Bumped. If folks want to share more extended reflections from the scrimmage like this, please share them via Fanpost section. Go Bruins. - BN Eds.
It was a great evening at Drake Stadium. The weather was nice, and the company was nice. All in all, it was really fun!
Between watching my son, and trying to record stats in case they didn't get published, I didn't get as good a feel for the big picture as I would have liked. Following are my untrained observations for whatever they are worth. I know I like reading other fan's views, so I'll throw mine out there as well.
With the limited amount of time I had, I tended to focus on the skill positions.
Tresey seemed to hold back a bit. I only saw a few blitzes. That said, the first team D-line with Datone Jones in there was beastly. Datone Jones was having his way with pretty much everyone he lined up against - very much like Brian Price did two years ago.
Coverage looked pretty good with the QBs having to make very accurate throws (mostly) to complete the pass. Other than Datone Jones, I don't have any real specific comments on individual defensive efforts. I have a feeling that the defense we saw on Saturday is not the defense we'll be seeing against Houston (in terms of scheming).
Offense and more notes after the jump.
QB - In the Kevin Prince and Richard Brehaut battle, Brehaut took a definite step forward. He was accurate, making good throws and typically got rid of the ball quickly. Also, he led a great drive that was all runs into the end zone, giving some of us who doubt his ability to run the run game second thoughts. Kevin Prince was not impressive until a fantastic play action fake and throw to Josh Smith up the seam. If I only watched Saturday's scrimmage, I'd anoint Brehaut as the starter in a heartbeat. Some of my favorite wins the last few years were lead by Kevin Prince, and he has got more heart than anyone on the team, but after 5ish practices in a row where Brehaut out performed Prince, I think we have to go with Brehaut.
RB - Wow. We have some really great backs. That said, Coleman didn't just look like starter material yesterday, he looked like an upper half PAC-10 starting running back. He was PHYSICAL. The Coleman I saw yesterday would never have been stood up at the goal line, like he was 2 years ago against Oregon. I honestly was feeling sorry for the guys tackling him. It looked painful. James had some great cutbacks, and Jones looked trimmer, faster than he did last year - still strong too! Steven Manfro got a lot of repetitions later on and looked ok, sort of a Craig Shepherd type, that is a bit more durable and hard to bring down.
TE - Fauria looked impressive in the receiving game. I didn't notice the blocking though. He's going to be a good target for our QBs. I don't remember seeing any Harkey catches or drops. Our Running backs did get to the outside on number of occasions... I wonder if Harkey helped with that? Jordan Barrett looked like he belonged deep on the depth chart. Reeves little brother Raymond looked pretty solid with the 3rd team. I remember a real nice catch and run that he had.
-WR - I didn't see much separation between the receivers yesterday. I didn't see Embree in there at all (not sure why). My favorite receiver for the day was Shaq Evans. I don't remember him dropping it and he just managed to get open and make plays on a regular basis. He didn't seem particularly special after the catch, but hey, just getting open and getting yards is a good step forward for us. The other receivers were hit and miss, making good plays only to screw up after, or screwing up then making a good play. Nelson Rosario and Josh Smith were in that category for sure. For example, Nelson made a great catch in traffic on the near sideline, and then waited for a Prince throw to get to him instead of coming back to it, resulting in the defender getting a hand on it and making the catch a lot more difficult (he failed to bring it in). Josh Smith had a bumble on the near sideline that would have been catch, if he didn't bumble it. He ran out of bounds before getting it under control. A couple plays later, he brought in the longest reception of the scrimmage from Kevin Prince.
Returners PR and KR -
Jordon James had the worst return of the day, trying his best to out-jump a bounce on punt return. Instead of fielding it though, he tipped it off his hand, resulting in a punt team fumble recovery. Manfro also had a couple of fair catches that were dicey. He fielded them, but it might have been wiser to let them go past him.
The best return I saw was probably from Roosevelt Davis (I think - Jon Gold mentioned him and the returner was built like Damien Thigpen, which fit Davis's size. Red jerseys on special teams meant we couldn't always see the number), a walk on... he looked really fast and hard to tackle.
Other notes -
I saw Owa after the scrimmage. He looks HUGE. His arms look like comic book hero arms. I had a great time running around the field after the scrimmage with my 5 year old, playing catch and meeting the players. I think it was one of Neuheisel's sons was playing catch my son too (does he have a son named Jack?) Whoever it was, my kid was having a great time with him. So Jack, if you see this, thanks!