First Injury and Team Looks Tired

On Monday, the football team started to show some fatigue from the ten days of two daily practices. The team also experiences its first significant injury...

The football team experienced its first significant injury when it was announced that Patrick Pierre-Louis, the JC transfer weakside linebacker, is out for 4-6 weeks due to a dislocated shoulder. One of the positions that was a question going into fall, Pierre-Louis was competing for the starting spot at weakside linebacker and his injury leaves the position thin for the first few weeks of the season. Toledo said that Spencer Havner, the redshirt freshman who has been working with the #1 defense, will be the starter for the Colorado State game. Toledo said, "We also have [walkon] Nick Carey there. And Wesley Walker is coming on as a true freshman. We'll just have to wait and see if he'll need to play." Toledo ruled out the possibility of moving another player to the position, particularly Marcus Reese. "We don't want to do that if we can help it. He's comfortable at Mike, the inside strong backer, so we don't want to have to do that."

Monday's practice was ragged, including a few fumbles, some interceptions and some easy sacks by the defense. Head Coach Bob Toledo attributed it to fatigue and a week and a half of two-a-day practices:

"I think when you've been out here and you've been going double sessions and you're banging on each other and your legs are dead, it's going to be a little ragged. We understand that. We just keep pushing them. We're actually getting the tempo a little faster. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we're going to stress them real good, to get them ready to play in a game. We kind of build. Over the years, we've been pretty good early in the season. So, we have a plan. They're going to be tired, beat up, sore, and you don't expect to be perfect right now. They're tired and beat up. I don't like it. I don't condone it. And I'm after them, but we have to all understand that's what's going to happen."

Rod Leisle worked more with the first team defense Monday afternoon. Sean Phillips and Steve Morgan shuttled in at the other starting defensive tackle spot.

It was perhaps the worst day collectively for the quarterbacks. Paus looked tired, without much zip on the ball. He threw perhaps one of his best balls of the spring to start the 7-on-7 drill, a strike on a 20-yard out to tight end Keith Carter, who made a very good grab. But Paus was mediocre from there on out. Drew Olson took most of the snaps reserved for the #2 quarterback, and also looked off for the day.

While it's hard to know how much to conclude right now due to fatigue from two-a-days, the offense is still waiting to get in a rhythm. There have been signs, especially on the last couple of practices at Cal Lutheran, when the quarterbacks and the receivers were starting to gel. But the offense is still trying to find itself.

The defense continues to look pretty sharp, though, comparatively to the offense. Today, the run defense was very effective in stuffing the run, and pass coverage blanketed receivers. Even when the ball was caught, such as on one throw caught by Craig Bragg, if Matt Ware had been able to hit Bragg, he would have laid him out.

J.D. Groves got some time with the first team offense, with Pat Norton out with a sprained ankle. Toledo said he expected Norton to be back soon and able to play against Colorado State.

Matt Kocher, the walkon defensive tackle, saw some time with the second team defense, more than likely a result of some good plays in Saturday's scrimmage.

Really the biggest day of fall practice will be this Wednesday, when the team travels to the Rose Bowl for a closed scrimmage. It's kind of the final of the exam for the players fighting for a position on the depth chart, which will be announced the next day, Thursday. From there, game preparation for Colorado State begins on Thursday. BRO will be at the scrimmage on Wednesday and supply a detailed report.

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