The football related substance that is "spring football" is the ultimate tease. The team is there. The names are there. The coaches are there (and sometimes wearing shorts while it's snowing). Everything is as it should be. But, after a few weeks, it's suddenly gone. It was all a tease. So let us enjoy it while it is here, eh?
Illinois played their spring game at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Matt Daniels of The News-Gazette graded the team's performance and lauded the offense which put up more than 600 passing yards. On the other hand...
WHAT WENT WRONG
Tim Beckman has said it before. Can't turn the ball over that many times. Illinois had five interceptions, with Reilly O'Toole handing out four and negating a night that saw him throw for 362 yards.
Isn't that's what to be expected of someone whose last name is O'Toole? Is he related to Plenty? Named after his father, perhaps?
Indiana defeated Indiana at the other Memorial Stadium on Saturday by a score of 21-7. Undoubtedly, the star of the show was junior wide receiver Shane Wynn who caught 6 passes for 97 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Hoosier Scoop also has a nice photo gallery which includes someone zip-lining at the stadium. Man, they're really begging for attendance eh?
Plannedsickdays of BHGP was at Iowa's spring "game" which took place at Valley Stadium in West Des Moines on Sunday. He breaks down every positional observation but we'll focus on QB as that seems to be the biggest question for the Hawkeyes this fall. From PSD:
Iowa's three quarterbacks all look like they could play this fall. That's a plus. Jake Rudock had, in my opinion, the best day of the three. I felt he had the best grasp of the offense and he throws a good ball and showed nice arm strength on the out route.
Apparently, the running backs also looked solid. Too bad they'll all be sick with the Black Death come fall.
Michigan held their spring game at the Big House on Saturday and Maize n Brew was in the press box for the whole thing. The boldest observation? From the article:
Michigan will have the best QB in the Big Ten
I frankly don't care what Ohio State or Nebraska fans have to say about it, because it's the truth. Devin Gardner played very well last year despite being thrown from quarterback to receiver and back to quarterback, and this year he'll be developing at one spot and one spot only.
SEPTEMBER HEISMAN'S FOR EVERYONE. /arm punts
Michigan State (apparently) has multiple scrimmages where the teams are placed in certain situations. The Only Colors did their best to break down the second scrimmage which included Andrew Maxwell looking the sharpest of the quarterbacks. Chris Vannini also has something for you Maxwell naysayers:
So save your comments about how the players don't believe in Maxwell or he doesn't have "it.". It's getting old, and we still have a long summer coming up. The players voted him as captain, and he's getting the most reps in practice right now compared to the last scrimmage for a reason. You should trust the coaches ahead of the limited amount of time you see him on TV. If Maxwell falters and someone steps up, they can get the job. But that has to happen first.
Minnesota is talking about their "great" hire and Nebraska women's bowling team won another NCAA Championship (this is news?).
Northwestern had their spring practice on Saturday at Lakeside Field but the Wildcats most important players barely played. From Lake the Posts' wrap-up of the game:
Northwestern displayed its depth at running back and along the defensive line. It was a neutral tug of war with both offense and defense able to make plays. It definitely was not a Wildcats team playing at mid-season efficiency. A lot of the work was done behind closed doors and away from the public's eyes. So do not draw too many conclusions from what was shown to the public in today's practice or last week's open practice.
11 Warriors had 5 things from Ohio State's spring game on Saturday at Paul Brown Stadium (that's where the Bengals play). Speaking of, could Ohio State beat the Bengals? Chris was also very impressed with Miller's improved mechanics. From the article:
I'm no Whitfield but Miller's feet looked calm in the pocket, his general mechanics looked fluid and he simply looked more comfortable in his knowledge of the offense and what he wanted to do with the ball. I thought his accuracy, especially on timing or catch-and-run type routes was strong. He hit receivers in the numbers on a couple crossing routes, allowing them to maintain full momentum and outrun linebackers to the sidelines. He looked sharp in the short passing game, leading running backs and receivers toward the hole created in the defense.
Penn State doesn't play their spring game until this Saturday and BSD has been doing an excellent job of positional previews. Their latest is for special teams.
Purdue beat Purdue in their spring game and Boiled Sports is fired up about it. Here's their analysis of the QBs (god save their ACLs):
The two main black squad QBs were just sharp...whether it was Henry OR Etling, both of these guys looked comfortable running the show. Etling didn't have a passing touchdown, BUT, had a ton of production, and only a few incompletions. There is a lot more misdirection than we're used to, as Purdue fans, in this offense. Even though the defense knows it's coming, it forced LBs and safeties to constantly shift and respect the guys running the other way. Notably, on third and short a few times today, a slot receiver or wide out would come around end for the fake only to pull manpower away from the middle so the half back could get the short yardage needed.
Wisconsin doesn't play their spring game until Saturday.
Some other things: Trey Burke is headed to the NBA, Matt McGloin still has excessive moxie and Brady Hoke hates pants.