August 17, 2011
Running Backs Battle for PT
Going into the scrimmage the team had heard the bad news about Montel Harris Rather than be distracted though, the running backs simply got after it, seizing an attempt to earn more playing time.
Andre Williams got the most action with the starters and finished with 62 yards on 19 carries. Of the three running backs, Williams might be the most intriguing because of his scary mix of power, speed, and agility. Most importantly, Williams has an uncanny ability to make good defensive players look bad. On a back-to-back sequence, Williams displayed all of his attributes on different plays. On a 1st down run, Williams picked up 6 yards, which was somewhat impressive considering defensive end Kasim Edebali got a hold of him 2 yards after the line of scrimmage. The running back used his power to drag the defensive end for another 4 yards. On the very next play, Williams caught a pass in the flat, and was approached by Kevin Pierre-Louis. Williams put a spin move on KPL resulting in a missed tackle, and a few extra yards for Williams on his way to a 1st down.
Not to be outdone was Tahj Kimble, who finished with 96 yards on 11 carries. Kimble had a 26 yard touchdown run against the 2nd team defense on an off tackle run to the left. Chris Pantale and Aaron Kramer sealed off the left side perfectly as Kimble ran untouched down the left sideline. Later in the scrimmage, Kimble had a 25 yard run on kind of an awkward play where it looked like he ran into a wall of blockers. Kimble squirmed out of the mess and scampered for the long gain. Another entertaining sequence came later in the scrimmage when Kimble caught passes in the flat on back to back plays. On the first, Kimble tried to run around Steele Divitto, but the linebacker made an excellent 1-on-1 open field tackle. On the next play, the same sequence took place on the opposite side of the field. This time, Kimble put a shimmy-shake on Divitto and left him in the dust for a 15 yard gain.
Rolandan Finch had 66 yards rushing in the game and showed his usual good burst of power. Unfortunately for Finch, he was the only back to fumble in the scrimmage. He finished with two touchdowns that came on short yardage during red zone drills.
Dan Williams continues to block well at fullback, and even got some touches. Williams was thrown two passes in the flat and caught both of them.
Nobody had a bigger night than Donte Elliot, who had 3 receptions for 114 yards. Most of the yardage was picked up on two separate long passes from Mike Marscovetra, as Elliot had a couple of steps on cornerback Manny Asprilla.
With Colin Larmond sidelined it gave the other receivers a chance to make some big plays. Ifeanyi Momah had the biggest play, a 45 yard reception. Momah did a fantastic job of slipping too far behind C.J. Jones, and far enough away from the safeties that neither could come over to break up the pass.
Alex Amidon had 4 receptions in the scrimmage and did a fantastic job of getting open. On one of Rettig's only poor throws of the night, Amidon made a fantastic catch leaping in the air and reaching backwards for the ball.
Bobby Swigert laid out the biggest punishment of the scrimmage when he collided with cornerback Donnie Fletcher and knocked his helmet right off him.
Spiffy Evans had 4 receptions in the scrimmage and showed the ability to make people miss in the open field. Evans hesitates for an extra split second after he catches each pass which is costing him some extra yardage. Also, Evans is a surprisingly good blocker for someone his size.
The tight ends weren't heavily involved in the first scrimmage, which was surprising considering they were used so much during the spring. That changed on Wednesday as both tight ends were heavily involved in the offense.
Chris Pantale was the most productive hauling in 6 receptions for 66 yards. Pantale caught an 18 yard touchdown pass from Chase Rettig after he was able to find the soft part of the zone in-between the two safeties. Both Pantale and Lars Anderson got wide open on a number of occasions, as the linebackers did a pretty poor job of keeping track of them at times.
The offensive line was a real bright spot in the scrimmage; especially considering Nate Richman and Mark Spinney were out with injuries. The following was the two deep at offensive line:
First off, hats off to Andy Gallik, because the line didn't look out of sync at all with him running the show at center. Also, Bobby Vardaro held his own against the 1st team defense as well.
For the 2nd team, Harris Williams was absolutely destroying people on the field. He was a big reason why the running backs had such good numbers.
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