Practice Report: 8.17.15

We take a look at Will Trevillion switching to center, how the Bobcats looked in their scrimmage last night and the competition at kicker.

With the team in full pads and plenty of referees on hand (13 by my count), Texas State held a scrimmage at the end of practice last night. While the defense had a strong outing, Head Coach Dennis Franchione didn’t mince words when he voiced his displeasure with his offense.

“They were terrible last night,” said Franchione. “Unfortunately, that’s the way things go sometimes at practice, things are a little up and down. We didn’t execute well last night, we missed some assignments, we didn’t block very well. We would have gotten beat by 150 if we played Florida State last night. It just wasn’t a good night.”

The offense struggled moving the ball through the air as the defense clamped down on most of the passing routes. Junior QB Tyler Jones didn’t throw any picks but he had a hard time finding an open receiver. If there was a gem on offense last night, it was freshman wide receiver Justin Gamble. He made a handful of plays running with the second unit, including a 50-yard score on a seam route in which he burned everybody on defense. He also showed off some nice moves on punt return.

They did have success on the ground but the defense wasn’t really trying to take anybody down. They were “thud tackling” as Coach Fran likes to call it.

Coach Fran was a little happier with this morning’s practice, as the offense looked better, “ They did bounce back,” said Franchione. “ They accepted the responsibility and they did a nice job of putting it on their shoulders. Meetings were ugly last night for them. They knew that, they didn’t like what they saw and they wanted to fix it. That’s what you respect about your players and that’s what I like about my team. They do accept those kinds of things now, were maybe a couple, three years ago they didn’t understand that factor. Their expectations are high so they want to fix things and they want to know how to fix things and they want to get it right. You either strive through practice or you survive through practice. The guys that want to get it right, the tough ones, they strive.”

Senior Will Trevillion’s progression at center hit a bit of a bump today as he struggled on snaps. He still seems to be in D-Lineman-mode when goes to block. He lunges forward with all his momentum in his body, instead of popping up and punching with hands. When he lunges, it’s easier for the defender to move to the side, push Trevillion to the ground and go around him, as has been happening in practice. All of this is technical stuff that can be cleaned up in practice. When he does lock on properly with a good initial punch, he looks as good as any OL out there.

“(Trevillion) has looked good, he’s a smart kid,” said OL Coach Brad Bedell. “He’s learning the offense, moving over from defense is always a little different, but he has experience playing there in high school. He’s done an extremely good job coming into the meeting room and spending some extra time with me. He’s progressing but us coaches want it done yesterday. We need to get him toned up on some of the details. That’ll come this week and as we go on further.”

Giuliano Cattaneo has been running with the first team at center as Jackson Hoskins continues to do work on the sideline. Hoskins has been dressing for practice and moves around doing various drills with the trainers so it doesn’t seem to be anything serious. It does seem that Trevillion’s position switch is indicative to their lack of depth at center more so than it is a surplus of depth at DT. Freshman Tryston Mizerak saw a few reps at center with the third unit this morning.

Senior WR Brandon Smith, sophomore CB Brandon McDowell and senior C.J. Best joined Gamble returning punts. All four had some decent returns but Gamble and McDowell looked the best. Again, they were “thud tackling” so no real threat of danger. That being said, I like McDowell’s chances of being the punt returner.

There is some competition with the kickers between freshman James Sherman and junior Lumi Kaba. Kaba is by far the better punter and kick-off specialist. I was really impressed with his punting ability last night. All his kicks were high, far and stayed in bounds. Sherman’s were low and died after about 35-40 yards. Kaba was blasting them 45 yards and further each time.

On field goals, Sherman has the slight edge throughout camp but Kaba ended practice today with a 45-yard made FG, while Sherman’s attempt was short and wide left.


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