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Zips Football: Spring Practice Session XIII

By George Thomas Published: April 17, 2012

 One thing is certain about this Saturday’s Blue & Gold Game:  it will be interesting to see what the spring’s practices have produced, especially when it comes to the offensive line.

At the tackles, the Zips have two solid players in Green native Dylan Brumbaugh  on the right and Jarrod Pughsley on the left (look for a story in tomorrow’s Beacon Journal about him).

  “We’re getting there.  We’re understanding the offense better, but we get sluggish as the end because we get tired. That’s the thing I try to do is push them, push them, push them,” offensive line coach Alan Arrington said. “Eventually we’re going to have some depth.  Right now we feel we’ve got four guys we can line up with and play Central Florida (on Aug. 30). 

Two of last year’s starters sat out the spring after surgical procedures and with the staff expecting some members of their first recruiting class to contribute right away, Arrington expects to have a rotation of eight offensive linemen.

Running back expectations

That rotation will be needed given the speed of the offense.  it did offer some insight into what coach Terry Bowden expects from the running back position and it is no easy task.

On a series of four plays running back Jawon Chisholm threw a nice block down field, followed it with a catch for 10-12 yards, another run and yet another run.  Each play went for positive yardage and, obviously, the back was an integral part of it all and Chisholm again showed his worth.

“We have to have a back who can block for the quarterback when we throw.  He has to be able to run and catch the football and blow down field,” coach Bowden said. “Chisholm is an intense person and he does all of those things, he still breaks outside a little more.  Every now and then we need him to go North and South and not always look for that outside lane.”

Getting that spark

I’ve seen it on defense more than a few times, a unit getting fired up when a good play is made. On offense that came more sporadically, but not during Tuesday’s practice.

The offense got the best of the defense in goal line situations, scoring on at least three plays from inside the five. That success for the offense cost the defense gassers.

But as a whole, things were lackluster and uneven in practice – something that’s been a problem throughout most of spring’s practices.

The common theme – the defense plays tough then gives up a big play that the offense capitalizes on.  Part of the problem with the offense has been dropped balls.  The wide receivers aren’t quite in sync with the quarterbacks yet.  It’s easy to imagine that changing once a first teamer has been chosen.

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