach Spurrier didn't see it the same way, "We divided ‘em up as even as possible. The coaches took their position players and divided them up."
As for coaches, it'll pit Steve Spurrier, Jr. and Ron Cooper leading the Black team with Shane Beamer and David Reaves calling the shots for the Garnet team. The rest of the coaches will bounce back and forth. Spurrier explained his format, "I've found that's the best way to do it. If you break up all the coaches they end up coaching their own guys anyway so we just make them on both teams and go from there."
Also by design is The Ol' Ball Coach's attempt to recreate a real game day atmosphere, "This may be as close to a Spring Game as (ESPN) they've done in a while. Ya' know, a lot of these schools do offense vs. defense. Arkansas, last year, they didn't even play tackle football. They played touch football."
In the past, the Spring Game has brought out a diamond in the rough or two. It's also had some poor performances create unwarranted concerns. Spurrier referred to Sidney Rice's dazzling receptions in his first Garnet & Black game, while also recalling last year's egg laid by Blake Mitchell. While Blake was getting picked off and throwing incomplete passes, Cade Thompson spent the afternoon outplaying him. We all know how that turned out.
Nonetheless, the fans, ESPN, the new uniforms and possibly an enhanced dinner for the winning team are all in an effort to build up the enthusiasm on the team. The methods have worked so far according to the coach, "We're gonna' try to play a realistic type game. Our players are gettin' excited."
To enhance the televised experience Coach Spurrier will be wearing a microphone on ESPN U, "I'm gonna wear a mic and talk to the guys during the course of the scrimmage. I'll be with both teams, throw in a play here and there and then try to tell the TV folks what we're trying to accomplish."
To avoid any nervous breakdowns amongst coaches and fans, Spurrier said precautions have been installed to avoid another Noah Whiteside-like injury. "We try to compete without that big hit. (The Whiteside injury) was because Antonio (Heffner) led him back into traffic. He didn't know he did anything wrong. Half the time when you see a receiver laying out there hurt, it's the quarterbacks fault."
Also worth noting is the trick plays both teams plan to unveil. The Black team had one completion from Mike West to Chris Smelly during practice, while Kenny McKinley hit Bobby Wallace for approximately twenty yards in the Garnet's practice.
With the Garnet offense stacked and defenses relatively even, this has the makings of a one-sided aerial assault. But this is Steve Spurrier, so a lopsided victory through the air should make it a fun day.
Important Note: For those of you planning on hitting the Garnett & Black game just before heading to The Sarge for some SEC baseball, reverse your plans and prepare to leave the baseball game around the sixth inning or sooner. Due to inclement weather, Carolina/Auburn has been moved up to a noon start.
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