Checked out the Spring Game for the First 3 Quarters. Had to bail after that. To be honest, it's pretty hard to tell where this football team is at, so my thoughts may come as a bit of a disappointment for those of you that missed it:
1. The weather was bomb. I don't know if anyone could've asked for a better day. 65, sunny, not a single cloud in the sky. Just perfect. I'd say almost the entire lower section on the east side of the stadium was full, and there were a handful of people on the hillsides. I just find it awkward to go to these things. The crowd has a few thousand people, but it's pretty quiet. You don't really have anyone to root for or against.
2. The "game" was very vanilla. We saw plenty of the zone read, and a lot of the familiar WR Bubble Screens we have seen in the past...
3. The offensive line looked really good. Arnaud and Tiller had plenty of time to make throws, and to look around before jetting with the ball. Everyone is expecting this to be the biggest strength of the team and it shows. People will talk about how good James White looked, and not to take anything away from him, but he had holes the size of semis. Not to mention, this was against the 2nd defense...
4. Most people are going to be drinking the kool-aid hardcore about this offense. I am going to withhold judgment at this point. I'm expecting our defense to be probably the worst in the league, so you can't really look at the offensive stats at this point and get too pumped. One thing that did make me sick as an Arnaud fumble on the first play from scrimmage on an exchange to A-Rob, but he did redeem himself. Stuff like that does happen.
5. I'm concerned about Special Teams... Nothing really new there. Mahoney did get a field goal blocked, but it was from 51 yards or so. He did make another one from similar range, but still. We didn't see any punting at all. I really wished they did some of that. It's so important to the game, and we don't really know much.
When the season starts, I would expect to see some individual improvement in places, but I think the fundamentals of what this team is will remain the same. Overall from what I saw from the Spring Game is a good looking OL, an Austen Arnaud more similar to his sophomore year, a front seven on the defense with some question-marks, and a special teams unit where the jury is currently out. Sounds pretty familiar, huh? This all may sound disappointing, but there is only so much improvement that can occur over a few months, especially with the number of injuries that have occurred in the offseason, and especially when guys are just playing against themselves. I expect this year's team similar to last year's team. Our defense may be a step down from last year, but our offense will be a step up or so. We will need to score to win, and I think this team will do a better job scoring.
What were your thoughts on the Spring Game?