There were also fireworks of a more conventional nature.
Senior receiver Isiah Barton turned in the two offensive plays of the day. The first was a toe-dragging, diving catch for a 40-yard gain. The second was an end-around, fly-sweep that beat the defense for a 20-yard gain.
Defensive highlights included linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis's pick six off Marshall Lobbestael, and cornerback Damante Horton's three pass deflections while defending Marquess Wilson.
As a whole, the No. 1 defense turned in a strong performance against the offensive number ones, forcing quarterback Jeff Tuel to look for more options or tucking and running. Some of the defensive packages Tuel stared down were a little different then what he's seen before.
"We were able to add in a few new things today which was nice and liked how that turned out," said defensive coordinator Chris Ball.
That's just a piece of what's being done to get the Cougars out of the national cellar in a number of defensive statistical categories.
"We need to be better tacklers and we need to stop the run, those are some things we're really going to focus on this spring," he said. "So far, (I) love the energy that we've came out with and love what I'm seeing."
The defense spent a good portion of team drills focusing on stopping the run against the offensive scout team. Much of the run-stopping will be expected out of a solid returning linebacker corps led by Hoffman-Ellis and C.J. Mizell.
"With their size and athletic ability, I think we can get a lot done. They're big, they're all over 230, they can run and they're real physical," said Ball.
On the offensive side, Tuel took the majority of snaps with the ones and completed all his passes in 11 on 11 drills to Wilson, senior Jared Karstetter and junior Gino Simone.
"Jeff is starting out this spring with 12 games under his belt (from last year) and we expect him to make that next step now," said offensive coordinator Todd Sturdy. " He's starting out at a whole different spot than a year ago -- and with his growth and maturity as a player at a high level, we expect him to make that next step."