Somewhat lost in the midst of the men’s basketball team making a run in the NCAA Tournament, spring practice has come and gone. This is the last week of spring camp, with the Orange and Blue Debut scheduled for Saturday.
Will Muschamp and the Gators held a dress rehearsal of sorts, last Saturday, with their first full scrimmage of the spring (the first was shortened due to weather). The scrimmage gave the coaches an opportunity to access how both the offense and the defense have acclimated to playing at and against a much higher tempo and the offense just might have won the day.
- Muschamp praised the offense for being balanced, executing 10 explosive plays; five running and five passing.
- The running backs averaged more than five-yards-per-carry behind the first team offensive line.
- Muschamp said there were four procedural penalties during the scrimmage saying, “That’s four too many.”
- Both the offense and the defense fatigued towards the end of the scrimmage but Muschamp credits that to it being the first time that each unit has worked about 50-60 snaps in a scrimmage atmosphere.
- Duke Dawson and Brian Poole have been working at nickel back but neither had been consistent or productive enough for the coaches liking. Marcus Maye will get some reps there this week at practice.
- Ahmad Fulwood had a 52-yard touchdown catch.
- Demarcus Robinson had a touchdown catch where he made a couple people miss.
- Jalen Tabor had an interception, the only turnover forced by the defense.
- The defensive backs had 18 “eye-control” issues in the defensive backfield.
We had 18 eye-control issues in the secondary. When you’re dealing with young players that’s what happens. They lose their eyes when they get into scrimmage situations, game situations, and that’s what we really need to work on. It’s one thing when you’re going in seven-on-seven, it’s another thing when you’re in a third-down period, a slowed-down environment.”
- Mark Herndon suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out the rest of the spring.
- Rod Johnson (head injury) has not returned to practice since his injury.
- Marcus Maye tweaked his hamstring, he’ll be able to return this week if not today.
- Daniel McMillian missed the scrimmage with an ankle injury, Muschamp hopes to get him back on Monday.
Defensive line struggles
- There is still too much separation between the first team defensive unit and the second team.
- Jay-nard Bostwick is playing well as far as picking up his responsibilities and playing well at the point of attack but he needs to disengage from blocks better.
- Caleb Brantley has been called out during practices for lack of effort and Muschamp echoed that sentiment today saying, “The effort’s not always what it needs to be, quite frankly.”
- Joey Ivie continues to come on. Effort has never been an issue with Ivie but, like Bostwick, needs to work on his hand placement, pad level and disengaging from blocks.
- Taven Bryan continues to earn the praise of his coaches. Muschamp spoke highly of the freshman from Casper, Wyoming.
Taven Bryan — been very pleased with where he is. You know, really right now, he’s a guy that’s really coming on. He’s only going to continue to get better. He runs extremely well. He’s a good athlete. He’s got really good strength. He’s one of the stronger defensive linemen as far of just hand, hand strength. If you talk to our offensive linemen as far as a guy that gets his hands on people. He’s a tough guy to deal with as far as that’s concerned. Bryan Cox continues to play with a high motor and play well.”
Too Much separation at O-Line
- The problems on the defensive line are mirrored on the offensive line, except the first team offensive line isn’t playing as well as the first team defensive line.
- Trenton Brown has been working with the second team at right tackle, but he is playing so well that the coaching staff will move him inside to get him into the starting five. Expect to see Brown take over at right guard and potentially see Tyler Moore anchor the left guard spot or move into center.
- Moore moving to center would make sense based on how unhappy Muschamp us with the way his centers are snapping the ball, with limp (low) snaps as well as high snaps.
Disappointed, we repped Tripp [Thurman] in there, Max [Garcia] in there, Cam Dillard, you know. If we continue to have those we need to look in a different direction, we can’t afford to have that anymore.”
- Antonio Riles continues to rep with the offensive line. Muschamp was pleased with the continued progress that Riles is making at a new position.