Monday, April 8, 2013
Pac-12 weekend wrap up
By Kevin Gemmell
Catching you up on some of the news and notes from practices Friday and over the weekend.
Wildcats' co-offensive coordinator Rod Smith offered up some thoughts on Arizona's quarterback competition.
Here's what he had to say about three of the candidates:
On B.J. Denker: “B.J. Denker has had a very productive spring. I think he’s been pretty sharp lately. He still has some things we need to continue to get better at and work on. I’ve been pleased with his progress. He probably has the greatest grasp of what we’re doing offensively. He understands where the ball needs to go and what it needs to do at certain times.”
On redshirt freshman Javelle Allen: “I think Javelle Allen has really come along lately. He’s getting better but he has a long way to go. He’s not where he was when he started this spring and that’s positive. He’s done some good things.”
On redshirt freshman Jack Nykaza: “Jack Nykaza is taking some reps this week because we have Nick Isham and some other guys banged up. Jack’s learning and it’s his first time going through it all. He’s got a pretty strong arm and he’s eager to learn. I’ve been pleased with his progress and he needs to keep coming.”
Not a ton of news coming out of ASU this weekend, but Doug Haller has an interesting report that the Sun Devils' home game against Notre Dame in 2014 might be in doubt. ASU offered this statement.
"As far as Arizona State University is concerned we still have a valid contract with the University of Notre Dame to play football in 2014. We look forward to hosting them at Sun Devil Stadium.”
And in case anyone forgot what the Sun Devils have behind Taylor Kelly, House of Sparky offered a reminder.
How do you view the glass? If it's half-full, the Colorado offense is on fire and the passing attack looks fierce. If it's half-empty, you have to worry about the secondary getting scorched during the Buffs third scrimmage of the spring session.
Per Kyle Ringo, the secondary gave up nine touchdown passes and did not make an interception against Nick Hirschman, Connor Wood and Shane Dillon. Hirschman went 10-of-12 for 171 yards and four touchdowns. Wood was 18-of-22 for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
"We had the highest percentage passing offense in the country last year [at San Jose State]," said head coach Mike MacIntyre. "And we had a bunch, bunch, bunch of deep plays. We're going to be able to throw the ball deep and to do that you have to be able to throw the ball underneath."
Mark Helfrich wrapped his first week of spring practices as head coach by throwing together an impromptu live session to "jump start" practice, per Rob Moseley.
The move was well-received by some of the players.
"It was exciting, kind of got the morale up," tight end Colt Lyerla said. "We've been waiting longer than four days (to hit at full speed), we've been waiting since Jan. 3, so yeah, it was exciting."
The Bootleg's David Lombardi has a nice breakdown of Saturday's open practice -- which ended, ironically, much like last year's Notre Dame game.
On the stat front, Kevin Hogan completed five passes for 130 yards while Evan Crower -- who has been making a big push this spring -- was 12-of-15 for 85 yards.
Lombardi notes that Anthony Wilkerson has maybe separated himself from the pack in the running back competition.
With Marqise Lee back at full strength, the passing attack flourished during a scrimmage Saturday at the Coliseum. It was the stat line you've come to expect from the defending Biletnikoff winner -- 10 catches for 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
"The story of the day was the passing game and the offense in general,” USC coach Lane Kiffin told Garry Paskwietz of WeAreSC. “All three quarterbacks played great and it was obviously great to have Marqise back.”
This has also been making the rounds as well from last week. Thanks to Ben in Los Angeles for sending it to my mailbag. Nelson Agholor made a ridiculous one-handed touchdown catch. And the reaction from Hayes Pullard -- who just collapses -- is great.