Very traditional football score, isn't it?
The defense, like the score indicates, is ahead of the offense, but that's more a factor of two things: a banged-up offensive line and two QBs who don't have a great deal of experience in this offense, one of whom (David Fisher) is still learning the plays.
Starting left tackle Brian Winters, starting right guard Tyler Arend and backup lineman Jason Bitsko were all unavailable Saturday. New center Phil Huff played, but is still learning the offense, further adding to to the line's woes.
Spencer Keith and Fisher each struggled to adjust to the woes of the offensive line and the added pressure. It did allow each to showcase an advantage, with Fisher's athleticism and Keith's knowledge of the offense helping them in different ways.
Keith knows the offense is still in a learning stage.
"There were good times and bad times with blocking, catching, everything," he said. "We had some drops, I made a couple bad reads and we missed some blocks."
Keith also said Huff is coming along nicely at center. The tandem took some time before the spring to add some familiarity to the exchange.
The play of the game, unfortunately, never happened. With the ball at their own 45-yard-line, Keith caught the safeties creeping up and found freshman wide receiver Josh Boyle for a 53-yard gain, just short of the end zone. Keith threw the ball 50 yards in the air, but a holding penalty negated the play.
"It was out last play of the series, so I tried to make something happen," Keith said. "I saw the safety bite up so I had him over the top."
Both No. 34s excelled—Richard Gray and Trayion Durham each look explosive on their side of the football. Durham is also looked better in the passing game, catching a few passes and picking up blitzes.
Roosevelt Nix spoke after the game on how the defense is beginning to feel comfortable in this scheme.
"We didn't really know anything last spring, it was all new," Nix said. "It's easier to come back and once you remember, it's like riding a bike. When you don't have to think about it, it's always quicker."
Hazell indicated that he's looking to fill two spots in the fall: right guard and tight end. Tim Erjavec continues to play a prominent role in the passing game, but Hazell says he's looking for another tight end to step up and contribute both by blocking and receiving.
Sophomore Robert Kearney is the favorite for the RG spot, but with so much shifting around, that could certainly change.