Red-Black Report Card

Joe Yeager hands out the grades following the spring game. Did any position get an A ?

Quarterbacks: On a day that, for all intents and purposes, was dominated by the defense, the Red Raider quarterbacks did not shine. Michael Brewer, who started the game, was the best of the bunch, though. His accuracy was pretty good, he used his legs to good effect, and he didn't throw any interceptions. Still, and like Davis Webb, Brewer never really got the offense in synch and finished few drives with points. Webb completed only 17 of 30 passes and threw a horrendous interception to J. J. Gaines. It was a classic case of freshman vapor lock. Clayton Nicholas rallied the offense, but did so against defensive players who will see little real action this season.

 

Grade: C

 

Running Backs: You can't blame the offense's struggles on Kenny Williams and Quinton White, the two backs who got the lion's share of the carries. Williams and White were good plow-horses, plugging for 130 yards and averaging 4.33 yards per attempt. Now we knew coming in that Williams was a tough runner and that White was elusive, but the latter demonstrated on several carries that he can lower his shoulder and churn through tackles. White's power is impressive for a back of his diminutive stature. White did have a red zone fumble, however. 

 

Grade: B-

 

Receivers: A significant chunk of the quarterbacks' difficulties can be laid squarely on the shoulders of  Tech's depleted receiving corps. Dropped passes were endemic, and Reg Davis, who started the game, led the miss parade with three drops. Jakeem Grant was, with the exception of one nice crossing route, bottled up. He also had a drop. Derreck Edwards, who had dropped more than he caught coming into the Red-Black Scrimmage, had the play of the day, hauling in a long touchdown bomb from Davis Webb. Jace Amaro, however, was the star. He caught everything in his area code and looked like everything you want in a receiving tight end.

 

Grade: C-

 

Offensive Line: The line gave up four sacks in a scrimmage situation where a touch counts as a sack. That's not terrific, but given how far down the line is on numbers, it's really not bad either. On the whole, the quarterbacks had ample time to throw the football. Matt Wilson, however, struggled in protection from the tackle position. Run blocking was adequate, maybe slightly better than that, but nothing special. Centers Jared Kaster and Tony Morales fired many an errant shotgun snap, and those hardly help the QBs.

 

Grade: C

 

Defensive Line: Many folks have touted the defensive line as a team strength and its performance in the scrimmage did nothing to disprove them. Donte Williams got a sack, Anthony Smith would have had one if he hadn't pulled up, and Dartwan Bush, created pressure and tipped a pass. Waller, Texas walk-on Jordan Hamilton forced a fumble and tallied four tackles. He looks like he could be a factor and a pleasant surprise.

 

Grade: A-

 

Linebackers: The defensive line occupied blockers well, which freed up the linebackers, and they took advantage. Will Smith had a very productive scrimmage with 10 tackles. Micah Awe recorded several explosive hits. Chris Payne was a presence all over the field. And the entire linebacking unit did a great job of dropping deep into coverage and disrupting passes. Payne, Awe and Black Dees all recorded impressive pass breakups.

 

And it's time somebody started talking about Kris Williams. The redshirt freshman made noise in the first two scrimmages, and did the same in the Red-Black. Once may be happenstance and twice coincidence, but the third time it's just danged good play.

 

There were a couple of missed tackles by the linebackers, but not many!

 

Grade: A-

 

Secondary: A bit of a mixed bag here. Austin Stewart had a few nice plays and J. J. Gaines got a pick that was gift-wrapped by Davis Webb. Brandon Bagley did a decent job in coverage, too, and Keenan Ward had a good day. But the corners were beaten deep too often; fortunately for them, and with Derreck Edwards' long TD over Thierry Nguema duly noted, the Tech quarterbacks couldn't find the mark or there would have been some long scorchers.

 

Grade: B

 

Special Teams: The only thing observable here was Ryan Bustin's trio of short, missed field goals. Frankly, he has been miserable in the scrimmages. If Bustin has been performing in practice like he has before the public, Kliff Kingsbury and Trey Haverty have issues at placekicker.

 

Grade: F

 

 


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