University of Akron Zips blog
Sorry, Zipaholics. Due to a misunderstanding, Dan Kadar and I didn't get video today. We plan to shoot the scrimmage tomorrow evening, however.
Despite that, I hung out at camp and jotted down some notes...
I got my first look at Jordan Miller. The freshman quarterback took a couple snaps in a redzone practice situation. He forced a couple throws into tight holes that were incompletions.
Gerry Faust showed up at camp today. For you rookie Zips fans, Faust was head coach of the Zips from 1986-1994. He came from Notre Dame, after four years subpar seasons of leading the Fighting Irish. Despite that, Faust is a good guy.
I think I figured out what the two top quarterbacks' weaknesses are. Chris Jacquemain's decision-making is terrible. He thrives on tossing the ball into high-risk, low-reward situations. Matt Rodgers, on the other hand, holds onto the ball too long. I know the coaches say Jacquemain is No. 1, but Rodgers gets more snaps than any backup I've ever seen.
As you may have read last week, J.D. Brookhart said he wants to use between six and eight wide receivers in a rotation. I will try to rank them according to playing time against Wisconsin: 1) Jeremy Bruce -- He's very versatile and seems to be open a lot. 2) Dashan Miller -- Big target. The quarterbacks have seemed to like throwing to him so far. 3) Alphonso Owen -- He knows the system the best. 4) Deryn Bowser -- Would be higher if he was able to practice. He will be out for another week with a minor foot injury. 5) Andre Jones -- Would be higher if we knew he could block and run routes. 6) Curtis Brown -- Brookhart said he worked hard over the summer. 7) Gary Pride -- One fast little whipper-snapper. He might need to wait a year to get more reps. 8 ) Brandon Williams -- He also knows the system. If the new guys don't pan out, he will climb the rankings.
D-coordinator Jim Fleming was not pleased with the defensive unit's performance today. A lot has to do with the defensive line being hurt. Here is a rundown of the injured linemen: Eric Lively, Ryan Bain, Almondo Sewell, Hassan Hazime and Marquinn Davis. Brookhart said he does not expect any of the injuries to last into the season. Still, the coach expected a better work ethic from the guys who were playing. "They were not very enthusiastic," Brookhart said.
There is a position battle for the third linebacker job (behind Doug Williams and Kevin Grant). The candidates are Aaron Williams, Sean Fobbs and Mike Thomas. Brookhart said Fobbs and Thomas have done a good job so far. The staff is converting Thomas from safety to linebacker. He transferred from Massachusetts. Williams is the touted recruit, who shows flashes of excellence but needs to understand the details of playing the position, according to Brookhart.
I asked Brookhart what he thinks about Sports Illustrated's prediction of a 1-11 record. He said: "You can tell how much research they put into it. There wasn't even any writing. They looked at our record last year and how many starters we have coming back and our quarterbacks."
The coach also denounced the vandalism at Dix Stadium, saying fans should promote their team, not try to tear down a rival. "It's wrong. People have invested money in the program," he added.
With the depth at running back, you might be wondering who's getting the snaps. Dennis Kennedy is No. 1. But what about Andrew Johnson and Alex Allen? The coaches have discussed divying the reps either 3-2-2, 3-2-1 or 2-2-2. DeVoe Torrence will probably not play running back this year. He should be a terror on special teams, however.
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