Saturday Scrimmage Notes and Observations

Notes and observations from the Horns' Saturday scrimmage at DKR.

Formation variation: The Texas offense employed a number of different formations throughout the scrimmage. On the opening series -- one offense vs. one defense -- the Horns went three wide (Tony Jeffery and Brian Carter each time with Eric Enard and Limas Sweed rotating as the third receiver) and Cedric Benson as a single back four times in seven plays. The Vince Young-led offense went with two tight ends (David Thomas and Bo Scaife) twice on the drive, with Benson running wide right for a short gain on one play and Young tossing behind a crossing Thomas incomplete at the goalline. The Horns also lined up in the I on one play, with Benson following Will Matthews up the middle for a gain of 12. Later in the scrimmage, the O also occasionally worked out of the off-set I.

Four by four: After the "first" group of receivers listed above, Tyrell Gatewood and Billy Pittman comprise the next two, with Nathan Jones and Myron Hardy rounding out the four-some. Pittman, though, suffered a shoulder injury on an end around when Michael Huff sideswiped him as he motored up the right sideline mid-way through the scrimmage. The redshirt freshman wideout, shoulder iced on the bench, did not return.

If the season had started today: Tarell Brown would be the team's No. 1 left corner. Brown worked with the one defense while Aaron Ross scrimmaged with the twos. Cedric Griffin got the start on the right side, with Brandon Foster getting the second-team reps. Michael Griffin would be the team's nickel back. Kaelen Jakes worked at left DE on the twos' first series, with Neale Tweedie taking over at the spot on the twos' next series. Brian Orakpo held down the right DE spot for the twos.

True freshmen on the two-deep: DT Frank Okam, DE Orakpo and LT Tony Hills (Hills is from the class of '03 but didn't report to campus till this spring, so is still a true freshman). Others who are realistically competing for fall playing time: WR Nathan Jones, WR Myron Hardy, MLB Rashad Bobino, RB Ramonce Taylor, SS Drew Kelson, DT Derek Lokey.

Maybe it is a "battle": Although sophomore SAM linebacker Garnet Smith started with the ones, Stevie Stigall took over at the spot on the ones' second series. The coaches apparently are giving the senior walk-on a serious look for meaningful fall playing time.

It looks good on the stat sheet: Two of Vince Young's long completions weren't exactly well placed passes. On the ones' second possession, the sophomore QB threw behind Tony Jeffery on a deep cross, but with Michael Huff several steps off of Jeffery's back, the senior receiver was able to haul in the 32-yard completion. Later, Vince threw one up for grabs into double coverage at the goalline, but David Thomas bailed out his QB with a leaping TD grab over Aaron Ross and another defender (Marcus Griffin, I believe).

Playmakers:

Vince Young (25-yard scamper on the scrimmage's opening play; a 16-yard perfectly placed on-the-run toss to Enard at the right sideline; another strike, this one 17 yards downfield to Scaife);

Cedric Benson (back-to-back 15- and 12-yard gains on the opening drive);

Derrick Johnson (met Vince Young in the backfield for a one-yard loss on third-and-five and then besting that on the next play by blocking a David Pino 32-yard field goal attempt);

Michael Griffin (an INT and nine-yard return on a Matt Nordgren over-the-middle attempt for Steven Hogan);

Robert Killebrew (stuffed back-up fullback Albert Hardy at the line of scrimmage);

Frank Okam (sacked Matt Nordgren);

Richmond McGee (a 43-yard rain maker, forcing a Selvin Young fair catch);

Tarell Brown (an up the middle block of Greg Johnson's punt attempt);

Erik Hardeman (back-to-back nine- and 11-yard gains vs. the first-team D, the second of which he followed on the back of a pulling Terrance Young before cutting upfield);

Billy Pittman (24 yards up the right sideline on an end around);

Selvin Young (after fielding an approximately 30-yard line drive punt from Taylor Landin, raced 73 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown; a 14- and then nine-yard gain ending in the end zone as the first offense punched it in on four plays from 28 out; a 10-yard dart up the middle against the second D);

Derek Lokey (surged into the backfield on the snap, forcing an Eric Foreman fumble that the defense recovered).


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