Monday, March 25, 2013
SEC scrimmage roundup
By Chris Low
Here's a quick recap of some of the scrimmages around the league over the weekend:
The big news coming out of Texas A&M's scrimmage on Saturday at Kyle Field was Johnny Manziel's three interceptions and a reported shove of a graduate assistant after throwing his third pick.
Brent Zwerneman, who covers Texas A&M for The Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, wrote, "Following his last of three interceptions, on a short pass into the end zone as he ran into the right sidelines, an exuberant graduate assistant jumped up and down within what appeared to be inches of an irate Manziel. So Manziel shoved him. Players and coaches, who were all gathered along the sidelines, quickly separated the giddy GA and Manziel before anything escalated."
Manziel, who wasn't looking to run in the scrimmage, still had a big day, and sophomore receiver Mike Evans was exceptional with more than 200 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.
For more on the Aggies' scrimmage, read here.
Much of the focus has been on senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger and the LSU offense this spring, especially with Cam Cameron stepping in as offensive coordinator, and Mettenberger put up big numbers Saturday in the Tigers' first scrimmage of the spring.
Mettenberger was 20-of-30 for 200 yards and two touchdowns. The scrimmage was closed, but coach Les Miles said the Tigers worked mainly on first-and-10 situations, and the first-team offense went against the first-team defense most of the way. In the two-minute drill, Mettenberger was 6-of-8 and tossed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry, who was the top receiver. Landry caught 10 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He could have had a third touchdown, but a pass deflected off his hands in the end zone to Micah Eugene for an interception.
“[Mettenberger] made a couple of intuitive throws today,” Miles said. “He saw things very quickly and got the ball out of his hand. Guys anticipated the catch and down the field it went. He looked good and 20-of-30 to start is really nice. Two series were against the second team but the rest of the day was against the first team defense.”
For more on the scrimmage, read here and here.
The Commodores' improved depth was obvious to coach James Franklin coming out of their first scrimmage of the spring.
"There's obviously a lot of things to still clean up, but we've got a lot of young guys that are getting a lot of reps now that they didn't get in the fall," Franklin said. "That's really good for us. Our depth is so much better than it was. I feel good about the progress we're making."
The 61-play scrimmage was open and followed an hour of work on special teams and other drills.
Senior running back Wesley Tate had a big day with 94 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and also caught a touchdown pass. One of his touchdowns was a 69-yard run, illustrating his big-play ability. The Commodores need a go-to back to replace Zac Stacy, who rushed for 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons, and Franklin said the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Tate athletically is exactly what you're looking for in the SEC.
"He has the size, speed and athleticism," Franklin said. "You're talking about a guy who'll run a 4.3-something [in the 40-yard dash] at 220 pounds. If we get him some confidence and get him rolling, he could have a heck of a year."
For more on the Commodores' scrimmage, read here and here.