Fall Practice Report #10
"If you guys run half-speed, I'm going to make you run it again. Somebody explain to me how that saves you any work and isn't a waste of time."
Graham Harrell returned to dominant form today after having two rare off days. Harrell was excellent in the red zone, throwing for three touchdowns. I am continually impressed by how he puts his passes where only the receivers have a shot at them. Graham's fade throws are still damn near flawless, and should result in a ton of touchdowns this season. The defensive backs were playing some great coverage today, but Harrell still got the ball to the receivers. Also impressive was that Harrell's success came with Filani still out of practice due to injury.
Chris Todd had a good day as well, but unlike Harrell, the defensive backs were able to get in position to deflect several of his passes. It still seems like Chris tries to force too many throws into coverage. It is good see that Todd is confident in his abilities, but he will need to become a bit more risk-averse before he has a legitimate shot at the starting job. Still, Chris has tremendous potential, and has plenty of time to become something really special.
Taylor Potts got more reps than usual today, and did fairly well. Potts' main weakness is his touch. Taylor seems to throw the ball as hard as he can on any route, even when it's unnecessary. Christian Sterling is beginning to show some promise as a receiver, as he used his physicality to outmuscle one of the DBs today. We're still waiting on Derek Shaw to arrive.
Harrell 21-26, 135 yards, 3 TD
Todd 15-24, 98 yards, 2 TD
Just as I started to say that Kobey Lewis was slipping down the depth chart, he has a big day. Kobey had a great run for TD, and also laid a great block today on big Tyler Yenzer this afternoon. However, his competition for second-string, Baron Batch, simply refuses to be outdone. Batch is very easy to root for, because his determination is one of the reasons he will be a great back. Oh, and Baron has quite a bit of talent, speed, and size as well. Shannon Woods was shut down pretty well today, and no RB had a great day receiving out of the backfield.
Full Scrimmage Statistics:
Shannon Woods: 3 rush for 37 yards, TD; 3 catches for 9 yards
Baron Batch: 3 rushes for 39 yards, TD; 4 catches for 11 yards, TD
Kobey Lewis: 3 rushes for 37 yards; 5 catches for 9 yards
Chris Cunigan was the big surprise today. He made a great TD catch, and finally is looking like his healthy self again. Edward Britton was a bit of a shock as well with his play. Michael Crabtree continues to be incredibly productive for a freshman, and will see the field this year. However, the most impressive effort of the day might go to Todd Walker, who had two excellent routes and TD catches. Todd was getting more excited than I've ever seen him before, as he is usually a quiet guy. Danny Amendola's numbers weren't the slew of 5-10 yard catches that he usually has, rather coming on one big gain play on a deep inside slant. Jarrett Hicks returned to practice today, and was productive as always. Joel Filani is moving around better and better each day, and should return to practice soon. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about L.A. Reed yet. He was walking around under his own power, but had a noticeable limp. Robert Johnson also left practice early with a slight muscle pull, but he was hardly showing any signs of lasting effects, and hit the bikes to finish off the practice. I expect Robert to return very shortly. Adrian Reese once again looked good, but may need to hit the weight room to prepare for Big 12 play. Landon Hoefer is looking like he really wants to move up the depth chart with his play. Eric Morris is great on quick-hitting routes, and got a TD because of it today. Grant Walker was not as productive as usual, but still had a solid outing.
Cumulative Practice Statistics:
Chris Cunigan: 4 catch for 46 yards, TD
Edward Britton: 3 catches for 29 yards
Michael Crabtree: 3 catches for 28 yards
Todd Walker: 4 catches for 23 yards, 2 TD
Danny Amendola: 1 catch for 22 yards
Jarrett Hicks: 2 catches for 22 yards
Adrian Reese: 1 catch for 17 yards
Landon Hoefer: 3 catches for 12 yards
Eric Morris: 2 catches for 9 yards, TD
Grant Walker: 1 catch for 5 yards
The big stories here were the absence of Manny Ramirez and the injury suffered by Gabe Hall. It is unclear at this time why Ramirez was not playing, and the severity of Hall's injury is as yet to be disclosed. Gabe's injury occurred when he and Keyunta Dawson got their legs tied up in the backfield, and Gabe went down awkwardly on his knee. Hall did leave under his own power, which was encouraging. In Gabe and Manny's absence, the line changed things up quite a bit. Josh Aleman became the center, Brandon Jones moved over to RG, and Marlon Winn became the RT. Shawn Byrnes also saw time at center. Brandon Jones had the best outing of the group with one particularly nice block that sprung Batch for a big gain. Glenn, Ofa, and Louis Vasquez did very well protecting the left side of the line this afternoon. We will update Hall's injury and Manny's reason for absence as soon as that information is made availiable.
The defensive line once again took advantage of a weakened offensive line, and had another impressive outing. Dek Bake was the big star this afternoon, putting pressure on the quarterbacks all afternoon. It was great to see his talents finally show through in Fall practice. Chris Hudler and Jake Ratliff had good days as well. Richard Jones and Brian Jones each recorded a TFL this afternoon. Jared Williams and Keyunta Dawson were very disruptive as well. Keyunta Dawson is constantly wreaking havoc on the offense with his movement and speed. I believe every bit of his 4.4 speed. He might be even faster than that ever since he dropped some weight for the LB position over the summer. Keyunta is just flat-out scary.
The linebackers had a relatively quiet practice. Paul Williams, Kellen Tillman, and Brock Stratton did well in assisting the defensive line on pressuring the quarterbacks, but the unit as a whole struggled with pass coverage for the first time in Fall practice. Fletcher Session was surprisingly subdued, after some strong performances thus far. The newcomers got quite a bit of playing time today, so that may have contributed to the unit's troubles today. Marlon Williams, Dewayne Baziel, and Brian Duncan all appear as if they are going to redshirt based on their lack of practice time. Still, the unit has proven itself several times already, so I'm not particularly worried.
Joe Garcia is having a very strong Fall, as he is progressing well and proving to be a coverage threat as well as a run-stopper. Even without Hines' injury, it would have been hard to not start Garcia considering his play thus far. Chris Parker was not in pads today, and the team is just ensuring that he stays healthy. Pete Richardson had a touchdown-saving deflection this afternoon, and has great coverage skills. Antonio Huffman still may be the best cover guy on the team, though. Huffman always seems to put himself in the spot to make a play. Darcel McBath is phenomenal at breaking to the ball, getting between the ball and the receiver today to record yet another big deflection. Franklin Mitchem had a huge hit on Baron Batch today in addition to all of the other great play by the secondary. Leonard Hewitt was once again in attendance today, which hopefully indicates that he is interested in doing what it takes to join the team in the future. Nevertheless, the unit is looking awfully talented.
Now lets hand out some awards:
Best Overall Unit:
Best Individual Performance:
Mr. Underrated: (tie)