SEC Spring Game Things That Matter: April 14
– The quarterback situation is still up in the air. It’s not going to be superstar recruit Emory Jones. He threw two touchdown passes, but he’s not there yet – give him a year or so.
Feleipe Franks hit 8-of-12 passes for 117 yards and a score, and also showed off his mobility and running skills – he looks and plays the part of a Dan Mullen quarterback, with two rushing scores, too. However, Kyle Trask continues to push hard, looking better than his 12-of-24 day with three touchdown passes. It’s still Game On until August.
– From the start, Mullen appears interested in changing the attitude and culture. It’s not that Jim McElwain wasn’t likable, but … Mullen is different. He kept the spring game loose and fun, he appears to be doing everything possible to crank up the offense in his spread attack – a big deal for offensively starved Gator fans – and the team appears to be responding. Now the program needs a sure-thing starting quarterback.
– Now THIS was a spring game. While other schools might have wanted to have some fun, give something for the fans to enjoy with a slew of gimmicks, and primarily do everything possible to keep everyone healthy, Texas A&M played something close to a real, live game. This was fun, this was physical, and this was as intense as any spring game can be. And it also meant that plenty of the performances were for real.
– The quarterbacks looked terrific. Nick Starkel gave up a bad pick and misses a few throws, but he was in command at times, completing 26-of-42 throws for 373 yards and two scores. Meanwhile, it took a little bit, but Kellen Mond was excellent, hitting 19-of-26 passes for 180 yards and three touchdowns. They were live, but the D line didn’t go all out, Even so, they played well.
– There was a fullback, and a tight end, and some real, live, defensive plays. Tyree Johnson and Kingsley Keke each came up with two sacks, but it was the general play of the linebackers that stood out. The offenses looked fine, but all things considered, the D held its own.
On the offensive side, TE Jace Sternberger caught eight passes for 147 yards and two scores. Expect more of that.
– Get ready for the quarterback situation to keep on rolling through fall camp. Gunnar Hoak was okay, hitting 14-of-25 throws for 121 yards and a score, and Oregon and JUCO transfer Terry Wilson hit 10-of-24 passes for 131 yards with a pick – and he ran a little bit. Wilson can do a little bit more overall, and he’s got the better tools, but Hoak has the upside to be the better passer.
– Asim Rose showed up with a big performance. Benny Snell showed off a little bit with 33 yards on six carries, but he’s going to need a little help carrying the load. And that’s where Rose comes in, as a big, power back who can take off, too, ripping off 134 yards and three scores on 11 carries.
– Yeah, so the game was attended by dozens … whatever. Social media had a good time with pictures of empty stands, but that’s not the problem. The defense didn’t generate enough pressure. Of course, it’s not like the intensity was turned up to 11, but the Tigers struggled up front to get into the backfield. Considering defensive end is a wee bit of a concern, that’s not a plus.
– New offensive coordinator Derek Dooley had the O go slow. Drew Lock was okay, and the five quarterbacks combined to connect on 23-of-52 passes for 280 yards and three scores with two picks as the attack took on a more deliberate pace. Jack Lowary made a strong case to be the No. 2 – with a sharp 5-of-6 day for 49 yards and a score.