Tag:Spring Practice Primer
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:32 am
 

Spring Practice Primer: Stanford



Posted by Bryan Fischer


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Stanford.

Spring Practice Started: February 27

Spring Game: April 14

Returning starters: Six on offense, seven on defense, one kicker.

Three Things To Look For:

1. Who replaces Andrew Luck? The Cardinal enter the A.L.-era - After Luck - with five quarterbacks on the roster angling to replace the best quarterback in school history. It figures to be a two-horse race however, with sophomore Brett Nottingham and junior Josh Nunes being the two head coach David Shaw will be keeping a close eye on. Nottingham was the backup all of last year but Shaw has made it clear he has to earn the top spot with his play and in the spirit of competition, likely won't name a starter until fall camp. Both guys are big, pro-style signal-callers with good arms so this will likely come down to who has the best grasp of the playbook and is most in-sync with many of the new faces on the offense.

2. Players emerging on the offensive line and at tight end, wide receiver. While Luck was the headliner in Stanford's transformation into a top 10 team, offensive linemen like Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro also had a significant role with their play along the line. The team plays physical and with a first-time starter and stable of running backs will undoubtedly try to continue to establish the ground game and use play action to open things up in the passing game. The line will be a fluid situation until fall camp, when the Cardinal's highly regarded recruiting class arrives with players who could end up making an early impression. Wide out Ty Montgomery emerged late in the year and figures to be the top target and deep threat but he needs others to emerge alongside him at receiver and tight end if the offense is going to move the ball through the air.

3. New staff gelling. Shaw starts spring practice with one spot on his coaching staff still open but hopes to find somebody to coach inside linebackers soon. Two coordinators are new in 2012, after defensive coordinator Jason Tarver jumped across the bay to the Raiders and Pete Alamar being brought on board to handle special teams following the departure of Brian Polian to Texas A&M. The biggest loss is Tarver, who did a great job last year with a unit that suffered several notable injuries. Stanford has overcome the loss of assistants before but it's always something to keep an eye on given all of the turnover on the roster. Also notable is the sudden death of long time equipment manager Ron Yamaguchi of an apparent heart attack, shocking the team and community and leaving big void in the program.

To check in on the rest of the Pac-12 and other BCS conferences, check out the Spring Practice Schedule

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 4:13 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Duke



Posted by Chip Patterson


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Duke.

Spring Practice Started: Wednesday, February 22

Spring Game: Saturday, March 31

Three Things To Look For:

1. Making sense of a crowded quarterback position. The Blue Devils return two-year starter Sean Renfree at quarterback. The senior has accumulated 6,325 yards and 32 touchdowns in his career as a Blue Devil, and is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the ACC. But head coach David Cutcliffe also used redshirt sophomores Brandon Connette and Anthony Boone often during the 2011 campaign. Both players are gifted runners and good complements to Renfree, but the pair have not been healthy/activated at the same time for an entire season. Cutcliffe even suggested there is a chance both backups could see snaps together in a game this season. With Sean Schroieder, Rob Collins, Mackenzie Soverign, and early enrollee Thomas Sirk; the Blue Devils have seven quarterbacks on the roster for spring practice.

2. Breakout stars. Duke returns 17 starters from last season, making them one of the more experienced teams in the ACC. But injuries have taken a toll on the Blue Devils during the offseason, and as many as six potential starters will be limited or out for a majority of spring practice. That list includes wide receiver Connor Vernon, who enters his senior year just 843 receiving yards shy of Peter Warrick's ACC record. With so many starters sitting out spring practice, Cutcliffe has encouraged the rest of the roster to "go take somebody's job." There could be a key contributor in the making that shows up this spring, one that could help the Blue Devils get over the hump.

3. Fixing the small mistakes. David Cutcliffe enters his fifth season with a 15-33 record. As News & Observer's Edward G. Robinson points out, that's five more wins than Duke's previous eight seasons combined. But while the improvement might be significant by Duke's standards, the Blue Devils have much higher expectations in 2012.

“We’re hunting another level of play,” Cutcliffe said. “We all know that we’ve played close games. We’ve been in a lot of games since we’ve been here really. Last year, we really did play at another level. And that level is not good enough. We have to make plays that win games. And consistently make plays that win games.”

Eight of Duke's 18 losses over the last two seasons were decided by a touchdown, with three in 2011 by five points or less. A field goal here or a defensive stop there could have put the Blue Devils back in the postseason for the first time since 1995.

To check in on the rest of the ACC and other BCS conferences, check out the Spring Practice Schedule

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:18 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 3:34 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: TCU



Posted by Tom Fornelli


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at TCU.

Spring Practice Starts: Saturday, February 25

Spring Game: Thursday, April 5

Three Things To Look For:

1. Replacing the unexpected losses. Like every team, TCU had losses to deal with on both sides of the ball thanks to graduation, but the recent drug bust on campus through a nasty curveball Gary Patterson's way. Now the TCU defense is without three players it was fully expecting to rely on for 2012 in Tanner Brock, D.J. Yendrey and Devin Johnson. One of the biggest stories this spring will be seeing which of the remaining players on the depth chart rise up to take advantage of an unexpected opportunity.

2. Fixing the secondary. From 2008 to 2010 TCU finished as one of the top 5 defenses in the nation in defensive pass efficiency under coach Chad Glasgow. In 2011 Glasgow left to run the defense at Texas Tech and the Horned Frogs saw their pass defense drop to 65th in the nation. Now Glasgow has returned to his old position, and will look to restore the TCU pass defense to what it was when he was last there. And it couldn't come at a better time for TCU, as you might have noticed that the Big 12 is a conference that enjoys airing it out. 

3. How good can this offense be? TCU's offense finished 9th in the country with 40.8 points per game last season, and while its level of competition may be a touch higher this season, the Big 12 isn't exactly known for smothering defense. With Casey Pachall returning at quarterback, along with his top three receivers from 2010, and it's safe to say that the Horned Frogs passing attack may be terrifying in 2012. Oh, and if it isn't, TCU also has three running backs who rushed for over 700 yards last season returning as well. This could be one of the best offenses in the conference in 2012, and the first signs will be seen this spring.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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Posted on: February 22, 2012 11:32 am
 

Spring Practice Primer: Texas



Posted by Tom Fornelli


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Texas.

Spring Practice Starts: Thursday, February 23

Spring Game: Sunday, April 1

Three Things To Look For:

1. Who will be quarterback? It's becoming somewhat of an annual tradition in Austin that the Longhorns must have a quarterback competition heading into spring practice. Much like last season, David Ash and Case McCoy will be battling with one another for the starting job, though this year incoming freshman Connor Brewer will join the fray as well. Whichever quarterback ends up winning the job, the Longhorns will be better served to decide sooner rather than later and head into the summer with a clear-cut number one.

2. Expansion of the offensive playbook. Last year Bryan Harsin had to deal with not only implementing a new playbook at Texas, but with two quarterbacks who didn't seem capable of fully utilizing that playbook. This spring we shall see if Harsin and the Longhorns plan on expanding it or further driving the basics home. Obviously, the quicker a quarterback emerges, the more Harsin will be able to do.

3. Can the defense improve? Unlike Harsin, Manny Diaz had a bit more established talent to work with on defense in his first season as defensive coordinator. That being said, Diaz will likely begin implementing new things in his second year as well, which means that a defense that was already the best unit in the Big 12 last season could get even better and more unpredictable in 2012.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:35 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Boston College



Posted by Chip Patterson


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Boston College.

Spring Practice Started: Saturday, February 18

Spring Game: Saturday, March 31

Three Things To Look For:

1. Replacing Luke Kuechly. Arguably one of the most dominant and decorated defensive players in recent Boston College history, Kuechly's early departure to the NFL has left a huge hole in the unit. Not only did Kuechly put up nation-leading tackle numbers for the last three seasons, but he was a swarming ball-hawk, exhibiting sideline-to-sideline speed and awareness that helped prevent the home run offensive play. That responsibility will fall now on sophomore Sean Duggan and junior Steele Vivitto - who likely will play outside linebacker. Kuechly was a leader by example for Boston College, and setting that same tone - both on the field and in the film room - is a responsibility to be claimed this spring.

2. With Montel Harris shut down, what is the identity of the offense? First-year offensive coordinator Doug Martin, formerly with New Mexico State and Kent State, has seen on film how the Eagles offense sputtered without Harris in 2011. It only took one practice for Harris to re-aggravate that left knee injury that kept him out of 10 contests last season, and questioning his availability for an entire 2012 season is a legitimate concern. Martin will have both Chase Rettig and Josh Bordner in competition for snaps at quarterback this spring, and he will have the (unfortunate) opportunity of creating his Montel Harris-less backup plan this spring.

3. Can Spaziani get back on track? Boston College may not leap off the page as an ACC power house to many, but until 2011 the Eagles had shown a constancy that that only a few of their fellow league members have displayed. The Eagles went to 12 straight bowl games from 1999-2010 before going 4-8 and missing the postseason. In recent years, bowl trips have helped cool "Frank Spaziani hot seat" talk, but now he needs results. The responsibility will eventually fall on Spaziani to get this new coaching staff on the same page this spring. The offensive staff for 2012 includes new faces at four of the five positions, including offensive coordinator Doug Martin. Improving the offense, which ranked dead last in scoring and total offense in the ACC in 2011, will be essential to getting the Eagles back to their bowling ways in 2012.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:35 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Boston College



Posted by Chip Patterson


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Boston College.

Spring Practice Started: Saturday, February 18

Spring Game: Saturday, March 31

Three Things To Look For:

1. Replacing Luke Kuechly. Arguably one of the most dominant and decorated defensive players in recent Boston College history, Kuechly's early departure to the NFL has left a huge hole in the unit. Not only did Kuechly put up nation-leading tackle numbers for the last three seasons, but he was a swarming ball-hawk, exhibiting sideline-to-sideline speed and awareness that helped prevent the home run offensive play. That responsibility will fall now on sophomore Sean Duggan and junior Steele Vivitto - who likely will play outside linebacker. Kuechly was a leader by example for Boston College, and setting that same tone - both on the field and in the film room - is a responsibility to be claimed this spring.

2. With Montel Harris shut down, what is the identity of the offense? First-year offensive coordinator Doug Martin, formerly with New Mexico State and Kent State, has seen on film how the Eagles offense sputtered without Harris in 2011. It only took one practice for Harris to re-aggravate that left knee injury that kept him out of 10 contests last season, and questioning his availability for an entire 2012 season is a legitimate concern. Martin will have both Chase Rettig and Josh Bordner in competition for snaps at quarterback this spring, and he will have the (unfortunate) opportunity of creating his Montel Harris-less backup plan this spring.

3. Can Spaziani get back on track? Boston College may not leap off the page as an ACC power house to many, but until 2011 the Eagles had shown a constancy that that only a few of their fellow league members have displayed. The Eagles went to 12 straight bowl games from 1999-2010 before going 4-8 and missing the postseason. In recent years, bowl trips have helped cool "Frank Spaziani hot seat" talk, but now he needs results. The responsibility will eventually fall on Spaziani to get this new coaching staff on the same page this spring. The offensive staff for 2012 includes new faces at four of the five positions, including offensive coordinator Doug Martin. Improving the offense, which ranked dead last in scoring and total offense in the ACC in 2011, will be essential to getting the Eagles back to their bowling ways in 2012.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

Get CBSSports.com College Football updates on Facebook   
Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:41 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 1:41 pm
 

Spring Practice Primer: Texas Tech



Posted by Tom Fornelli


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Texas Tech.

Spring Practice Starts: Friday, February 17

Spring Game: Saturday, March 24

Three Things To Look For:

1. Finding stability on defense. Texas Tech has gone through a number of different defensive coordinators in recent years, and it's shown on the field. This year it's up to Art Kaufman to revamp a defense that finished eighth in the Big 12 in total defense and ninth in scoring defense in 2011. His job won't be easy, either, as Texas Tech was equally terrible against both the run and pass last season. Fixing all Tech's problems on the defensive side of the ball can't be done in only one year, let alone in a couple weeks of practices, but the foundation to building a new defense must start being built now.

2. Seth Doege must lead the way at quarterback. The Red Raiders come into the spring with only two quarterbacks on scholarship in senior Seth Doege and redshirt freshman Michael Brewer. Which means that this job belongs to Doege, and he will play a large role in how well Texas Tech performs in 2012. Doege was good last year in his first year as a starter, but he does have to work on his decision making. While he can't be blamed for Tech losing 7 of its last 8 games, he did throw 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in Tech's 7 losses. Compare those numbers to the 18 touchdowns and 1 interception Doege threw in Tech's victories. With a year of experience in the offense under his belt, and not having to worry about losing his job, Doege can focus solely on his decision making this spring.

3. Getting healthy. Tech has a bit of a problem this spring with health. All those injuries that helped sink the 2011 season are still impacting the team now, as players like Eric Stephens, DeAndre Washington, Alex Torres, Happiness Osunde, and Chris Yeakey are all still recovering from knee surgeries that were needed following last season. Of course, while these injuries hurt, they'll also provide opportunities for players lower on the depth chart to step up and shine.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 10:48 am
Edited on: April 15, 2011 1:39 pm
 

ACC Spring Game Watch (April 16)

Posted by Chip Patterson

On Saturday, nearly half of the ACC will wrap up their spring practice with an annual spring game. Some teams will engage in game-like scenarios in front of thousands of onlookers, while other teams will engage in a more “drill-centric” display for their eager fans. Regardless of the setup, there are always pertinent questions to be answered whenever a team takes the field competitively. Here are your things to watch in the ACC spring games on April 16.

Boston College - 1 p.m. Alumni Stadium
Judging by the statistics and observations from the last two scrimmages, new offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers has been dialing up the passing attack for all three of his quarterbacks. The play of Chase Rettig (the starter for now), Mike Marscovetra , and Dave Shinskie has been spotty; with different signal-callers shining at different times. Once the season has Montel Harris is expected to be the foundation of the Eagles’ offense, but the ACC’s second-leading rusher in 2010 has remained quiet this spring. Boston College’s spring game will be made up of situational drills, so it will be difficult to judge much from the play in the trenches. Keep an eye on the Boston College secondary, as the Eagles look to improve their passing defense that gave up over 226 yards per game a season ago.

UPDATE - We will be streaming the Boston College spring game LIVE.  You can watch it HERE on Saturday.

Florida State - 4 p.m. Doak Campbell Stadium
Despite all the hype and anticipation, head coach Jimbo Fisher has been frequently frustrated with Florida State’s effort and attention to detail during scrimmages. When asked about his thoughts on last Saturday’s scrimmage, Fisher felt the Seminoles still have “a long way to go." E.J. Manuel in a jersey will be nothing new for FSU fans, but it will be his first spring game after missing the last two due to injury. It will be intersting to see if the Seminoles tighten up on a bigger stage or continue the small mistakes that have been frustrating their coach. Also, this is the only ACC spring game receiving national coverage (ESPN3) so you might as well sneak a peek since you can.

Miami - 12:00 p.m. Lockhart Stadium
New head coach Al Golden has made it a point to change several aspects of Miami’s preparation since taking over back in December. On Saturday fans will get to see the results of Golden’s first offseason and spring practices. Golden has kept the depth chart in constant rotation since the beginning of spring practice, encouraging open competition at nearly every single position. Despite the exciting improvements on the defensive end, Hurricanes fans will likely have their eyes set on the skill positions in the backfield on Saturday. Miami boasts a loaded running back corps of Mike James , Storm Johnson , and Lamar Miller ; who should all receive significant opportunities on Saturday. Also, Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris will get to go head-to-head in the “fantasy-style” scrimmage between two rosters picked by fans. Miami held a charity auction for the right to pick the teams in the spring game, and two Miami alumnus made their selections earlier this week. With no first-team or second-team alignment, the game should be ripe for some outstanding plays on both sides of the ball.

N.C. State - 1 p.m. Carter-Finley Stadium
Head coach Tom O’Brien prefers to focus on improving as individuals during spring practice. Instead of focusing on elaborate scheme’s or sets, the Wolfpack have spent their spring workouts with a focus on fundamentals. With many key positions to fill, that makes Saturday’s spring game particularly interesting on an individual level. New starting quarterback Mike Glennon has shown his chops to the Wolfpack fans during spring games, but he will be throwing the ball to fresh crop of wide receivers. Also with Mustafa Greene undergoing foot surgery, Saturday should be an opportunity for the now-healthy Brandon Barnes to make an impression on the coaching staff. Also keep an eye on the secondary, where this staff is notorious for swapping personnel.

Wake Forest - 1 p.m. BB&T Field
Last season Wake Forest’s inexperience burned them on both sides of the ball. The good news for the Demon Deacons is that 17 of those starters will get a chance to prove themselves again in 2011. The number one thing to watch out of Winston-Salem will be signs of improvement from all the underclassmen. From quarterback Tanner Price to a (rising) sophomore-laden secondary, Wake needs to get better all over the field. With the coaching staff jumble sparked by Brad Lambert’s departure, look for more individual improvement as the team has yet to dive into much heavy scheming this spring.


 
 
 
 
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