Sunday, August 10, 2008

First Scrimmage Over...Wolf Pack Gets Defensive

The Nevada Wolf Pack held there first scrimmage and some questions were answered.

#1. This defense will be hold opponents to less scores and yardage than last years team. Yes, that's right. After one scrimmage we can say that.

#2. Mike Evans and Antoine Thompson were the starting corners today. Evans was a JC transfer from El Camino who was recruited by coach Ward. Evans held an offer from Memphis and had interest from a number of Big 12 schools as well as Boise. Thompson was a 3 star prospect out of Reedley CC who was recruited by coach Wilson. Thompson had an offer from Akron and had interest from Nebraska and Hawaii.

#3. The depth of the defense isn't looking too bad either. The linebackers looked very good with Johnson, Mauga, and Marshall starting but with young players like Jared Silva-Purcell and Joe Easter getting in on lots of action over the day, the position looks to be one of strength for years to come.

#4. The offense had a couple of key players sitting out today with Dominic Green and Brandon Fragger and it showed with Green missing as early problems with the snap to the quarterback led to a defensive TD by Kevin Basped. Neither player appeared to have a serious injury though and we expect to see them back before the season opener.

#5. Speaking of offense, the stats weren't all that great today. Although Colin Kaepernick threw for a 66% (8-12) completion rate today (an area that improvement was being looked for this fall) he only threw for 73 yards and 1 TD vs 1 INT (made by defensive back Isiah Frey). Nick Graziano didn't fare as well as he was 25% on the day (3-12) for 39 yards and an interception returned for a score by red-shirt frosh Jonathan Ott. Rushing the ball, the Pack managed 145 yards on the ground. That number was spread out fairly even by Lippincott, Graziano, Randall, Mark, and Wellington. There were a number of quick whistles to protect the QB's though and no doubt the rushing stats could have been more had that not been the case.

#6. The wide outs needed their own paragraph separate from the rest of the offense. A number of dropped passes plagued the unit. Both Kaepernick's and Graziano's INT's could have been catches had players used stick'em instead of butter on their gloves this morning. Tyler Lantrip looked good and could move to the number three spot on the chart, but the stats won't reflect it as he was plagued by drops. This appears to be a common theme for early scrimmages as the past couple of seasons the same issues were occurring. Mitchell led all players with 50 yards. Dwayne Sanders looked good on the day with 30 yards and the lone offensive TD on a fourth down pass from Kaepernick.

#7. Look for the defense to continue to play well (this is a much faster unit than has been on the field for some time) but also for the offense to gel over the next weeks and put the ball in the end zone. I expect a much more even battle with 3-5 offensive touchdowns, one defensive score, and some tackles for loss this Saturday.

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