Aug. 12, 2014
By Christian Hoppens
OhioBobcats.com - Staff Writer
Decisions and judgments based on one scrimmage can often distort the reality of what has been happening on the practice field in the weeks prior.
But these exhibitions do provide a glimpse into how the offense and defense have progressed after a week in camp. And the Bobcats said they felt good regarding the team's performance in their first of two scrimmages Tuesday afternoon at Peden Stadium.
"The team, overall, we did great," said redshirt sophomore quarterback Greg Windham. "We had a lot of new guys out here that performed great. We threw in a lot of new plays throughout the summer and everybody picked it up just fine. We were running some plays to perfection."
Windham led all Ohio signal callers with 89 yards on 8-of-13 passing, while redshirt junior Derrius Vick and redshirt sophomore JD Sprague each completed five passes for 65 and 35 yards, respectively.
True freshman Joey Duckworth completed two of his three passing attempts, but also had an underthrown pass, which was intercepted by redshirt freshman safety Grant Cunningham.
In the scope of the scrimmage, coach Frank Solich was happy with how his quarterbacks performed, but noted that there still was considerable work to be done.
"Derrius has not done anything not to be the guy right now with his experience and how he's been playing," Solich said. "JD has, you know, done some good things, but he certainly needs to play with a little more consistency. Same thing holds true with Greg. I think we saw some flashes today of playing well, but there needs to be more consistency out of that position."
Vick looked solid for the limited time he saw the field, limiting himself to only one poor throw that came as the result of a miscommunication on a corner route with freshman wideout Robbie Walker.
Sprague had an afternoon mixed with some poor passes, but also had his fair share of great tosses, including a perfectly placed ball on a wheel route to freshman running back Maleek Irons en route to a 24-yard gain.
A 42-yard connection between Windham and redshirt freshman Justin Wyatt highlighted the third stringer's day, showing he had the requisite arm strength to be a quarterback at the Division I level.
With each of the four quarterbacks seeing an equal split of the 80 play scrimmage, Vick thought it allowed for each of them to settle into their own groove.
"We went in for long spans, about 20 plays, so we could catch a rhythm that way," Vick said. "When you're subbing in and out, you can't catch a rhythm sometimes. So I think that worked out best for us."
On the defensive side of the ball, Tarell Basham was a menace to Vick, finding his way into the backfield for two sacks just six plays apart.
The first sack featured Basham coming from the left side almost completely unnoticed while the second saw him pursue Vick from the right end of the line.
And after coming into camp and struggling to adjust to the physicality and speed of practice, he thinks he's starting to hit his groove.
"It took about a week for me to get back into football shape," Basham said. "It took a little while for me to get back into that zone, but I feel like I'm back in it and I'm ready to keep going, keep rolling."