the defensive coordinator talks about his unit's struggles during the first scrimmage....
Fall Camp Scrimmage 1 Report
Cain had a great day going 14-16 for 184 and 2 TDs. His arm strength and touch are definitely improved over last year. Part of his success may have come from going against the #2 and #3 defense, but he still looked very good.
Jordan Wynn didn't look as good, but was almost as effective as Cain. He was 14-20 for 160 yards and 2 TDs.
Tauni Vakapuna was the best player in the scrimmage with 7 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown including a 92 yarder during which he went untouched. Had a few other solid runs yesterday. Has looked much more impressive than Shakerin to this point, but is still fourth on the depth chart.
Griffin McNabb was the best receiver yesterday and a favorite target of Jordan Wynn. Playing with the 1's in place of Jereme Brooks who sat out to let younger guys get a few reps, McNabb was very dangerous. In the slot, he was unstoppable yesterday catching 10-15 passes over the middle all day. He had one catch in the center of the field and was lit up by Brian Blechen, but held on to the ball. Another time Kamaron Yancy nailed him on the sidelines but he hung on. His stats showed 6 catches for 75 yards and a TD, but I question the accuracy of those. He seemed to have closer to 10 catches.
Reggie Dunn led all receivers with 6 catches and 83 yards including a 25 yard TD from Cain. Dunn did most of his work against the 2's and 3's which were awful yesterday. He did catch the pass of the day on a beautiful fade route from Terrance Cain in the back of the end zone.
Eddie Wide played sparingly but put up 67 yards on 4 carries and a TD from 17 yards out. He also turned in a 40 yard run early in practice breaking a tackle and busting it outside.
Griff Robles had a decent day throwing the ball going 3-5 for 31 yards and 1 TD. He did run it a lot on the quarterback draw going for 29 yards on 7 carries. Players were allowed to hit Robles, but not Cain and Wynn so that's why Robles was allowed to run the ball. He ran over a linebacker on one play.
Kenneth Scott showed his nerves with a false start on his first play.
Tevita Stevens went down midway through practice with a leg injury. He was down for awhile and in a lot of pain and had to be helped off of the field. Trainers tended to Stevens for about 15 minutes before he got up and was walking on his own. His leg was heavily iced the remainder of practice. The extent of the injury is unknown.
Derrick Shelby was going at full speed and looked better than he has previously. If healthy, I still think he's one of the starting D-ends.
VJ Fehoko ran with the 2's at linebacker, but didn't make much of an impact. He tackled Terrance Cain at one point and was yelled at by coaches. Joe Kruger did the same. The coaches then called out all the young players and said,"Younger players. Do not touch Jordan Wynn or Terrance Cain."
A few different players were returning punts in Damian Payne, Terrell Reese, and Griffin McNabb. Shaky Smithson did not return any punts yesterday.
Brian Blechen continues to show his hard hitting lighting up McNabb and Kendrick Moeia. He did struggle in pass coverage a little yesterday, but I spoke with both Morgan Scalley and Kilani Sitake and they are excited about him.
Shaky Smithson had another solid day with 3 catches for 60 yards and a TD. His touchdown was a 53 yarder that he took to the house after a missed tackle, which was a theme throughout the day for the defense.
Shawn Asiata continues to impress. Tackling him doesn't look fun. I'd like to see him and Fehoko hit head on.
Brad Clifford had a good day with 3 catches for 52 yards and 2 TDs. One of the touchdowns was a juggling catch that was first ruled a catch, then was overturned by the ref, and then overturned again by the first ref.
I didn't see J.J. Williams all day so Chaz Walker was in his spot at linebacker. Not sure where Williams was.
The kick-off return team looks good as Shaky Smithson and Reggie Dunn returned back to back kicks with only the kicker to beat before the play was blow dead.
Justin Taplin-Ross played sparingly so Victor Spike got most of the run with the 1's at free safety.
Kicker Joe Phillips was automatic from inside 40 yards. He's going to be a real weapon. Long distance kicker Nick March made one from 49 yards that would have been good from 65.
Reggie Topps had a bad day and was beaten constantly. After giving up another touchdown, he walked off of the field pouting and wasn't listening to one of the coaches as he tried to talk to him.
Quite a few of the bigger named players sat out to let younger guys get reps. Sitting out were Jereme Brooks, Sealver Siliga, and Matt Asiata. Mo Lee is still in shorts and was on the sidelines.
DeVonte Christopher, Kapua Sia and Ron Tongaonevai all sat out with injuries.
John Cullen was back at left tackle.
I wouldn't lay down on the 46 yard line marker on the west sideline on the south end of the field. Linebacker Jamel King thew up there.
Recruit Siaosi Aiono was there taking in practice. He's a huge kid.
This was a tough day for the defense, and probably the worst I have ever seen a Kyle Whittingham coached D perform in the a scrimmage. The first team defensive line was the only group that performed decently all day. Every other group was downright awful. The tackling was poor all day and there were too many missed assignments. Maybe not having J.J Williams out there really hurts. The depth line the secondary and at linebacker has to be a concern as Terrance Cain and Tauni Vakapuna tore them apart on the ground and in the air. The linebackers seem to be scrambling to find their spots a lot and weren't in position or on the right guy when the ball was snapped. If they don't shore this up, Dion Lewis of Pitt is going to rush for 200 yards on Sep 2. The offense on the other hand looked very good. Protection on the left side with Cullen is still a concern as the first series trouble all seemed to come from his side. The tight ends were used a lot and are looking to become more involved in the offense than in year's past. This team still has a lot of work to do, especially in the secondary and at linebacker. The linebacker talent just isn't there right now and might be a big problem all season long. The secondary has the talent, but needs experience.
Here is the box score from yesterday's scrimmage. The accuracy of these stats is debatable as many plays are blown dead early to protect players.
Play Player(s) PAT
41 yd FG Marsh
25 yd pass Cain to Clifford Phillips – Good
* set up by 40 yd run by Wide
4 yd pass Robles to S. Asiata Marsh – Good
92 yd run Vakapuna No PAT
17 yd run Wide Phillips – Good Red Zone Drill
49 yd FG Marsh Red Zone Drill
12 yd pass Wynn to Clifford Phillips – Good Red Zone Drill
2 yd run Robles Marsh – Good Red Zone Drill
26 yd TD Wynn to McNabb 2 pt – No 2-Minute Drill
25 yd TD Cain to Dunn 2 pt – Cain to Moala 2-Minute Drill
53 yd TD Wynn to Smithson No PAT 2-Minute Drill
16 yd run Vakapuna No PAT 2-Minute Drill
Rushing No Net TD Long
Wide 4 67 1 40
Wynn 3 -17 0 -6
Shakerin 5 32 0 16
Smithson 1 -3 0 -3
Vakapuna 7 123 1 92
Radley 3 12 0 9
S. Asiata 2 17 1 16
Cain 4 -20 0 -3
Robles 7 29 1 13
Passing Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD
Wynn 14-20-0 160 2
Cain 14-16-0 184 2
Robles 3-5-0 31 1
Receiving No. Yds TD Long
Dunn 6 83 1 25
Smithson 3 60 1 53
Moeai 2 11 0 9
Tonga 3 25 0 23
McNabb 6 75 1 26
S. Asiata 2 14 0 10
Clifford 3 52 2 25
Shakerin 2 8 0 6
Wide 2 12 0 9
Rogers 2 41 0 25
Field Goal Attempts Dist. Result
Phillips PAT Good
Marsh 27 Good
51 No Good
51 No Good
51 No Good
Fumbles Rec.: None
Fumbles Forced: None
Sacks: D. Kruger 1 (-5), Shelby 1 (-6), Cox 2 (-6), Yancy 1 (-4), Chappuis ½ (-7), Fehoko ½ (-7)
Tackles For Loss: J. Kruger 1 (-3), Cox 1 (-3), Cox ½ (-2), Manis ½ (-18)
Pass Break Ups: Fagergren 1
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