The Huskies wrapped up spring camp with a scrimmage this morning. Both sides of the ball turned in a fairly good performance to cap off what was a successful weekend.
The offence was able to score four touchdowns on the day. On the first drive of the day it took Jarvis James just 2 carries to get the ball into the end zone from the 15 yard line. James promptly pounded the ball into the end zone for a 2 point conversion on the next play as well. Jarvis also scored the second TD of the scrimmage, this time on a 7 yard pass from Jeremy Long. Mitch Hillis scored the other 2 majors; the first was on a beautiful pass from Kyle Siemens that hit Hillis in stride on route to a 20 yard score. His second TD came on a pass from Huskie starting pivot, Drew Burko. The scrimmage also saw both Brydon Ozmun and Julan Lynch take short passes and extend them into significant gains with strong running after the catch. Speaking of strong running, new RB recruit Kayden Johnson broke a few tackles while totalling a little over 20 yards on his first 2 carries; on a down note, Johnson fumbled the second carry which was recovered by cornerback Travoy Martinez. If there was a concern on the offensive side of the ball, it was the group’s inability to take care of the ball; they put the ball on the ground an alarming 4 times during the scrimmage. “I spoke to the offence about this afterwards,” commented offensive coordinator Brent Schneider. “If you can’t hang onto the ball it’s tough to win.”
Defensively, the front 7 was able to pressure the quarterback numerous times. As well as the 4 fumbles that they forced, there were a couple of outstanding pass breakups by the defensive secondary; Mark Ingram got his hand in on a pass to Julan Lynch, preventing a significant gain, and Tanner Hope knocked a ball down later in the scrimmage. “We just won the game, so that’s all right,” defensive coordinator Ed Carleton remarked about his group’s performance.
While their last few attempts were good, the field goal kickers got off to a very rocky start to the day, missing their first several attempts. More consistency in this area will be needed, and this was not lost on Coach Towriss during his comments to the team at the end of camp.
All in all, it was a successful camp which allowed the Huskie coaching staff to get a peek at what they’ll have to work with this fall, with the added benefit of avoiding much in the way of injuries during the 4 days. “I feel positive about the camp,” BT remarked. “The kids worked hard and showed a great attitude. It would be nice if we could have the guys for a few more hours to watch film, because there’s a lot of stuff that we could correct – we missed a few things that were real close, but we’ve only had a few days to practice. You always worry about injuries, but it looks like we came out fairly clean. We saw that we have lots of talent at receiver and a lot of talent at running back. It’s unfortunate that Tyler Chow got a little nicked on the first day; we would have like to have seen him a bit more, but we saw enough of him to know what he can do.”
So now the players won’t be gathering as a team again until the second half of August. During that time many will be working summer jobs, as most students do. They will also dedicate themselves to returning in the best condition possible so that they can be ready to contribute to what will hopefully be a successful season. Several players will remain in Saskatoon for the summer, which will afford them the opportunity to use the wonderful training facilities in the team’s clubhouse. Others will return home for a few months. Travoy Martinez, from Dallas, shared his summer training plans with Huskie Outsider. “I’ll be going home for 3 months in order to be at the Michael Johnson Performance Center – this is big for me to be able train there.” Martinez also added some praise for the Huskie coaches. “This was a good camp. The coaches really brought their ‘A’ game this year; they had us doing a lot of drills that we hadn’t seen before.”
Huskie Outsider will still have more ahead in the next couple of days. Our second episode of Outsider Radio will be available on Monday. Another article will have more comments from Coaches Schneider and Carleton, along with special teams coordinator Brian Guebert. You’ll also hear from receivers’ coach Jason Sulz. Dallas will have a video interview with offensive line coach Travis Serke. We weren’t able to catch up with linebackers’ coach Darryl Burko today, nor defensive backs coaches Cody Halseth and Eric Duchene; a first priority during fall training camp will be to have them update us on their units.