There wasn’t a lot of good to take from Thursday’s game, but there’s little doubt that Zips noseguard and hometown guy Cody Grice made an impression on the coaching staff with his stellar performance against Central Florida.
Grice was in on eight tackles (four solo) and a half tackle for a loss.
“It was one of the best performances by a noseguard that I’ve seen,” defensive coordinator Chuck Amato said.
Bowden praised Grice profusely.
“He was playing good in the preseason – but at 5-foot-11, 280 lbs, really stood up the center and got some push on the defensive line and also made eight tackles and was just very, very active,” Bowden said. “He was probably the surprise of the entire game.”
Grice’s ability to get movement on significantly larger opponents while also being able to shed blockers to get to plays caught the coaching staff’s attention. Add to the mix that Grice redshirted last year and started his first collegiate game, made the effort that more impressive coach Terry Bowden said.
“That’s a real unique talent a lot of guys don’t have,” he said. “They get knocked around by people in that close proximity. They don’t feel natural. He just feels really natural.”
Injury update: Freshman linebacker Keionne Baines is done for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in Thursday’s game after just two plays.