Watching the Orange & White Scrimmage Game without access to pen, paper, stats or commentary of any kind from radio or tv, here are some fact-free impressions.
Defense: #92 Reggie Wilson spent a lot of time in the backfield either sacking a QB or disrupting an offensive play. In fact when he wasn’t taking charge of someone else’s play, he was being illegally held by the O-line. He played like he has a big, mean chip on his shoulder. Hope to see a lot more of him this year.
Offense: Garrett Gilbert started slow, and his receivers suffered from a case of the dropsies for a while. A few times though, he showed a few glimpses of brilliance and reminded me why he was so heavily recruited. In one memorable play, I started out rather aggravated at him for completely telegraphing his intended receiver from the beginning. But a after a good long look to his left, GG quickly pivoted to find his open man at mid-field for a nice gain. I’d love to continue to see him use his eyes and to square his shoulders to deceive more defensives this year. Case McCoy looked sharp, completing a few long passes under pressure. Conner Wood showed his talent as well. David Ash also completed a few passes and looked promising. I watched the body language of the QB’s closely on the sideline, looking for who drew a crowd, who stepped up and schooled their colleagues on the finer points of a route. Outside of the fact that Gilbert has noticeably bulked up his upper body, nothing terribly conclusive to report about obvious QB leadership at this point. And maybe that in fact is the point. It was clear to me that UT’s offensive is moving from the QB-Hero to the QB-as-Manager approach. Much of the game, every QB candidate spent time just managing the huddle and the time-clock, before handing off to any number of prospective running backs. Hard to judge after one afternoon, but I think that to be successful this year, we will need the balanced style of QB-manager type of offense since no one really dazzled.