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Zips football: spring practice report, Day 6

By George Thomas Published: April 11, 2013

Day 6 of the Akron Zips spring practice showed that the offense is still very much a work in progress and likely will be into the beginning of summer practice.  The best way to describe the performance of the assorted units is uneven.  They did some good things and they did some not so good things as the team endured another half scrimmage.

Offensive observations:

  • There is no clear favorite to be the backup quarterback at this point.  Redshirt freshmen Steve Franco and Dalton Easton continue to battle for the privilege to serve as Kyle Pohl’s understudy.  In today’s session if anyone had to choose between the two, it would have been Franco for engineering a touchdown drive.   After that drive, things appeared to open up just a little for an offense that appeared to struggle.  Coach Terry Bowden said that the team still lacks that big play potential.
  • Bowden took a look at a play that could be of great use to the Zips in the coming season – a lateral to wide receiver Zach D’Orazio – a former quarterback – and throw down field.  It worked to perfection in the lone instance they used it with D’Orazio finding wide receiver Jerrod Dillard for a TD.
  • Starter Kyle Pohl appears to be getting more comfortable by the day. He directed another scoring opportunity, finding Dillard on a three-yard TD pass at one point.

Defensive observations:

  • The defense is playing with the intensity that coach Chuck Amato appreciates.  That is manifesting itself in different ways.  Today they produced three sacks and a couple of turnovers.  What any Zips fan is going to like to see is that they are stringing plays out, getting big hits and showing plenty of team speed against their own offense.

Offensive standouts:

Wide receiver Jerrod Dillard caught two touchdown passes – one of 25 yards – in the scrimmage.  Unfortunately he also had a fumble on a reception.  D.J. Jones continues to draw notice, coming up with one of the best runs of the day after absorbing a huge hit from a defender, bounding off of him and turning it into a six-yard gain.

Defensive standouts: 

Until goal-line situations the defense was stout.  They played with ferocity and as a unit.   Not much more can be asked other than that.

Notes:  Isaiah Williams is now a former defensive lineman. The 6-foot-3, 264-pound lineman was moved to the other side of the ball.  Bowden said that his speed wasn’t quite what they needed on the defensive line, but it along with his athleticism were perfect for the other side. … Defensive ends Jason Stargel and Alfonso Horner limped off the field.  Of the two Stargel, who has been playing some good ball, appeared to be the most serious injury.  However, word of anything serious will likely not be confirmed until Saturday.

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