I decided to take a jaunt down to Corvallis to check out the first scrimmage of the spring and also the Game 1 with USC on Friday. It was a great day for a scrimmage, baseball game, a game of frisbee, or anything of that sort... and fair amount of fans turned out to do the same thing that I did.
I arrived about 30 minutes into the scrimmage, and apparently missed some deep balls between Canfield and Catchings. Canfield threw for 278 yards and 4 touchdowns in the 100 play scrimmage.
One one hand, I'm glad to see that Canfield is throwing the ball well, but on the other, I'm worried about what's going on in the secondary. Darrel Catchings, who had 258 receiving yards, is probably our most experienced receiver, but I'm a bit concerned that such gaudy passing numbers might be a bad omen for the season, even though it was an early spring practice.
Now, we've still got a long time before Justin Kahut (he's still bothered by the same injuries he had last season) Matt Barker tees it up against Portland State, but Coach Banker sure has a lot of work to do with his secondary before the season starts.
Sean Canfield's take, via Buker:
"It goes back and forth,'' said Canfield, "the defense and the offense getting the better of each other. This was a very good day for the offense. ... obviously, we have a new secondary and we lost some starters that were very good and we made a bunch of big plays - but it's always hard to tell in a scrimmage like this when the quarterback isn't 'live' because you don't know whether he has been sacked or not.''
"Poise, confidence, and understanding,'' was Riley's three-word description of where Canfield is with his game. "I think he's got a great grasp of what we're trying to do with the football on each pattern that we call,'' said Riley.
The quarterbacks missed several other opportunities for long TD passes. ... Catchings beat Dockery badly on his 71-yard sideline route, and burned Tuimaunei on the 70-yarder, although it was unclear if the pass route was the responsibility of the corner or the safety. ... Catchings also burned backup S Cameron Collins on one long downfield play. ... as Canfield said, it was close on several of those long throws as to whether or not the D-line got to the quarterback before the throw. ...Katz's long TD bomb to Bishop was against reserve DBs. ...
Quote of the Day:
"Obviously, we have a new secondary," Sean Canfield said. "Obviously we lost some starters who were very good. We made a bunch of big plays. Some of those might have been sacks. But I think the defense will progress."
And, the stats:
Passing: Canfield 12-21-278, 4 TDs, Katz 9-18-198, 2 TDs, Engstrom 18-26-163, 2 TDs.
Receiving: Catchings 6-251-2 TDs, Walker 8-70, 2 TDs, Bishop 5-148, 2 TDs.
Rushing: Ryan McCants 9-27, Jovan Stevenson 7-35, 1 TD.
Quizz and James were both sidelined, expectedly, in the scrimmage. I snapped a few pictures of them, and I'll get them up in the next few days.
The tenth workout of Spring Practice is scheduled for later today. Look for a report on today's drills this evening.