Often the worst place to watch a football game is from the sideline, but that's where all the collective media was for the Spring Game. So I didn't get a great feel for what was happening in total. You can see great plays and blown coverages and either great great great or dumb dumb dumb stuff, but grading the in-between can be difficult.
So here's one man's not-very-sound observations who was distracted by conversations with friends, bad sightlines, and the grilled cheese food truck parked outside:
* Quinton Flowers seems a bit more decisive. He still misses some throws deep, but the reason he can make those throws in the first place is because he forces you to play man coverage downfield because you have to respect his wheels. He's established himself as the #1 quarterback, and if he plays at a high level I don't see USF losing many games this year. There's just too much offensive talent and depth at the skill positions around him.
* I have no idea how good the offensive line is, but I do know that of the three quarterbacks Flowers makes them look the best. Woulard was "sacked" (QB's weren't allowed to be hit, just touched) four times, some of them escapes that Flowers would make easily. For the obvious shortcomings in the passing game you get with Q, he also makes the running game so much more potent.
* Brett Kean and Asiantii Woulard both did some nice things as well as made some mistakes. Woulard can throw a gorgeous ball, but his consistency seems to be an issue. He seemed to settle in as the game wore on, and I have no idea who the second-string guy would be if the first game was tomorrow. Woulard's Green Team had Marlon Mack, D'Ernest Johnson, Rodney Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, but were still down 20-0 before Adam Robles came in during the second quarter. His 65-yard TD pass to Rodney Adams was a beauty however, and shows what he's capable of doing. Kean also hit a real pretty timing route to AJ LeGree, as well as found a coverage bust to have Tyre McCants score.
* You could see juuuuuuust a touch of Baylor influence on some of the playcalling, and you can also see why it makes sense. Here's a great primer on what BU does, and it discusses how the widest of wide splits helps put athletes in space. Elkanah Dillon stacked in front of Marquez Valdes-Scantling lined up mere inches inside the yard markers should terrify any defensive coordinator. If Flowers can make the right read on a packaged play and deliver the ball on-time and in rhythm, USF could be putting up video game numbers against the AAC.
* Sometimes the hardest thing for me to recognize from field level is who's playing well defensively, but clearly Bruce Hector and Auggie Sanchez had a day. Hector said he played both nose and three-technique, and ended up with three tackles that were all for loss, and two sacks. Sanchez had two picks, including a gift late that bounced off a receivers hands and right to him where he made a nice play. Nigel Harris was also throwing people around out there, but that's often what Nigel Harris does.
* They weren't all on the same team on Saturday, but In 11 personnel you can imagine USF having Dillon, Scantling, & Adams on one side of a 3x1 grouping with LeGree (or Chris Barr, or Tyre McCants, or Stanley Clerveaux) on the other. And then Marlon Mack just waits for you to play dime or quarter and clear out the box... I mean good Lord that's pretty ridiculous at this level. The pieces seem to be there.
* Coaches like to yell at Cam Gergley. He gives them lots of reasons to yell too. Make a great play, then get a flag for whoofing too much. Get toasted deep, then show some great ball skills. The coaches and his teammates must believe in his talent to yell at him this much however.
* There was more of a buzz and enthusiasm around this Spring Game than those I've seen in the past. The diehards are bought back in on this team, but I'll be interested to see how the rest of Tampa Bay comes around. Will they make it feel like 2007 all over again if the Bulls can get off to a hot start?
Lots of video and pics and stuff below:
And of course... the best picture of the day: FSU alumni Jameis Winston.