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The good vs. the bad at WSU spring football scrimmage
OGDEN – It’s difficult to keep a football coach happy when his offense and defense face each other in a 75-play scrimmage. With one side causing a coach to smile on every play while mistakes on the other side make him want to curse, he just can’t win.
That was the case on Saturday morning during Weber State’s second scrimmage of the spring practices.
“You’re always pissed off at one side or the other, so you’re never completely happy with any of it,” said Wildcats coach Ron McBride. “I was happy to see the defense toughen up and they made plays when they needed.”
Linebacker Taylor Sedillo came up with two interceptions on the day, both on assists from teammates, as the defense kept the offense out of the end zone for most of the day. During the last scrimmage, which took place a week ago from Saturday, WSU’s offense reached the end zone four times before the special red-zone drills. But on Saturday, the Wildcat defense didn’t allow a touchdown until the offense got to start at the 20-yard line.
Early in the scrimmage Maurice Neil deflected a pass from Cameron Higgins and Sedillo grabbed the ball in the air and returned it for what would have been a touchdown in a regular game. Later, after T.J. Moser’s hit on Matt Miller forced the ball into the air just after Miller caught the ball, Sedillo snagged his second interception.
“We’ve been emphasizing turnovers all spring because we know that was a big detriment to our season last year,” Sedillo said.
While McBride was quick to say the defense dominated the scrimmage, Sedillo saw things differently.
“I wouldn’t say we dominated because they ran the ball in the red zone real efficiently on us and we’ve got to work on that,” Sedillo said.
Even though the defense did allow three rushing touchdowns during the red-zone drills, it got high praise from its opponents on the day.
“The defense came out and played and I didn’t have a good day at all. I was not happy with how I performed,” said Higgins. “Not happy at all.”
While his passes may not have been as accurate as he would have liked, Higgins showed improvement in another area. On several occasions the soon-to-be senior scrambled for positive yards when a play broke down.
“It was something I saw last year that I could have done a lot more,” Higgins said. “Instead of trying to force the hard throw I can take off and scramble and get a few yards and go to the next down. Maybe that’s why I had so many interceptions. I need to be smarter with the ball.”
Higgins wasn’t the only quarterback tucking the ball and running. Mike Hoke scampered on what would have been a close to a 60-yard touchdown had he not been “caught” from behind.
“If we weren’t protecting the quarterback he would have scored on that,” McBride said. “But a guy touched him from behind.”
The defense wasn’t allowed to tackle the quarterbacks and simple needed to touch them with one hand in order to have the officials blow there whistle to stop the play.
Once the Wildcat offense got to work on its production in the red zone, Vai Tafuna scored a pair of touchdowns while C.J. Tuckett reached the end zone as well.
“Vai is a really nice downhill runner, he did a real good job and C.J. is rally a tough kid,” McBride said. “He bounces around in there like a volleyball but he’s always got his shoulders squared up and going down hill.”
WSU will wrap up its spring practices this week with workouts on Tuesday and Thursday, followed by Saturday’s annual Spring Game.
By Jasen Asay