Here’s a bit more from the scrimmage. …
— The three TDs were passes from Ronnie Fouch of 16 yards to Anthony Boyles — in which Fouch rolled one way then threw back the other hitting Boyles on a fade — and 15 yards to Cody Bruns; and Keith Price of four yards to true frosh TE Marlion Barnett. Coach Steve Sarkisian said he liked the play of each of the young QBs today. “I liked what Ronnie did today, shoot, a couple of nice touchdown passes, some nice conversions. I think Keith Price, obviously you see his athleticism. The overall knowledge of our scheme obviously isn’t there yet, but you see that the guy is a play maker, a football player, and I think his future is very bright.” A lot of Price’s runs came when he didn’t see an open receiver and instead took off, showing good deicision-making ability. As noted earlier, he had 33 yards on seven carries.
— Sarkisian on the running backs: “I loved all three backs. I loved what (Johri) Fogerson, (Chris) Polk and (Curtis) Shaw all brought. That’s not to discount Demitrius Bronson and Willie Griffin, but I thought our running backs played well.”
— The running game ended up with 197 yards on 36 carries. Again, much of that was the two and three offense against the two and three defense. I had the No. 1 offense gaining 14 yards on four carries in its two series against the No. 1 defense, 11 coming on one run from Willie Griffin. Still, it seemed like the offensive line did a better job today, as Sarkisian noted later. “They were really good yesterday (Monday) night,” he said. “It might not have noticed it because it felt like the defense really dominated the team period. But when you went back and looked at it, the offense really performed well, and it did again today.”
— If there was a star of the day, it was probably Fogerson, who had 156 yards of total offense. It’s obvious he loves the return to tailback, which I detailed in this story the other day. Fogerson said after the scrimmage today that “I picked it up (running back) a lot faster than I thought I would. I just want to continue making progress as fast as I can.”
— Said Sarkisian of Fogerson: “He’s just a good kid. I feel like he’s almost taken a breath of fresh air that he’s back on offense. He feels good, believes in what he’s doing, and I’m happy for him.”
— The improved O-line has coincided with the move of Nick Scott to the first unit. Here’s what Sarkisian had to say about that: “We’re just trying to keep competition alive and trying to reward guys for doing things right, and that’s been the theme of training camp has been opportunity and competition and we’d be wrong not to reward guys that are playing well. So I think it feels good to Nick Scott to get to go with the ones and also motivates Drew Schaefer to get going and keep competing and battle.”
— But as is always the case, one side playing well means another may not have, as Sarkisian acknowledged. “It’s not just the O-line, it’s the tight ends and fullbacks and receivers blocking downfield to create big runs. I think our running game in general was pretty impressive and we have to see why and how that happened. Was it effort? Was it scheme? Was it missed assignments on defense. We have to look at all of that.”
— As for why the ones only played two series, Sarkisian said it was both to keep the starters fresh and get a good look at the younger players. “It’s a combination,” he said. “One, we wanted to keep them healthy and two, we wanted to see your young guys. As I’ve said all along, when we get to go play LSU on Sept. 5, we want to be a fresh, healthy football team. We don’t want to be battered and bruised. But we are also trying to compile as much information as we can on our young guys.”
— This was one of Fouch’s better days overall, though the defense seemed to catch up to the offense in the second half as both of his scores and all of his completions came in the first half. Here’s what Fouch said about it: “I’m just trying to get more comfortable weith the offense and trying to get through my progressions faster and to my checkdowns when I need to. the line blocked great today, so it was a good day. The offensive line had a great practice last night and today they wanted to keep it going. They knew the defense was going to come after them and they picked it up and kept ig going.”
— As noted, the starters played just two series, On the first, the offense drove to the 21-yard line setting up an Eric Guttorp FG. The key play was a 33-yard pass from Locker to Chris Polk. Locker completed his first three passes on the drive, all short or intermediate routes. The drive ended on when a third-down completion when Locker spun away from a blitz was ruled out of bounds. On the next drive, the offense got one first down. But Locker missed an open Jordan Polk about 15 yards downfield and a third-down pass to Polk was broken up.
— Here’s what Locker had to say about it: “The first drive was really good. We moved the ball well, had a couple of checkdowns and was effective in that drive. The second drive we didn’t do as well, missed a couple of throws. We have to clean that up and we’ll be okay.”
— The defensive highlight for the No. 1 unit might have been a hard hit on a tackle off Chris Polk behind the line by Cameron Elisara. But Polk came back on the next play to take a short pass from Locker for 33 yards.
— Polk said he didn’t feel as fast as some days saying “I’ve got some camp legs going.” But the 33-yard reception showed the ability that the coaches like.
— The punting was impressive as Will Mahan averaged 58.5 yards on two kicks and backup Kiel Rasp 52.3 on four. Said Sarkisian of Mahan: “I couldn’t have been more pleased.”
— Sarkisian said he was pleased with the play of the special teams other than a block in the back penalty that wiped out about a 70-yard punt return by Bruns.
— There were no surprises in the two-deeps on either side of the ball. I will try to compile an updated depth chart later based on what we saw today.
All for now.
Here’s a bit more from the scrimmage. …
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