The BC Football Team held its first scrimmage of the summer on Saturday morning at Shea Field. After a slow start the offense was able to find a rhythm and score two touchdowns in the second half of the scrimmage.
Despite this being labeled as an open competition, Patrick Towles took all of the reps with the first string offensive line. Darius Wade got just as many reps as Towles but they were all with the second team line. Both quarterbacks did more good things than bad and overall were productive on the day.
Towles seems like the most vocal leader on offense so if all things were equal it would be strange not seeing him named the starter. The graduate senior is always encouraging his teammates and is quick to compliment his receivers when they come down with a catch of even average difficulty.
One other trait that’s noticeable during a live scrimmage is Towles escapability. He doesn’t run a lot, but in a fashion like Big Ben does he isn’t afraid to hit you up for a 7 or 8 yard gain once the pocket collapses.
The highlight for Towles in the scrimmage came near the end when he hit Thadd Smith for a 35-yard bomb. Smith ran a fly pattern down the right sideline and Towles laid it out perfectly in front of Smith so that he had to dive just a tad to come up with a big catch. Towles was accurate on his passes most of the day and if not for some dropped passes would’ve had a completion percentage well above 70%.
Towles probably only threw two really bad balls all of the day. One was an interception late in the day when he threw a jump ball for tight end Tommy Sweeney, which isn’t a horrible idea considering Sweeney is 6’5". The problem was that Sweeney was double covered by Gabe McClary and John Johnson, and the 6’3" cornerback went up and picked off the pass.
Wade started off the scrimmage a little slow, some of that because the second string offensive line had him running for his life on every other pass attempt. Finally, Wade decided to take matters into his own hands though. Backed up at his own 1-yard line, Wade went back to pass and tucked the ball away and took off up the middle. The middle linebacker had lost sight of Wade and he took off for a 50-yard gain until the coaches blew the play dead. Wade also had an explosive passing play when he hit Elijah Robinson down the right sideline for a 40 yard bomb.
Like Towles, Wade wasn’t without his own miscues. The most notable was a pick six pass to John Lamont near the end of the scrimmage.
John Fadule and Anthony Brown each saw action as well.
Not surprisingly, all of the running backs each had their moments. Jon Hilliman started the game with the first unit and for about the first quarter of the scrimmage was the featured back for the first string. Hilliman backed up his talk from media day that he is back at "100%". He looked fast and hasn’t lost any of his power.
The most productive back in the scrimmage was Myles Willis who had two touchdowns. Willis’ first touchdown came from six yards out when he ran a counter behind Chris Lindstrom and was basically untouched going into the end zone. A few series later, Willis had a 50+ yard touchdown run when he took a carry straight up the middle and slipped through two arm tackles before being off to the races.
While not as productive as Hilliman and Willis, Davon Jones continues to look like he could be a real force, maybe as early as this season. On the few occasions when Jones had any type of hole to run through he hit it hard and showed a great combination of explosiveness and power. I’d be shocked if he didn’t have a handful of explosive runs this season.
The best wide receiver today was Charlie Callinan. The junior wideout had 5 receptions on the day, many of them coming over the middle when he was tightly covered by a defender. Callinan has no drops and looked to have a rhythm going with Towles.
Smith and Robinson had the two biggest passing plays of the scrimmage, but each player would tell you that he was inconsistent. Before the long reception, Smith had a hard time getting on the same page as Towles. It felt like whenever Towles threw to Smith the pass was off a lot more than it was when he threw it to any other receiver. Robinson had a handful of drops in the scrimmage and the coaches were quick to get all over him for it. You can tell that the staff sees Robinson’s potential and are trying to just get it out of him.
Nolan Borgersen and Drew Barksdale each had a few receptions which went for single digit gains.
Freshman tight end Korab Idrizi had a fantastic sliding catch early on in the scrimmage that was one of the highlights of the day.
The first string offensive line consisted of:
There was definitely improvement in the play of the offensive line. They opened up some holes for the backs and allowed Towles plenty of time to throw on most occasions. Overall you’d have to give the edge to the defensive line in this scrimmage, but it was much less of a mismatch than it was a year ago.
The second string offensive line was:
The second line was subbing on and off so by no means was that unit set in stone the entire day. Overall the second unit wasn’t as good as the first unit was.
Addazio spent quite a bit of time coaching up both lines. On one occasion he got on Anthony Palazzolo for leaving too wide of a split between him and the LG when the team was practicing a situation of taking over at its own 1-yard line.