Overall practice proved spirited Thursday as the offense and defense got at one another. Here’s guessing that there is more than a bit of anticipation ahead of Saturday’s annual Blue & Gold Game set for 1 p.m. at InfoCision Stadium.
Offense: It looked better today for several reasons, the first being that the quarterbacks got time to throw courtesy of the team’s offensive line. That had been a problem in recent practices as presumptive starter Kyle Pohl and his would be back ups got the chance to show what they and the receivers could do. Of particular note: fifth-year senior Jerrod Dillard made a couple of nice catches and tacked on some yards after the catch in the process. Andrew Pratt made a nice grab of a 30-yard pass from backup Dalton Easton as well. That’s progress and had the offensive line not provided the time to scan the defense it might have been a different story.
What else did they do?
In the running game, Jawon Chisholm continued to go strong. He not only made a couple of nice grabs in the flat, but he got through a few holes that the offensive line provided him. Additionally, running back Hakeem Lawrence saw the field for a few plays. In one of those instances he out ran the defense around the corner to make a decent gain. The offense produced several big plays, including one where wide receiver Zach D’Orazio connected on a 45-yard pass to one of his receivers. Overall, the receivers looked substantially better than they had in recent practices., diving for passes that may not have been completely on the mark.
Defense: That in no way means that the defense played sloppily. They produced a couple of picks, including one on an overthrow by Pohl that safety Devonte Morgan picked out of the air. What continues to be the most important factor related to the defense is the intensity level they continue to show. There were a couple of shoving matches during the course of practice and members of both squads gave and got.
Of note: The University of Akron Athletics Department will hold a public forum at noon prior to Saturday’s spring game on the FirstMerit Foundation Club Level of InfoCision Stadium. Director of athletics Tom Wistrcill will discuss the future of sports at UA.