The Idaho football team scrimmaged for just over two hours Saturday morning and early afternoon, and that was after 30 minutes of warm-ups and position drills. It was a long day in the heat. Afterward, first-year coach Paul Petrino met with reporters. The full transcript of his interview is below.
UPDATE: My story on Quinton Bradley and the scrimmage can be found here.
The biggest standouts where quarterback Chad Chalich, who threw for two TDs and ran for two more, and defensive end Quinton Bradley. Chalich's 171 yards through the air included several superb passes, including a perfect out route to Dezmon Epps on the fourth series, and he showed the same toughness running the ball that Petrino liked in spring. Bradley had four tackles for loss, including two sacks, and was great off the edge until Petrino designated two guys to block or chip him.
Other standouts: running back Richard Montgomery (10 carries, 93 yards); wide receivers Epps and Deon Watson; corner Solomon Dixon; freshman QB Matt Linehan, who is redshirting; and defensive lineman Vince Keener.
Notable players who sat out or were injured: OT Jesse Davis (concussion); RB Kris Olugbode (undisclosed injury); RB James Baker (undisclosed injury); S Trey Williams (he's been injured all camp); and OG Dallas Sandberg (left just before halftime of the scrimmage).
Opening comments ... "I thought our defensive line played really well, especially early, especially when they got us in passing situations. Quinton has a chance to be real special. And anytime they can play like that, we’ve just got to get the lead on offense and you’ve got a great chance to win. I thought our offensive line didn’t play very well, especially early on. I thought as the scrimmage went on, the offense played well. I think we scored 10 touchdowns. … We were a heck of a lot better today than yesterday; at least there was execution on both sides of the ball. I think guys competed. You actually heard hitting going on. So, yeah, those are great things you can build on."
On the offense's slow start ... "The first drive we actually went right down there and had a stupid play and then settled for a field goal. So the first drive wasn’t bad. And then second drive we down there, too. Then we had about three drives were we just didn't protect. We weren’t run blocking well enough. I’d say that’s the biggest difference. Then I just went to calling more play action and pass. And that’s how we scored all those touchdowns. We’ve got to be able to run the ball, so that’s something we’ve got to get way better at and really improve on."
On the play of his QBs … "You know, I’ll watch it on tape, but just walking off the field, I thought Chad had a real good day. I felt like it anyway. I think as the day went on, that last series, Josh played well. I think early on, he’s still not really sure what he’s doing all the time. And I thought Taylor did some good things and had a couple bad plays
On QB Matt Linehan … "Matt’s going to be a great one. Matt’s redshirting this year, but he’s going to be great for the future. He can really throw the ball. He has a good presence. Stepped up. You know, every Sunday night we’re going to scrimmage with those young guys and get them all kinds of work. And we’ve stayed after every single practice. So Matt will get as many reps as anybody this year. I thought Matt did real well."
Josh McCain's playbook … "You know, it’s just a little smaller. There were a couple plays that was pretty simple stuff. He needed to know where he was going with the ball quicker and just get the ball there instead of just always running. There were a couple times he had guys wide open. He’s just got to get the ball out of his hands and just make that throw. But he finished on a real good series; he went right down the field and executed on all those plays and did well, so that’s what you’ve got to build on."
The role that Richard Montgomery played … "He’s a stud. That’s all I can say. He’s hard to tackle. He’s fast. He’s tough. Just got to keep getting him better and he can be really, really special."
On the offensive line injuries and Quinton Bradley … "Jesse got a concussion yesterday and Dallas didn’t play much either. So we were down a couple guys, but we don’t ever … you never make excuses. Whoever you’ve got out there, that’s who you play with and that’s who you roll with. So we’ll watch it on tape. Quinton dominated them. Quinton got after them. He was dominant today. But as the second half went on or even in the first half … I just started putting two guys on him and that’s when we started throwing the ball more and that’s when we started moving the ball. We started chipping him with extra guys. Once we did that … I think the receivers played well for the most part. I’d say the defense kind of dominated up front. The offense probably dominated in the skill (positions). We’ve just got to get more 50-50 on both sides of the ball."
On the D-line … "You know, they’re rotating a lot because the head coach keeps making the ones go over and over and over. So they’re trying to keep fresh. Quinton’s going to be in good enough shape to play most of the time. He’s going to be in great shape and play all the time. Definitely on third downs, he’s going to be our stopper."
On the receivers … "I thought Deon (Watson) had a real good day. I think Epps had a real good day. And Roman (Runner) made a couple big plays for us. Najee (Lovett) had a good week of practice. So there’s some good players there. I think we’ll be fine at receiver."
Are you satisfied with the depth you have at receiver? … Y"eah, I am. Then we have some young guys. It’s exciting — our young class is exciting. There’s a bunch of speed, fast, playmakers. And what’s the most exciting is just a bunch of guys who like football, that enjoy coming out to practice and have a great attitude. And that’s what we need the whole team to be."
On the secondary and Solomon Dixon … "I’ve got to watch that on film, to be honest with you. I know we made some big plays but I don’t know if it was on him or not."
With Quinton, is it speed or power? … "It’s a little bit of both. He’s got a great get-off. He’s got some good tools. You know, we always talk about have a toolbox, have different moves. And I don’t want to say what they because I don’t want everybody to hear what they are, but he’s just a really good player. I told him … I don’t know I’d only been here about a month and I said, ‘If you’ll just trust us and work your butt off, you can play football for a long, long time.’ So hopefully that’ll happen."
Chad Chalich's toughness? ... "That’s awesome. That’s great. That inspires his teammates. And it gets a first down, it gets in the end zone. He’s strong. He’s a big, strong kid. So that’s got to be part of his toolset. Always when you watch the tape, you’re never as happy or never as mad. But just walking off the field, I thought Chad a really good day."
On Olugbode and Brown … "Olugbode didn’t play, so he didn’t do very good. He’s a little dinged up. And Brown actually toughed it out; he’s a little dinged up himself. … I thought he played really tough. But (No.) 4 (Montgomery) is the stud today. Four, they better get healthy, they better compete or they’ll be watching 4 make a bunch of plays. And that’s what’s good. When you can have that at every position, that’s way better than yelling at them. You just go, ‘Hey, get in. Get out.’ It makes it a lot easier when you have that kind of depth. That’s really all you’ve got to do at the running back position is just put a new guy in."
Was James Baker dinged up? … "Yes, he is. Snooze you lose, they say, don’t they? Huh? So you stay banged up, you’re not going to be playing."