Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Spring Football

I've been meaning to post my trenchant insights about Tulane and the progress the Spring- particularly the scrimmage the weekend before last to cap off practice. I dunno- for me, the scrimmage was not exactly insightful- in the sense that there was nothing in it to suggest that Tulane could definitely win more than four games- weighed strongly against there was nothing to suggest they couldn’t either.


1. It was quick (maybe 45 snaps?) and sloppy (figure a dozen of those plays was either busted, a sack- seriously, there were like seven, a turnover or two, blocked kick, obvious penalty, etc.) But you know, they were running quarterbacks and deep reserves in and out, after a few weeks of workouts, new coach, new plays, new positions- so you know, I kinda give’em a pass.

2. Scott Elliott is clearly the quarterback right now. Or at least they really, really, really want him to be. Right now, Scelfo would be a very good qb at a place like Georgetown- but I-A stretches his physical capacity too far. Didn’t see much of Moore. Scott did complete a lot of throws- but the defense was vanilla in the secondary, few blitzes, etc. One huge positive- the wide outs caught the ball again and again. I can’t really remember a bad drop.

3. Last year, I wrote pre-season I thought the Tulane defense had a great shot to set the record for most points allowed ever by a Tulane team- and was savaged by many for that prediction. Tip of the cap: I was wrong. Tulane just barely missed the record- but allowed 400 points!!

Consequently, my biggest worry is the offense- if just because the defense is such a problem I can’t imagine it can be fixed to a semi-quality unit in one year (where are you Burnell Dent?). I mean, they could improve a whole hundred points allowed- and still be terrible, right?

The best player on offense is probably Forte- who is finally an average back (fifth, sixth best in C-USA last year) who can’t stay healthy. Worse- there is nothing obvious that takes pressure off Matt. Last year, Ricard was an enigma- but you know, you couldn’t stack the run, dare the qb to make plays, cause- bless him- there were a few quarters/halves a year where Lester could just go nuts and make those plays. Teams are going to stack us and dare Elliott (or whomever) to make plays to force’em to play more honestly. It is worrisome. We can’t block “standard” fronts regularly now; how are we gonna block teams that can cheat the run and commit extra pass rushers consistently?

Forte did not play- so Tuyo got most of the work and played well… but who cares, we already know Tuyo is just not a plus as a I-A player.

4. My impression is that, other than Forte, it is hard to guarantee any of these guys on offense as above average C-USA players next year- making an all C-USA style team. Which means the offense struggles like it did versus ECU (i.e. what this collection of players looks like when the qb is not a plus) more Saturdays than not. And that is a problem.

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