In lieu of long form prose about the spring game, I've opted to post my thoughts in a bulleted list. Why? I was watching the game with a tempermental 4 year-old on the upper deck. This post will reflect the short attention span that I was saddled with on Saturday. Hopefully some insight sneaks through.
Full list after the jump...
- So, the answer that no one's been dying to hear is whether I'm on Team Southwick or Team Patti (oddly, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground outside the Laughrea and Hedrick families). Well, the answer to this pressing question is a resounding "yes". "Yes", Southwick looked like the best QB at the scrimmage and "yes" Nick Patti is as good as advertised. You have to remember that as good as Southwick looked on Saturday, he wasn't leaps and bounds better than a true freshman who's been on campus only since mid-January. Patti looked calm, poised and athletic on Saturday and his 35-yard TD strike was a thing of beauty. Southwick also looked like you'd expect a redshirt junior to—holding a firm grasp of the offense and making wise, if not somewhat unflashy decisions. Here's where I'll land until Fall Camp: If Patti progresses over the next few months like he has over the first few, this race is far from over—despite what Brian Murphy tells you.
- DeMarcus Lawrence looks good. Real good. And that's great. Outside the quarterback race, there's not another position with so many question marks as defensive end and the Bronco look like they landed a great one with the JC-Transfer Lawrence. Remember, this kid turned down Big 12 and SEC offers to come to the Blue and he looks like he'll have the impact of another JC-transfer that was destined for immediate greatness—Winston Venable. Ups to Sam "UK" Ukwuachu as well—he was disruptive and looks like a natural for the Shea McClellin STUD position. If the other DEs fall in line we won't see as big a drop-off as some expected.
- Blake Renaud should be the week one starter. I say "should" as in "I'm taking bets" rather than trying to publicly lobby for it. Renaud had a big impact on special teams last year as a true frosh and looks like as natural a run-stuffer as we've had in the middle for some time. His pick in the spring game was probably his 5th or 6th of the spring, so if he's added "ball hawk" to his Linkedin resumé, I think big things are to be expected.
- Outside of Jeremy Ioane's tip-toeing INT, he was rather quiet in my opinion...and that might actually be a good thing. Last year in his lone start against Georgia, I noticed Ioane too often playing soft and tentative at the SS position. He didn't rack up the tackles or stats on Saturday, but he seemed to be where he needed to be and his INT showed he can play with the right kind of aggression for the spot. I think he and Hightower could make a fearsome safety tandem.
- Man, I feel bad for Raphiel Lambert.
- Despite the evident lack of depth at the spring game at RB (Phillip Hogan may never see that much action again), I think we're going to be gold come Fall. D.J. Harper is an elite running back when healthy, and Drew Wright has come into his own. Add a healthy Jay Ajayi, a Doug-like Jack Fields, and a lightning-quick Devan Demas to the mix and the cupboard is anything but bare for 2012.
- Whatever Trevor Harman learned thus far into the offseason about punting, he needs to un-learn. Those were some awful, awful punts and I know he can do better. Don't say it was the wind.
- Darren Koontz looks like he's taken the next step, and not a moment too soon. We need solid depth on that D-line and Koontz was very busy on Saturday.
- DB Darian Thompson led the team in tackles in the game. Surprised?
- Geraldo Boldewijn still needs some alone time with the J.U.G.S. machine. He can be an extremely dangerous deep-threat for the Broncos if he can develop softer hands. By the way, the bomb he missed from Patti wasn't his fault.
- Kicking? I'm pleading the fifth. Let's hope Sean Wale is some sort of kicking prodigy.
- 17k at a spring game in Boise, ID was not-too-shabby. Take a gander at some of these attendance numbers from across the country and BSU stacks up quite nicely. Boston College drew 200 fans, BTW. LOLs are in order.
- All in all, a solid Spring Game. The younger guys are stepping up and the older guys are settled in. Some solid depth was standing on the sidelines nursing injuries so I won't get too worked up about that at this point. You know Pete will have them ready come August.