Three-star quarterback Lindsey Scott and athlete Moe Neal both represented the National squad in the Offense-Defense All-American Game on Friday, which was aired on ESPN3. They lost to the American team 37-34 on a walk-off field goal, but both had some nice moments. The two Syracuse commits connected on four passes totalling 24 yards.
The highlight of those connections came early, when Scott found Neal on a third and 9 for a 12-yard gain. Neal ran a square in and came open across the middle. Scott identified him and threw a pass that was slightly behind Neal, who had to adjust and come back to the ball. He did so nicely and snatched the ball back across his body.
Neal was not heavily involved in the game plan beyond that, and did not see much action lined up in the backfield. That was a bit of a disappointment, as the National squad failed to get Neal the ball in space to take advantage of his speed and shiftiness. Scott did target Neal on a corner route in the end zone in the first half, but it was thrown into a tight window and they could not make the connection as Neal tried to stay in bounds in the corner of the end zone.
Scott, however, was the only quarterback that played for the National squad and was their best player throughout most of the night. By CuseNation.com's calculation, his unofficial stat line was 15-20 passing for 194 yards and an interception. Scott also ran for 94 yards on 19 carries including two touchdowns and a two-point conversion. He was sacked twice for a loss of 27 yards, which were not backed out of his 94 rushing yards.
Scott said the experience of playing in the O-D All-American Bowl helps in preparing for the college game.
"Just preparing for the next level," he said. "I'm going to enhance every bit of my game and just try to be ready to make an impact for my team."
He was fantastic on Friday. He made good decisions, threw an accurate ball, made the correct reads on the zone-read, was elusive in the pocket and dangerous in the open field, and brought his team back from a 14 point deficit in the fourth quarter to give them a chance to win.
Unfortunately, after getting the ball back with about one minute left in the game with a tie score, Scott threw an interception which led to the game winning field goal. Scott said it was just a great play by the defensive back. He was trying to hit the slot receiver on an out route about 15 yards down field.
The receiver looked open as the corner covering him was playing off and leaning towards the inside of the field. However, the corner playing the outside receiver, who ran a short curl, came off of his man as soon as Scott started his motion and jumped in front of the slot receiver to pick it off.
It was the only mistake Scott made all game, and one that was more about another player making a great play rather than him making a poor one.
Regardless, Scott showed he can make all of the throws, has good arm strength and is extremely elusive against the rush. He avoided multiple sacks that a less mobile quarterback would have been unable to escape. On designed runs, he proved to have speed, elusivness and vision.
Scott threw the ball with anticipation as well on a number of throws, something that is encouraging when projecting him to the next level. He hit the post, the corner, the in, the out, comeback routes and bubbles on Friday. It was a very promising performance and one that should have Syracuse fans excited.
In addition to the football side of things, Scott was able to spend a lot of time with fellow Orange pledge Moe Neal. The two hung out together and bonded during their time in Daytona Beach.
"Just gettong to know each other and getting some chemistry going early was cool," Scott said. "And getting to throw him a few balls. He is a great guy."
Neal has already taken his official visit to Syracuse and is set to enroll in a couple of weeks. Scott has his official visit set for the weekend of January 22nd.
"I just want to experience the Hill," he said. "Meet some teammates and just get to know everybody."
Everybody includes the new coaching staff and head coach Dino Babers.