by Garry Paskwietz
* It was mostly a 1’s vs 1’s and 2’s vs 2’s scrimmage. The defense was strong early and only gave up 1 “explosive” play on the day, but the offense ended up with some fairly good production, including no turnovers on the day.
* Clay Helton comment on offense “to see them play that clean with no turnovers makes me a happy coach, I’m going to have a big steak tonight for that”
* The top defensive performer was Jabari Ruffin, who had the hit of the day with a strong pop on Ajene Harris after a pass over the middle. Jabari (photo above) also had a sack on Jalen Greene and a solid tackle on Isaac Whitney.
* Other good defensive plays to note: Michael Hutchings had a pass break up, Hutchings and Quinton Powell combined for a big hit on Aca’Cedric Ware and Olajuwon Tucker corralled Ware at the line.
* Sam Darnold had the most productive day of the QB’s. He hit Harris for the lone explosive play, approx. 30 yards for a touchdown along the left sideline. Sam also had a touchdown when he hit Steven Mitchell in the flat and a nice block by Whitney on Tucker allowed him room to get into the end zone.
* Helton did say after practice, for the first time this spring, that Max Browne is ahead in the QB competition, and he added “that’s the way it should be with their experience”.
* Ronald Jones had a pair of short TD runs, and Justin Davis added a 25-yard TD run on the final play of the day. Helton praised Davis for his physical running, one example of that was when he ran through a Iman Marshall tackle attempt early in the day.
* In addition to the Whitney block that sprung Davis for the TD, Josh Imatorbhebhe had a good block on the outside to help another Davis run. De’Quan Hampton also had a catch on the slant against Marshall in tight coverage.
* Two notes on the offense – we did see some snaps under center, and there was plenty of use of Rueben Peters as the fullback.
* Matt Leinart was in attendance, as were Jackie Jones and Bubba Bolden among others.
* There was some unfortunate news as Helton confirmed that Kenny Bigelow tore his ACL and will be out 7-9 months.