Pat Hill and Fresno State can paint any picture they want, and fans will just have to take their word for it.
The last seven days of fall camp, the media has been locked out of practice save the first 20 minutes of action. And for those who’ve seen a Fresno State football practice knows nothing happens during the first 20 minutes.
How is it possible to form an opinion on a player performance, position battle, drill, or etc. when all you witness is players stretching and doing agilities?
About the only thing you can take from that is effort. And for the most part, that hasn’t been an issue in 2009.
But fans want the meat and potatoes of practice.
The first week of fall camp was mostly fluff. There were few injuries and little or no position battles outside of the quarterback of major note. The second week of camp was much the same, I presume, but I can’t say for sure because I didn’t witness any of it.
The second scrimmage usually answers the key questions of camp. However, after Saturday night, Coach Pat Hill is still not ready to name a starting quarterback or name a starting left guard for that matter.
Junior Ryan Colburn finished 8-of-10 for 81 yards with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Devon Wylie. Derek Carr’s stats of the 70-play scrimmage were not made available; however, it’s certain he was the culprit of lone interception thrown on Saturday night.
Without watching for ourselves, we must assume Colburn had the better night. He seemed pleased with the team’s performance following the scrimmage. “I thought we played really well,” he said. “That first group moved the ball pretty good.”
But did he do enough to secure the starting spot. Who knows?
“I was pretty happy tonight with how I played,” said Colburn. “I think I finished camp pretty strong.”
“Ryan Colburn had a good scrimmage tonight,” said Hill. But maintains the quarterback battle is too close to call.
“Derek has had his times,” said Hill. “They’ve both have had their time. They’re both good quarterbacks. Ebahn [Feathers] has his package. That decision is still not ready to be made yet. I’d like to have one but right now both the quarterbacks are very even.”
Left guard maybe more complex.
It all depends if the coaches feel Devan Cunningham is better suited as the swing tackle or the starting left guard. What has made the decision more difficult was the injury to freshman Matt Hunt – the left guard starter after spring ball – and the emergence of redshirt sophomore Leslie Cooper.
“We still got to get our best five on the field,” said Hill.
Right now, it’s evident four of the five are already locked in: left tackle Bryce Harris, center Joe Bernardi, right guard Andrew Jackson, and right tackle Kenny Wiggins.
I really can’t say who I think should be in starting at left guard without watching practice.
Hunt missed most of the camp that was open to the media but played in the scrimmage. Cunningham missed a few days of camp and took reps at tackle as well. Cooper took more reps than Charley Robbins and Max Devlin and played better than both did. But versus Hunt and Cunningham, it would have been nice to witness the battle on Saturday night.
However, Hill made it clear the starting o-line unit will have at least five practices together before lacing it up for UC Davis on September 5. So, expect a starter to be named by the end of the week.
Projected starters wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu, wide receiver Marlon Moore, and tight end Isaac Kinter did not play in the first scrimmage, but all took reps in the second. How did they look? Again, I couldn’t tell you.
The only player performance I can say for sure is Rashad Evans that’s because he didn’t play.
Two Days Off
The players are off until Tuesday to prepare for the start of the fall semester that begins Monday. Coach Hill said the team would begin early 6 a.m. meetings this week that will continue through the month of September. He is preparing his team for the rigors of the early season Midwest road trips to Wisconsin and Cincinnati, when the ‘Dogs will kickoff against both at 9 a.m. PT.
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