I know the spring game was months ago but I just wanted to cover a few things. We’ll start off with Dave Aranda’s defensive scheme and go from there.
ARANDA’S DEFENSIVE UPGRADE
I like what I saw. We brought pressure and didn’t allow big gains. With Kendell Beckwith, Jamal Adams, Tre’davious White, Arden Key, Kevin Toliver, Davon Godchaux, Christian LaCatoure, and Lewis Neal, we have a great base for an elite defense. Christian LaCatoure was amazing. He racked up two of our eight sacks. The best overall thing was that we brought pressure and didn’t allow offensive weapons open space to run. Although we did get one turnover off an interception, we still need to force more turnovers, which was pretty much the only flaw we need to fix.
We saw a lot of improvement made since the 2015 season, but I was hoping for a bit more. Brandon Harris just couldn’t seem to find open receivers for a little ten yard first down last season and you can’t only rely on an 80 yard pass. This spring game he showed us that he could complete a pass every once and a while to get a first down and lead the team down the field. Although we managed to get that little ten yard first down done, it still needs to happen more often. Brandon Harris will be the starter, but having Danny Etling, a transfer from Purdue, around could be great if Brandon Harris was ever to get injured. All I can really say is we completed passes and it could have been a lot worse but it’s still not where it needs to be.
I was very impressed with our new core of wide receivers (Stephen Sullivan and Dee Anderson) and our seasoned veterans as well (D.J. Chark and Malachi Dupre). It seemed like they wouldn’t drop a pass if their life depended on it. They ran their routes and caught every pass thrown to them. With these receivers Brandon Harris won’t need to be the best quarterback in the SEC. I see the wide receivers as a perfect chance to improve our passing game. And remember we don’t even know what Travin Dural has in store for us.
In conclusion, I just wanted to say it looked good and if we improve a little bit more we could be going to the college football playoff.