Commentary: Offense showcases improvements in Red & White Game
The spring Red & White Game was a competition between the offense and the defense, and you can put a ‘W’ in the books for the offense.
A strong performance by junior quarterback D’Eriq King and his receivers led the offense to score 48 points against the defense.
The game was split into four 10-minute quarters, with no stopping of the clocks during quarters. The offense tried to score as many points as possible, and at halftime, the score they accrued was given to the defense to simulate a come-from-behind situation.
The defense pulled off a couple huge plays that led to those scores, but the holes on the defensive side were again apparent in the second half, when the offense ran up 31 points. Add both totals together, and the Cougars’ offense scored 48 total points against the defense.
The quarterbacks’ performances in the spring game likely gave the coaching staff a little more confidence for next season.
King threw many deep passes for 259 yards, including two touchdowns, and suffered from zero turnovers. There were more action plays and run options than last year, which means there may be more QB movement next season.
Junior receivers Courtney Lark, Sid Turnbull and Terry Mark converted passing plays with ease, and there were not many drops during the game. The deep passes that were converted were good signs, since big plays in the passing game can open things up for the running game.
The run game started working in the second half, and the defense was not able to do much to stop the offense from gaining large chunks of yards at a time.
Junior running backs Kevrin Justice and Mulbah Car picked up 99 yards and a touchdown, and 72 yards and two two touchdowns, respectively.
The defense was able to get to the quarterback twice, but was not able to get enough meaningful pressure on the passer. The offensive line was able to shield off the defensive line’s pressure, while the running backs were able to find holes to exploit.
While the offense had a great game, most of it was played without NFL prospect and junior defensive tackle Ed Oliver on the other side; it’s likely they would not be as proficient with him on the field.
But if the offense can perform like it did in the spring game when fall comes around, the team will be in a good position to be successful.