What mattered and what you need to know from the key April 13 spring football games: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, UCF, West Virginia, Wisconsin
It wasn’t exactly the razor-sharp performance that makes up for the national championship disaster, but whatever … last year’s spring game wasn’t a killer, either, and the team turned out to be just fine. Tua Tagovailoa missed almost half of his passes, but Mac Jones connected on 19-of-23 throws, and Taulia Tagovailoa looked fine completing 6 of his nine throws for 93 yards and a touchdown with. pick.
The running game didn’t do much of anything. Najee Harris ran just nine times for 23 yards and a score, and Brian Robinson ran 11 times for 42 yards. However, Robinson caught six passes, DeVonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy were good – combining for 11 passes for 209 yards – and spring camp star John Metchie showed up with 133 yards on five grabs.
And THERE’S the downfield passing game that was missing for long stretches during last season. WR Seth Williams was named the game’s MVP with 103 yards and two scores on four catches, but the buzz is around the quarterbacks. Star recruit Bo Nix looked terrific with a strong, accurate arm, connecting on 11-of-15 passes with two good touchdown passes.
Joey Gatewood also threw two touchdown passes, and Malik Willis was good, too, showing off his mobility and connecting on 7-of-8 throws with a touchdown. It’s the spring game – nothing was decided, and won’t be until fall camp. However, in terms of optics, the Auburn O looks like it’s going to be much, much stronger.
Who’s ready for the Florida passing game to go to another level? As long as the offensive line – still a big question mark – comes together in fall camp, the O will explode.
The quarterbacks combined for three picks, but it was a terrific day for the air show, with Feleipe Franks throwing for 327 yards and four scores, Kyle Trask connecting on 11-of-16 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and Emory Jones throwing two touchdown passes, even though he was a wee bit off on a 6-of-13 day with a pick.
The quarterbacks were good; the receivers were better. Freddie Swain caught five passes for 115 yards and two scores, Trevon Grimes took over the game with 195 yards and two touchdowns.
Uhhhhhhh, Tate Martell?
The Ohio State transfer wasn’t all that amazing in practices, and the spring scrimmage didn’t help his cause with Jarren Williams (7-of-12, 1 TD) and N’Kosi Perry (9-of-15) playing better and more consistently well. Perry started, but Williams was a bit better as the game went on. Meanwhile, nothing much was happening when Martell was under center, and he threw a bad pick along the way in a 4-of-11 day.
There’s still the rest of the offseason to figure it all out, but for now, the running backs appear to be fantastic and deep, the defense is going to be a killer, and at least there are good-looking quarterback options – even if it’s not Martell at the moment.