8/22 (Thursday) Afternoon Practice Notes

Once again, the defense pretty well controlled the offense, in a practice with the most extended 11-on-11 work in full pads this fall. The good news is found in the defensive heroes, but do you worry about the offense? One safety measure seems foolproof for the O, though...

  • This was another practice where the defense got the best of the offense, swarming all over the field and stuffing plays. Particularly notable in a good chunk of 11-on-11 scrimmage work, where the defense stuffed seemingly every running play through much of the scrimmage. This was often the first string O-line, and the full complement of running backs taking their shots. The two biggest stuffs came from Jake Covault, shooting the gap with a solo stick in the backfield, and Capp Culver with the biggest hit of the day deep in the backfield. Culver's big shot gets an assist from Trevor Hooper, who actually was the man to get JR Lemon's leg with his arm, forcing him to redirect instead of hitting a hole for a big gain. Hooper was upset after practice that he didn't finish the tackle himself, though it was a great play. Culver enjoyed the hit, which he later called the best in his young Stanford term.
  • The running game did finally turn it on very late, almost like a light switch. Lemon was the man to start breaking tackles and picking up yardage, leading three runs that ended in touchdown pay dirt.
  • There was good work on the goal line situations, which had mixed success for both sides. The most notable play actually came away from the pile, when Julian Jenkins made a big solo stuff of the QB on play-action. Most of the defense bit, but Julian took off for the QB immediately and would have inflicted major pain if not for the yellow jersey. Good stuff. Also some interesting formations from the defense on the goal line, which I of course cannot divulge...
  • The picks of the day came from OJ Atogwe and Michael Craven. Both were predicated on instincts, breaking on the ball early to snag it in front of a receiver.
  • The best pass break-ups of the day came from Leigh Torrence and TJ Rushing. Both aggressive, with late swipes at that last moment to knock the ball away or out of the receivers hands.
  • Reaffirming that Brian Head really is the uber-reserve on this offensive line, he is getting a lot of reps inside to ensure his readiness. And he is playing well for a redshirt frosh who lost most of his fall last year.
  • The offensive star of the day was unquestionably Brett Pierce. Not to be outdone with some of the recent fireworks by Alex Smith, Pierce was a black hole in practice - anything at or near him was gobbled up. He is running routes all over the field, and picks them from high in the air, or diving at the sideline to pick them off the ground. Watching this, you have to believe that the only thing that can limit his stats is the number of throws his way. Un-friggin'-believable.
  • More good stuff from Luke Powell, Ryan Wells and Nick Sebes in the receiving game. Luke had several great snags on tough balls. He's coming back...
  • Faces in the crowd still includes several parents, including Earl Landry, Bill Eklund, Hank Wilson (grandpa), Ed Culver and Marcy Dockery (Hooper's mom).

The Bootleg Top Stories