Sorry for the delay with this post. Then again, you always have to take Spring Ball with a grain of salt, and the Spring Game is no exception. With so many key players sitting out and several potential defensive starters not arriving until fall, it’s important to not too read too much into what you saw Saturday. So, I thought I’d sum up my thoughts by answering the three questions I posed heading into the game about the Beavers.
1. Granted it was against a defense that has many questions, but Darrell Garretson looked solid, completing 21 of 32 passes for 263 yards and three TDs. Most impressive was his willingness to go downfield, something that the offense sorely lacked last season. He showed good touch on his two TDs to Jordan Villamin. That said, I would like to see him pushed into fall camp as well. If the Beavers want to surprise this season, the offense has to be way more consistent. The good news is Garretson looks like he will move the offense down the field with more variety. But again, it will be interesting to see how he fares against stronger defenses.
2. There’s been a lot of concern about the WRs lately, as it can be argued they were inconsistent last year, but there’s no denying that Villamin (4 catches, 108 yards) can be one of the Pac-12’s best if he gets the ball thrown his way. His two receptions were beauties. I also liked what I saw from Hunter Jarmon. I hope him getting looks (5 catches) carries into fall camp and the season because he’s good in space. Early enrollee Trevon Bradford showed some great athleticism and speed. He could be a Stroughter/Ja. Rodgers-type player down the road. But the star of the game was TE Noah Togiai, who hauled in seven balls for 107 yards. He could be the breakout star this season for the offense.
3. There’s still a lot to be settled defense-wise by the start of the season, but Treston DeCoud and Dwayne Williams did nothing on Saturday to make me think they shouldn’t start at the cornerback positions this season. Williams displayed great explosiveness on his 46-yard interception return for TD, Meanwhile, DeCoud broke up several passes. But I think Kendall Hill and Jay Irvine will get plenty of reps this season. Safety, however, could be up for grabs, and don’t forget, two 4-stars will arrive on campus in the fall. So this unit is still a work in progress.
All in all, I think I walked away from the Spring Game thinking that if the line can come together and Garretson adjusts well to Power 5 football, the offense could be markedly improved from a year ago. Maybe fall camp will provide more confirmation of my gut feeling. Of course, you never truly know until the real games are played. And who knows, maybe this week, other players will make a push and we will see them emerge in a few months.
Who stood out to you on Saturday? Go Beavs! (RW)