We still saw plenty of place-kicker Trey Farquhar Friday night. But the Vandals' offense showed glimpses of coming together, much to the delight of Robb Akey.
Read on for more.
Here's our Silver and Gold scrimmage story. Notes and quotes are below:
No starting QB yet — Akey admitted he would have liked to had a starting quarterback in place by now, but the Vandals will go into summer and fall camp with Taylor Davis and Dominique Blackman still battling it out. “It hasn’t separated itself enough that we’re coming out of spring ball (with a starter),” Akey said. “I’m not going to lie to ya — I would have hoped that it would. If we could get to the end of spring and there’s a strong separation, I think that would have been awesome. But the fact that they’re both doing good things I think is good. It’s not because they’re not doing things well. … We need to create some situations early so we can get that to clear itself out as quick as we can so we can get ready for that first ballgame.” Jason Gesser said the Vandals need consistency out of their starting QB, whoever it is. “After today and after what we’ve done so far, it’s always been one guy here, one guy there,” Gesser said. “One guy performs, then all the sudden throws a pick. One guy doesn’t perform. It’s been back and forth the whole spring.”
Bass impresses — Ryan Bass ripped off a 19-yarder early Friday night and finished with 42 yards on six carries. He's clearly the top tailback going into fall, with Todd Handley and James Baker behind him. “He’s been working his tail off in the weight room,” Gesser said of Bass. “I don’t know if he understands that it’s his senior year, it’s my last go around (that) he’s getting the kick in the butt from that. Or it’s, 'Here’s my time, I’ve only got so many opportunities left.' And he’s done just a great job for us.” Added Bass, “I came out today trying to run hard. That’s what I’ve been doing every Saturday — just run my hardest.”
Mayowa with strong comments — Defensive end Benson Mayowa was asked about drawing motivation from last season, when the Vandals went 2-10. Last year was apparently so bad that Mayowa gave UI a couple extra losses. “To say the least, that was an embarrassing year,” he said. “(To go) 2-12, we don’t want that to happen. We sent last year’s seniors out kind of sad. We’re in the locker room every day, ‘We’ve got to get better.' We’re preaching to get better.”
Injuries — Akey said offensive lineman Guy Reynolds should be back in the fall. He'll have his knee scoped next week. Tight end Jared Klingenberg (shoulder) is the likeliest candidate to miss time in the fall, Akey said. Tailback James Baker sat out Friday with a sprained MCL, as did defensive tackle QuayShawne Buckley (shoulder). Linebacker Robert Siavii apparently was hurt at the end of the scrimmage, though Akey said he didn't see what happened and didn't have an update. Last year in teh spring game, Siavii tore his ACL.
Defensive depth chart — Akey said four players are in the mix at corner. Aaron Grymes, named a defensive captain Friday night, is a definite starter. Dion Bass seems like the other starter, and Solomon Dixon and Christian Whitehead are also there. … At safety, Trey Williams was with the first team along with Gary Walker, while Thaad Thompson also get reps with the ones. … Jesse Davis and Ryan Edwards were the first-team interior defensive tackles, while Mayowa, Vince Keener and Maxx Forde rotated at D-end. … Siavii was on the second team at linebacker. The starters appear to be Sua Tuala, Conrad Scheidt and Homer Mauga, though that could change. Backing Tuala up is James Randall, while Jeffrey Bediako and Elan Richard also spent with the twos.