Fall Practice Report #16
After Huffman and Batch got into each other's face at the end of a play:
"Hey, now, come on. Friends for life."
Graham Harrell had another one of his good practices. Graham was accurate and unselfish, giving Shannon Woods two carries in the red zone rather than padding his stats. However, he did throw one ill-advised pass that Chad Hill should have intercepted. Still, Graham has prove to be a very reliable quarterback, and will be the starter for this year barring an injury.
That's not to say that Chris Todd is doing poorly. Quite the opposite, actually. His numbers are almost always impressive, and he has more big plays than Harrell does. His INT today came on a great play by Calen Schearer, and was one of those interceptions that can barely be blamed on the QB. Todd shows some serious potential as a Red Raider QB.
Derek Shaw was not in attendance today, so perhaps he was out working on getting the transfer paperwork finalized. Robert Johnson got to try his hand at QB today, as the team ran the double pass a few times. Johnson can still throw the ball just fine, just in case you were wondering. Hopefully Leach busts this play out some this season to surprise some teams. On a slightly related note, Leach's formations are hilarious. For example, one of then is called "laser." The audible for it is air quotes.
Harrell 19-23, 132 yards. 2 TD
Todd 20-25, 159 yards. 2 TD, INT
Shannon Woods was the star of the unit with his excellent running near the goal line. Shannon looked an awful lot like Taurean near the end zone, which is just fine by me. Baron Batch sprung Kobey Lewis for his TD run with an excellent block from the 2-back set. Batch is also proving to be the best catching out of the backfield. Kobey Lewis is probably the toughest to get a hand on of any of the backs. All of these guys have some real talent.
Full Scrimmage Statistics:
Shannon Woods: 3 rushes for 9 yards; 2 TD
Baron Batch: 3 rushes for 7 yards; 4 catches for 25 yards
Kobey Lewis: 4 rushes for 5 yards, TD; 1 catch for 2 yards
Landon Hoefer is a welcome surprise in a unit riddled with injuries. Robert Johnson returned to practice and did well, but Filani, Hicks, Michael Crabtree, and L.A. Reed took the day off. Danny Amendola was the only starter who played the whole afternoon. Fortunately, all of these players were running around very well, so as long as they are ready by the time the season rolls around, we'll be in good shape. Todd Walker had the kind of numbers that his brother Grant usually does, while Grant had a quiet day. Edward Britton is stepping up in Filani's place as well, and impressing everyone in the process. Kelly Hildebrandt finally got to play with some of the first-and-second team today, and made the most of it. Chris Cunigan, Eric Morris, and Adrian Reese all had light practices, but add significant depth to an already talented unit.
Cumulative Practice Statistics:
Landon Hoefer: 4 catches for 55 yards
Danny Amendola: 8 catches for 52 yards, TD, 1 rush for 3 yards
Todd Walker: 8 catches for 39 yards, TD
Robert Johnson: 4 catches for 38 yards, TD
Edward Britton: 3 catches for 38 yards
Kelly Hildebrandt: 2 catches for 12 yards, TD
Chris Cunigan: 1 catch for 11 yards
Eric Morris: 1 catch for 10 yards
Grant Walker: 1 catch for 8 yards
Adrian Reese: 1 catch for 5 yards
Brandon Jones is moving around better than I would have expected him to after yesterday's injury. Perhaps he will able to get back healthy by the beginning of the season after all. Gabe Hall and Ofa Mohetau were both out of practice once again until they can get back to 100%. In their absence, many different lineups are being experimented with. Rylan Reed and Marlon Winn were playing RT. Stephen Hamby tried his hand at RG while Manny Ramirez moved over to center, where he split the reps with Aleman. Chris Olson got work at both LG and RT today. On a positive note, Louis Vasquez and Glenn January were doing some fantastic run blocking on the left side of the line this afternoon. With all the shifting here, the unit did fairly well against a defensive line that was playing hard this afternoon.
Jake Ratliff and Tyler Yenzer stepped up today, and proved that the unit has more depth than many people are aware of. Brian Duncan also recorded a TFL this afternoon. Rajon Henley and Dek Bake both forced an incompletion each with their pressure today as well. Keyunta continues to be disruptive, allowing other players to step up when the offense keys on him. Seth Nitschmann is still hurt, but practiced a bit in the drills. The defensive line has been spectacular at capitalizing on weaknesses and mistakes, which is what makes them great.
Calen Schearer had a great practice this afternoon. Schearer had one play where he batted a pass up in the air, and fought through the line to grab the INT as well. Then, on the following play, he recorded a TFL on Baron Batch. Brent Slaughter had a TFL of his own. Chad Hill had a good deflection, although it should have been an INT. Paul Williams is a presence in the middle, and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Fletcher Session didn't practice today, but did not seem to be showing injury.
Darcel McBath forced a coverage sack by shadowing his man flawlessly in the end zone. Marcus Bunton wasn't quite as dominant as he had been this afternoon. Chris Parker was out of practice as usual. Jamar Wall is showing some solid coverage, and has the speed an jumping ability to become something special. Blake Collier is getting work on his agility, as the coaches are forcing him to cover the quick-footed recievers. Joe Garcia has a surprisingly quiet afternoon. Antonio Huffman was being a bit more physical today, which was nice to see. Still, the unit has done well.
Now lets hand out some awards:
Best Overall Unit: (tie)
Best Individual Performance: