Saturday, April 21, 2012

Old Dominion 2012 Spring Football Game

The last time we saw Old Dominion's playoff team, they lost by a touchdown at Georgie Southern in the FCS playoffs.  Freshman phenom Taylor Heinicke had quite a game, but GSU's triple offsense was just too much for the Monarchs' defense. 

But hope springs eternal, and with spring comes spring football games.  Jarod Brown kicked a 47-yard field goal to give the Blue Squad a 20-17 lead with less than a minute left.  But the White Squad assumed possession near midfield, and Nate Ong threw a touchdown pass to Larry Pinkard as time expired to give the White Squad a 23-20 win. 

The Blue and White Squads huddle up before facing off for the ODU spring football game.

It's difficult to appropriately assess the performances of anyone in this game.  The teams played by two-hand touch rules, and there were some plays whistled dead that wouldn't have ended in live-action play.  But some players did stand out.  Be mindful that I took pictures without writing down notes, so I may get some plays/players mixed up.

  1. It's easy to point out Ong's play first, because he threw the game-winning touchdown on the final snap of the game.  But after a rough first series or two, he looked fantastic making throws.  A lot of his spirals were tight and he had good timing on some slant patterns.

  2. Ong appears to be more than a competent backup to Heinicke.
  3. Heinicke looked bigger than I remember him last year, which isn't surprising given an offseason of conditioning.  His first pass of the game was a bomb down the middle to Nick Mayers, who got inside the 10-yard line.  In the third quarter he completed a nice pass near the sideline to Blair Roberts (see the last picture of this blog for the action), which set up a touchdown pass a few downs later between the tandem.

  4. Heinicke connected with Roberts on this play late in the third quarter.
  5. Aaron Evans, defensive-back-turned-running-back, opened the third quarter with a nice pass following the handoff.  He played both quarterback and defensive back in high school, so putting him and his passing skills in the backfield gives the offense another wrinkle.  Evans scored a touchdown running off tackle on the next play from scrimmage.

  6. Evans (15) rushed for a touchdown completing a pass downfield on the previous play.
  7. Speaking of running backs, Tyree Lee and Colby Goodwyn both made spectacular one-handed grabs.  Angus Harper himself moved the chains a couple times after catching passes out of the backfield.  It's tough to judge the overall running game, though, because some plays were called dead as soon as they were touched near the line. 

  8. Running backs such as Goodwyn (36) were effective catching passes today.
  9. While Jarod Brown made a last-minute field goal to give Blue Squad the lead, he also missed one field goal in the second quarter.  Kyle Lawrence, listed as a punter, also missed a rather-lengthy field goal attempt.  Jonathan Plisco, however, was his usual stellar self.  He boomed several kicks, and it's going to be an adjustment not having him next year.

  10. Plisco looks to repeat as First Team All-CAA Punter in 2012.
There really isn't much else to discuss.  The two best takeaways of today are that we saw a high level of play from Ong, and no one appeared to be seriously injured.  I'm not sure there's anything else to do besides share more pictures.  Enjoy!

Heinicke maneuvers in the pocket.
This first quarter pass fell incomplete, and ODU's first drive ended with a field goal.
An early running play by the White Squad.
Ong attempts a middle WR screen to Jakwail Bailey.
Heinicke attempts a pass as Coach Bobby Wilder looks on.
Heinicke scans his options.
The defense attacks at the snap.
Heinicke completes a pass to Nick Mayers (7) near the sideline.
Harper (32) takes the handoff from Heinicke.
Roberts (8) cut right at the 13 yard line.  Heinicke dropped a pass that Roberts dove and caught inside the 5, setting up the Blue Squad's final touchdown of the day.

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