December 12, 2018

Scrimmage Report — 8/15/09

The length of Bobby Petrino’s scrimmages are becoming legendary.  When we think back after watching 170+ plays this morning, they all do tend to become a blur.  But here are some of the things that we noticed.

Even though the scrimmage stats were pretty gaudy, we weren’t overly impressed by the offense as a whole today.  They really didn’t amaze us with any consistency.  There were, however, individual players who had a good day.

Bobby Petrino (TipsterHog Photo)The running backs were heavily showcased today and Dennis Johnson made the most of his opportunities.  After mostly getting lost in the shuffle of a crowded backfield this preseason, Johnson showed he still belongs in the conversation.  He also looks to be one of the Hogs’ better pass protectors.

Ronnie Wingo seemed to get going about midway through the scrimmage.  Afterwards, Bobby Petrino singled out Knile Davis as being behind right now because of missed practices and we would agree.  In general, the freshmen backs need to do a better job running “north and south.”

Broderick Green was given numerous touches with mixed results.  Green is getting every opportunity to show he is tough.  But other than a couple of runs, he didn’t show us much.  He did have one good goal line burst for a touchdown.

Ryan Mallett mostly looked sharp but seemed to fade and lose accuracy by the end of the scrimmage.  Tyler Wilson looked good and may have thrown the best ball of the day to Reggie Fish for a big gain downfield.

Both quarterbacks stepped up in the pocket well.  But they took a bit too long today making reads and getting the ball off.  And when the defense let loose, neither quarterback did a good job of avoiding the sack and getting rid of the ball.

The receivers as a group looked good.  Greg Childs is having a great camp.  There are several playmakers at the receiver position that can be weapons.  Opposing defenses will definitely not be able to focus on just one go-to guy.

Overall, we thought the offensive line play was sloppy.  There were too many exchange issues and shotgun snaps that were low — just below the belt line.

The Hogs ran several screens today but, in general, the O-line didn’t block them very well.  One exception we noted was tackle Grant Freeman, who took out three defenders on a screen pass that resulted in a touchdown.

As for the defense, they seemed much more solid in running their schemes today than even at the end of last season.  And unlike some of the other practices we’ve attended, today the defense played with a lot of confidence.

The defensive line just looks a lot better this year.  Their bodies are bigger, but they were still going strong at the end of practice when the offense appeared tired.  The D-line did leave too many holes at times for quarterback runs, as Coach Petrino noted after practice.

The linebackers and secondary have more size and definitely more speed this year.  Their pass coverage was good today, even though there were completions allowed.  A live pass rush could make the coverage look better.  Linebacker Wendel Davis had a good day and was very active stopping the run.

The scrimmage ended on a high note with kicks of 36, 42, 48 and 49 yards by Alex Tejada.  The snaps and holds look to be just a little off right now, causing Tejada to hit some of his kicks without making solid contact.

Overall, our grade:  Offense C; Defense B.  It was encouraging to see the defense show improvement, but we’ve seen the offense do better than they did today.

TipsterHog and Walking on Sunshine also contributed to this post.


  1. I thought Mallet had a throw for a touchdown that was equally impressive as was the throw by Wilson. It didn’t take but two series and you can tell that the QB race is not close. Mallet is definitely the #1 choice. I also thought that Wingo had some nice runs in fact he made one cut that no other back was making for a good gain. Then close to the end zone he slipped out of the backfield and was on the receiving end of a touchdown pass. I for one was very excited after today. There were throws made today that we would not have even thought about throwing last year. I saw Mallet look at multiple receivers something we haven’t seen in years.

  2. ultim8hogfan says:

    I think this is the 1st review of the scrimmage I’ve read that I completely agree with. I never thought the offense flowed, but there were some nice throws. I can see why Mallet is ahead, he has a lot of natural talent, but he’s still got a long way to go.

  3. Hawgfan100 says:

    Man, after a year and a half in the system I hope he doesn’t have too much farther to go. I mean, the season starts in three weeks, right? ;/

    • ultim8hogfan says:

      I think this year under Petrino, with him actually getting to play in the games, will be what he needs to become truly great. I think Mallet will do well this year, & may even have one of the better years a Hog QB has ever had when it’s all said & done. I think, like a lot of others have said, that we can have a good year, & think we’ll probably surprise a top 10 team, but next year is when everything will be completly primed for a truly great season. But what I saw in the scrimmage today was someone with a lot of talent/potential, who is still making mistakes.

  4. hawgfan12 says:

    I think Mallett is the solid #1 after seeing him perform today. Sure, he has some things to improve on, but he is, imo, way ahead of wilson. I was also impressed with Ronnie Wingo, Dennis Johnson, and Reggie Fish.

  5. I was encouraged by the defense…thought they really brought it Saturday. After the offense gashed them during Wednesday’s abbreviated scrimmage work, I had some flashbacks to last years dismal unit. But Saturday was different; they held their own.

    Still have reservations, especially at LB. Don’t think they are going to be a great defense, but improvement is there.

  6. I’m confused…how can one say the defense was a B and brought it when they gave up 500 plus yards, 5 TDs, etc.

    I obviously wasn’t there, but it’s hard to see the difference from last year cause Casey Dick lit the D up for 400 yards in a scrimmage last year, and well…we know what happened during the regular season.

    • Good question Soupdhog. When you consider that 170+ plays is roughly 2 games worth of plays, the numbers look more reflective of the defenses’ effort.

      Also, through out the scrimmage, the defense would stop the offense during the drive, or get a turnover, and the down and distance was just reset to first-and-ten. That’s part of the reason the stats look inflated.

    • Another point is that the quarterbacks had a lot of time to throw since the pass rush wasn’t live. As Coach Petrino pointed out later, the quarterbacks were holding the ball too long many times.

      If it were match play golf based on each possession, the defense easily won. Looking at the stats really doesn’t tell the story of what was going on.

  7. Hmmm…when you put it into that context, then that is exciting!! It’s great getting this kind of insight…I live in Texas and rely on sites like yours for info….appreciate what you guys do!

    Go Hogs!