Good morning Dawg fans! Today is an open practice and also going to be one of the nicest April days we’ve had in a long time. Fortunately that means the Huskies will be having a prolonged scrimmage period during today’s practice in what will hopefully give the fans a great chance to see where the players stand to this point.
If you’re going to be in attendance and want to share your thoughts in the moment feel free to comment below. I’ll be there and will update the main body of this article with my observations once I’m back from the stadium. Go Dawgs!
Notes and Observations
- There’s still no word on ZTF’s injury from yesterday and his absence was compounded by Ryan Bowman also being missing in action. Bowman was interviewed by KJR last night and sounded fine so unless he misses several more practices it should be assumed he’ll be back very shortly.
- Without Bowman and ZTF, Sav’ell Smalls saw a lot of run with the 1st team defense while Bralen Trice and Jeremiah Martin also saw some time there. During the final red zone drill of the day an unblocked Smalls couldn’t stop in time and leveled Dylan Morris which got him sent to the sideline. We also saw a decent amount of 3 DL looks with the killer T’s of Tuli, Taimani, and Tuitele.
- CB Trent McDuffie didn’t take any defensive snaps during drills. Walk-on sophomore Mishael Powell saw quite a bit of time with the 1’s at corner opposite Kyler Gordon along with Elijah Jackson.
- The offensive line was not particularly impressive as even with ZTF and Bowman absent there appeared to be consistent pressure on the QB all day. Matteo Mele mostly worked with the 1’s at right tackle with Victor Curne again limited and in shorts along with Gaard Memelaar. That spot appeared to be an issue across the depth chart as the right tackle was beaten by the pass rush consistently regardless of which offense/defense was on the field. During the early set of drills Smalls beat Mele soundly to force an incompletion and on the next snap Bookie came on a nickel blitz and would have gotten a sack if he was allowed to hit the QB.
- There wasn’t a lot to see from the wide receivers today as they just didn’t get many targets because of the pass rush. Sawyer Racanelli had the best day of any of them. Patrick O’Brien managed to step up in the pocket and hit him over the middle for a gain of about 25 yards. Later on Racanelli caught a similar ball in tight coverage on 3rd and long and took a shot but held on although short of the 1st down marker.
- During early red zone drills Sam Huard threw a pair of touchdown passes to TE Quentin Moore. The first came on a leak out where Moore caught it in the flat and stayed upright through contact to dive and cross the goal line. The second one was a fluke as Huard threw into triple coverage and the ball popped up in the air about 10 feet and landed directly in Moore’s arms. Devin Culp also saw quite a few targets working with a mix of the 1’s and 2’s depending on how many TEs were on the field.
- Cameron Davis got the first snaps at running backs with the #1 offense although Richard Newton also saw some snaps working with that unit. Newton likely had the most impressive run of the day with about a 15-yarder where he broke through some arm tackles although with the team running a mix of two-hand touch and true tackle it was hard to tell at times how sincere a tackle attempt was once well past the line of scrimmage. The playing time breakdown from that spot in order appeared to be roughly: Davis/Newton, McGrew, Pleasant/Sunday, and Berry.
- During one kick return by Cameron Davis it looked like the “tackler” wasn’t expecting true contact but Davis was and so Davis completely bowled him over for an impressive return.
- The catch of the day came from an unlikely source: walk-on tight end Zeke Pelleur. On 3rd and long 4th string walk-on QB Camden Sirmon decided to throw a lob into double coverage that looked sure to be intercepted. Instead Pelleur miraculously came down with it for a gain of about 28 yards.
- The team ended the day with the red zone lockout drill and the defense won in dominant fashion. None of the offenses managed to put up a first down and even when the QB’s had time there wasn’t much open downfield. On the final series of the drill Dylan Morris apparently didn’t see Jackson Sirmon lurking in the middle of the field and threw it straight to him for an interception which ended practice and resulted in the entire offense running sprints. The offense’s only points came on a Peyton Henry 47-yard FG while Tim Horn missed a 42-yard attempt.