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A few lines of scrimmage analysis

Some stuff from Monday's full pads scrimmage, which began in a light rain and closed in a clear buggy-ness that attempted to envelop and invade Coyote III in the parking lot. He wasn't happy. Neither was I.

(By the way, sorry I'm making this Late Night with David J. on my blog days. That's just the way we've had to work during the preseason, especially when practice ends in the late afternoon, there's no terribly breaking news, I still have to write the daily stuff for print and have to Eddie Arcaro the kid through dinner, teeth brushing and into bed. So, with The Crusaders' Southern Comfort album as soundtrack, I'll proceed...)

After a 70-yard bomb to T.Y. Hilton on the second play of the scrimmage, first team quarterback Wesley Carroll completed his next six passes for 90 yards and a 14-yard touchdown to Jairus Williams. As the rain stopped, Carroll arced a beautiful rainbow down the right sideline to Jacob Younger behind Jose Cheeseborough for 35 yards on a third and 2. Carroll threw well on the move to his left throughout the day. His next incompletion came on throw to the back of the end zone. The play after that, linebacker Christopher Edwards strung out Darian Mallary and Chuck Grace dropped Mallary for a loss of 3. A third down fade pattern to 6-2 Glen Coleman didn't work because 5-9 cornerback Richard Leonard wouldn't let Coleman big brother jerk him out of the way. On the next snap, sophomore linebacker Gregory Hickman blocked a 35-yard Dylan Lynch field goal attempt. Hickman also had a sack that ended the third 1s vs. 1s possession.

The day's John Mackey Award goes to tight end Colt Anderson, who caught a short ball from Carroll, then bounced through two tacklers the way the recently deceased Colts tight end used to do.

(Digression: Double shot of pain for old Baltimore Colts fans recently, with Mackey and Bubba Smith passing. Both were significant players in football history. Mackey was the first truly modern tight end -- fast enough to get deep and a big, powerful, bed-wetting nightmare for defensive players to tackle in the open field. That it took 20 years for him to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame can be blamed in two things -- some old-time journalists resenting his role with the NFL Players Association and sheer ignorance. Bubba Smith was very good in the NFL, but awesome at Michigan State. Nobody wanted to face him on the field in college, nobody could fail to like him off the field. How did a 6-7 guy from Texas escape the old Southwest Conference? It was 1963. In a great HBO documentary on the integration of the SEC, ACC and SWC, Bubba told of talking to legendary Texas coach Darrell Royal about coming to Austin. Royal said he'd like to have Smith, but didn't know if he could get him a scholarship. Texas didn't have any black players. In fact, their 1969 national championship team would be the last national champion without black players. Bubba, who wanted to go to Texas like kids want to go to Disney World, summed up the pain and stupidity in racism when he recalled thinking "How is it you don't like me and you don't even know me?" Bubba took his personality and game to East Lansing, where he became BMOC, incredibly popular among students of all races, an All-American and staple on one of the greatest defenses in college football history. Michigan State crushed opponents with black players the SWC and SEC didn't want. Bubba would be the No. 1 overall pick in the 1967 common draft  between the AFL and NFL.)

Sophomore defensive tackle Isame Faciane had a nice scrimmage and drew a holding penalty on Shae Smith that wiped out a Carroll completion. But Faciane, 6-3, 290, said he's still getting used to playing with his added weight, 10 pounds since the spring, 45 pounds since the end of last season, and playing inside. When I was in college, I saw a lot of people try to get used to moving with an extra 45 pounds after their freshman year. Most weren't 6-3 and playing defensive tackle, although they could do to a Mother Bear's or Pizza Express pizza what I saw senior James Jones do to a few running backs Monday.

In the kicking game, kickoff edge to Dylan Lynch, kicking field goals edge to Jack Griffin. Griffin nailed a 47-yarder to trump Lynch's 40-yarder and a block of a Lynch attempt by Hickman (either because of Hickman's penetration or Lynch not getting the ball rising quickly enough). On the kickoffs, Lynch's greater height gives the coverage team time to get there. Though they only went to the 11-yard line or so, better that than Griffin's easily returned low liners to the 5.

Kedrick Rhodes ran for 34 yards on six carries. He said he's up 12 pounds over last season and worked on his speed and cutting with speed. It showed. Running back Jeremiah Harden had my favorite run of the day, actually a swing pass reception that he took up the sideline...and over a couple of defensive backs. Harden's 5-9, 200. Like Jim Brown said in one of his autobiographies, if you're big and fast, let them worry about living to fight another day.

For other stuff from the scrimmage, see the story at http://www.miamiherald.com/sports. For that story, let me correct that the walk-on quarterback is Fred Porter, not Frank. I had the roster in front of me, but did the writing version of misspoke.

T.Y. Hilton's on the Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player) watch list. Hey, a college award named after a player who was, wow, actually great in college! Hornung won the Heisman Trophy while at Notre Dame. In the NFL, he played running back, threw the occasional option pass and kicked. His 176 points in 1960, a 12-game season, stood as the NFL record for a single season until LaDainian Tomlinson broke it with 186 in a 16-game 2006 season. The award's given by the Louisville Sports Commission, which is why it's named after Louisville guy Hornung and not future Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese. Griese ran, passed, punted and kicked for Purdue (blecch) in 1966. The Boilermakers lost only to Notre Dame and Bubba Smith's senior year Michigan State team, both of which finished undefeated with only the blemish of their 10-10 tie on their records.

OK, since I referenced the truest form of my fellow Indianapolis native's late night show earlier, we'll close with a video from the last Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. From June 1993...



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