The trio of quarterbacks had their share of struggles. No. 1 quarterback Matt Kegel played sub par, completing 7-of-14 passes for 58 yards. Sophomore Chris Hurd was the most effective but threw the least, connecting on 6-of-10 for 73 yards. Josh Swogger launched several bombs but made his share of freshman errors, connecting on 8-of-19 for 98 yards to lead the three.
"Matt didn't have a great day today, he's had better," head coach Bill Doba said. "But he'll be okay. "Ol' Swoggs threw some great passes today (He) has a nice touch."
The defense continued to dominate as they always do during the spring. Tai Tupai, Matt Mullenix, Brian Hall, Scott Davis, Ira Davis and David Lowry all recorded sacks. The defense also stymied the offense with two blocked field goals. Which brings the question of the reliability of the offensive line - - who are playing without all-Pac-10 hoss Calvin Armstrong - - to the forefront once again.
"They're making progress even though (offensive line coach) George (Yarno) probably doesn't think so," Doba said referring to Yarno's always-intense approach to coaching.
Doba did express some concern for the entire offense, as did Yarno and offensive coordinator Mike Levenseller.
"I'm not real pleased with them right now," Levenseller said. "We just aren't very accurate throwing or running routes. Other times we'll be real good. We just need a consistent level of play. It's typical of spring play."
The offense did receive a quality performance from running back Jermaine Green who rushed for 72 yards on seven carries. On one play Green was greeted by a mob of Cougar defenders, yet somehow emerged from the pile, dusting them off before being tripped up at the 5-yard line, for a 45-yard run. He would later weave his way in for a touchdown.
"Green makes a tremendous difference out there for us," Doba said.
Allen Thompson also played well, carrying 10 times for 34 yards. Jonathan Smith played one series and sat out the rest of the scrimmage, but junior Blair Hawkins filled in nicely, carrying 14 times for 43 yards and one touchdown.
Hurd looked as if he'd be able to get the offense their first touchdown after Kegel struggled in the first series of the afternoon. He drove the ball 22 yards from their own 35, before hop-scotching his way through the defense for a 17-yard run to the 30-yard line. But Hurd could not get the offense any farther. Drew Dunning's field goal attempt was blocked and linebacker Al Genatone ran it 68 yards to pay dirt.
Jevon Miller continued to impress at receiver, catching four passes for 45 yards. McKenzie Hansell caught two for 45. Marty Martin, Adam West and Brett Johnson each had over 20 yards receiving, combining for 93 yards and 10 receptions. The Cougars also made good use of their wealth at the tight end position hitting Troy Bieneman, West, Cody Boyd and Jesse Taylor five times for 48 yards.
One reason the defense probably had so many sacks was the time the quarterbacks took with the ball. Each signal-caller seemed to be taking an unusual amount of time trying to find an open target. Eventually the offensive line would be overpowered and the quarterbacks either threw it away or were sacked. When in trouble, Swogger seemed to drift the farthest back of any of the quarterbacks making it even harder for him to gain positive yards.
Yarno didn't seem concerned with how long the quarterbacks took with the ball, as far as he was concerned the offensive line keeps blocking until the play is over.
"We're just going to have to block longer then," he said. "That's the bottom line."
The always fiery Yarno became extremely upset at one point during the scrimmage when Riley Fitt-Chappell was bowled over by true-freshman Brian Hall, who laid Hurd flat, for a sack. Yarno was so furious he immediately pulled Fitt-Chappell telling him he would be demoted to third string.
"He didn't see the back run through and it's like the fifth consecutive day he's missed it," Yarno said. "If it happe