College Football: Offense rough, defense shines
Early in last Saturday’s first spring scrimmage, Texas State walk-on junior running back Claudio Mayen broke outside on a stretch play and sprinted down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown. Mayen, who participated in drills with the third-string offense, went untouched on his way to the end zone.
That was one of the few highlights from the Bobcats’ offense, as numerous penalties and turnovers plagued their progress. Texas State’s much-maligned defense showed improvements throughout its 80-100 plays on the field.
“The worst thing was that we had too many penalties,” Bobcat head coach Dennis Franchione said. “We ran three teams, so you keep that in perspective, but that’s Texas State beating Texas State.”
“In a lot of ways, it was a pretty typical first scrimmage,” Franchione continued. “It was good to see the defense get a few takeaways and the offense is blocking a lot of defense. It’s good that the defense is ahead of the offense at this stage. If not, you better be worried about your defense.”
Perhaps one of the biggest surprises for the Bobcats’ defense was the play of Brandon Jones, a junior transfer safety from Santa Rosa College.
Jones housed two turnovers for touchdowns, including a 55-yard interception return off a pass thrown by soon-to-be senior quarterback Duke DeLancellotti, who slid down to third on the depth chart behind soon-to-be senior Tyler Arndt and redshirt freshman Jordan Moore. DeLancellotti fell right into a trap set by Jones.
“I just baited him into thinking I was going to blitz and I jumped his hot route,” Jones said. “I just had to catch it and hope I wouldn’t drop it.”
With DeLancellotti out of the picture after a poor week, Arndt and Moore split first-string reps.
Arndt looked more comfortable running Texas State’s version of the Pistol than he ever did in the fall. Even though he didn’t get too many opportunities to show off his arm, Arndt delivered a 17-yard laser to soon-to-be junior wide receiver Ben Ijah early in the scrimmage.
Moore continued to struggle with his throwing mechanics, especially when setting his feet in the pocket, but looks to be the most comfortable running the option. While he rushed for two touchdowns during red-zone drills, Moore didn’t look as solid in third-down training (his teams only converted three of its nine opportunities).
Texas State has two more practices this week (today and Thursday) in preparation for Saturday’s second scrimmage.