Friday Scrimmage Report & Quotes

Head coach Rick Neuheisel talked about the scrimmage, along with Tony Dye and Randall Carroll, plus more notes from the Friday session...

RICK NEUHEISEL

Opening statement:

‘'Pleased with the work. Some good things. I thought Randall Carroll showed. Jerry Johnson, Ricky Marvray, all made plays. They need to make plays. That was important. Nelson (Rosario) had a little bit of an issue with a rash that they needed to check, make sure it wasn't anything real dangerous, so he went over to get blood work, that's why he didn't play. Taylor (Embree) we played a little bit, but the goal was to get those other guys a lot of reps so that we could develop that position a little bit.

  ‘'We hope like heck we can get (Joe) Fauria a lot of work next week because he's been nicked up. I just was told (Kai) Maiava's injury was a knee sprain, not thought to be too significant. We'll see if he can get back for the rest of spring. And, what else can I tell you …

Do you think you lit a fire under them at all, calling them out, the offense, yesterday?

  ‘'Well, I just call it like it is. We did not come out and play like an offense that needed desperately to improve yesterday. I thought it was better today. Still, lots of work to be done. There's a lot of moving parts in this stuff. If we're going to be in this stuff and we're going to say that this is who we are and try to get to that point, we've got to be a heck of a lot better at it than this. If we can't get that done in 15 practices, then we have to ask ourselves if it's prudent to stay in it and that's where we are.''

Are you concerned about the snapping issues with the backups?

  ‘'Huge issues. I mean, you've got to be able to exchange the football. And, we've got to work the extra overtime to get thjat done if we're going to be in an offense that's going to require that.''

What were your impressions of (Kevin) Prince and (Richard) Brehaut?

  ‘'Uh, saw some good things. I still think we've got to be … sometimes when you don't let the quarterback be live,  there's a cocoon feeling, like they can stand there all day, and they've got to feel this pressure. You can't look at it, because your eyes have to be occupied down the field, but you've got to feel it and get it your of your hand on check downs. I think both of them can get much better at that.''

I know you have to look at the film, but your general feeling from the last scrimmage to this time around, improvement?

  ‘'I see good things. We practiced Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, so we were a little leg weary today, but I like that we came out and were physical again, that we were banging again. And, that's what you need to be a competitive team. That all was going well. I think with two days off we'll come back and hopefully be much better a week from now.''

You said Randall showed today. What did you mean by that?

  ‘'I just thought he made some real good plays. I saw one play in particular he did a nice job blocking. But, you know, with the ball in traffic he made catches. And, obviously, that touchdown catch was a huge boon.''

Anybody else stand out for you on offense?

  ‘'You know, I thought Derrick Coleman did a nice job on that one drive, kind of putting the team on his shoulders, getting some hard yards inside, running like we need him to run. I always hesitate to just single out guys because you're leaving somebody out because you're not watching the tape, you know? But those are the guys that come to mind.''

Jayson Allmond?

  ‘'Jayson Allmond is getting there. He's a work in progress. You know, we've moved him back to a tailback spot. He's still trying to learn everything, but he's certainly a big enough guy.''

Do you have a fullback?

  ‘'Uh, this offense doesn't require a heck of a lot. But we're not out of a fullback offense, if that's your question. We'll still have that when we get to the fall.''

SCRIMMAGE NOTES

The offense rebounded nicely from a ragged practice on Thursday - at least some of that malaise could be attributed to the installation of a lot of stuff that day. Kevin Prince was solid and Richard Brehaut had one of his better days of the spring, throwing some nice passes. …

Here are the stats from the scrimmage …

Passing (PC-PA-INT-YDS-TD)
Kevin Prince: 7-11-0-87-1 (37 yards)
Richard Brehaut: 11-17-1-106-2 (16 and 26 yards)
Clayton Tunney: 1-1-0-44-0
Ted Landers: 4-4-0-27-0

Rushing (TCB-YDS)
Johnathan Franklin: 9-37
Derrick Coleman: 9-25
Milton Knox: 7-24
Jayson Allmond: 6-24

Receiving (NO-YDS-TD)
Morrell Presley: 3-53-0
Randall Carroll: 3-50-1
Ricky Marvray: 3-36-1
Jerry Rice, Jr.: 3-21-0
Cory Harkey: 3-19-0
Taylor Embree: 2-32-1

Interceptions
Sheldon Price: 1

Sacks
Nate Chandler -2, Iuta Tepa 1, Datone Jones (1 plus 1 TFL on reverse), Donovan Carter 1

Cornerback Marlon Pollard, who has been out with a hamstring strain, was back on the field. Eddie Williams, who went down with an ankle injury late in practice on Thursday, was back with the No. 1 offense. Rosario, as Neuheisel said, was held out of the scrimmage. …

Carroll had a solid day and made some difficult catches, one as he was getting popped by Aaron Hester and another for a touchdown on which he lost his balance but still was able to reel in the pass, working against Sheldon Price. …

Jerry Johnson also made another nice leaping catch, going high over the middle for a 23-yard gain. Antwon Moutra had a bad drop early but came back to make a couple of nice catches. And Ricky Marvray and Brehaut team up for a nice 16-yard touchdown. Brehaut also hit Embree for a touchdown with a perfect 26-yard pass down the right sideline against Courtney Viney. …

Jerry Rice Jr. also made some nice plays, including a first-down catch on 4th-and-short in which he held the inside on a quick slant in front Andrew Abbott. …

Coleman, who has been inconsistent this spring, did have some nice bursts. …

Morrell Presley seems to have really taken to the blocking. Just about every day he has a nice block to spring a run and he did again, clearing space for Jonathan Franklin to churn out a nice gain. …

Datone Jones had a nice scrimmage. He had a sack and also made a nice play, staying home on a reverse to Damien Thigpen that went for an 8-yard loss. …

Thigpen had a very nice 60-yard punt return, sprung by a vicious block by Dalton Hilliard. …

Kai Forbath kicked field goals of 46, 42, 42 and 40 yards. …

Here is Prince on his day: ‘'I feel good. I feel really good. Yesterday, I felt was kind if slow partly because we installed so much and that was the first time I felt kind of uneasy with everything, because we put in quite a few a plays. But today I felt like I was back on track, back to the way I felt the first nine practices or so this spring. That comfort level is where I really need to be and that's where I can play my best. I feel like this next week will be very good for us and I think we'll finish strong on Saturday.''

The injury to Maiava was his left knee. …

Brehaut on his improvement since the last scrimmage: ‘'I think just my execution. Not making three good plays and a bad play, just being as consistent as I can. I studied as hard as I could so that I could come out here and just let it fly and I think I did that. I did what I wanted to do today and I thought I had a good day. The offensive line gave me plenty of time, the backs were running well, so when that's going on, it's hard to play bad in this offense.'' …

There were quite a few recruits and former players at the scrimmage. Maurice Jones-Drew was there, along with Justin Hickman and Brian Price. Dennis Keyes was there, as well as Brandon Chillar and Alterraun Verner. Among the recruits were Lakewood defensive lineman Todd Barr, Torrey Pines quarterback John Cabot and Oxnard Rio Mesa cornerback Marcus Alford. …   

As Neuheisel said, snaps in the Pistol offense were an issue and it was not just the No. 2 and No. 3 centers. Prince had a snap go over his head, and it was recovered in the end zone by Jones. ... Ryan Taylor also was called for a false start. ...

RANDALL CARROLL

You guys get chewed on a little in film last night?

  ‘'Yeah. Actually, yesterday's practice we got chewed out a lot. We had to do up-downs and stuff. We dropped a lot of balls and so today, you know, we had to come together as a unit. We don't want to put anyone down or leave anyone out. As a receiving corps we're trying to be the best in the nation so we came out here and tried to show people that come to support us. We had to put on a show and do some good things.''

What do you think has been the key in your development? Throw yesterday out, you've had a pretty good spring …

  ‘'I would say my focus, because last year I wasn't too focused. I was a freshman and I came in thinking I was going to play automatically and not appreciating the opportunity that I had. Now I appreciate it. I come out here and work hard every day, just trying to get better. I work on little things after practice, getting extra. That has helped me a lot this year.''

The extra, what is the most important thing you're taking from that?

  ‘'It's everything. It's the routes, concentration, being patient. I had to do a lot of growing up because last year, last season, my mind was really young so I was impatient, I wouldn't concentrate, and so Coach Neuheisel, Coach Moore and Coach Chow has been helping me a lot with that, growing up. And, so, with that I'm concentrating more, have more patience in my routes and just am understand the defenses a lot more so I'm getting better.''

Almost like a job sometimes, isn't it?

  ‘'Yeah, it is …''  

TONY DYE

The secondary has played really well this spring. You've got some veteran guys, but, really, are you playing about as well as you can at this point?

  ‘'Oh, no. There's always another level that you can get to, always a higher level. That's actually the motto right now - get to you highest level. I don't think any four of us, the starters or anybody, feels that they're there yet, especially myself. And, like you said, we're playing outstanding right now, but there's always a step up. That's just what we're aiming for everyday. That's why we come out here and get days like we got, where we shut the offense down. I love it. I love it a lot, but we have to get back in the film room and get it that much better, especially if we want to be the best in the nation.''

There were a lot of question for this defense coming into the spring, with all the seniors that you lost, but as a unit you guys are flying around pretty good …

  ‘'It's just like you said, flying around. That's the perfect term. We lose a lot of that thud mentality with Reggie (Carter) and Brian Price gone, but we make up for it now with everybody running. Everybody is running … we're humming right now. That's the overall theme of the defense, just run to the ball and get there angry. I think that's where we're really making up for it right now, just with our athletic ability and speed. It always helps when we have a secondary like we do now. We can go man coverage and then a lot of people can play the run. I think we'll be just fine in terms of making up for the losses we have.''

That speed covers up a lot. Faster could be better …

  ‘'Personally, that's what I believe. I'm taking speed over strength every day. If you can't catch me, how are you going to block me? So, I'm taking speed all day and that's what our defense has right now.''

It's been a little bit of an eye-opener …

  ‘'Has it? Does it look good from the sidelines? It looks good in the film room right now. Everybody is running to the ball. I love it.''


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