Gunner Kiel States His Case In Opening Scrimmage

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Rightfuly lost in all the furor of a championship clinching saturday was the football team having their first live scrimage of the spring. It was the first live hitting of the year and gave Tommy Tuberville a great chance to evaluate his team.

-- Gunner Kiel was 16-20 for 185 yards and two touchdowns in the scrimmage segment of the proceedings. His competition Jared Evans was 10 of 17 for 78 yards and a score. Evans did have a 32 yard touchdown run to his credit. It seems that whichever of these two men gains the upper hand will come down to what Eddie Gran chooses to do with his offense. If Gran wants to go back to the stuff that UC was doing in August and September Evans has the better skill set, if the approach stays the same it will almost certainly be Kiel. Given his personnel returning I can't imagine Gran wanting to do anything but spread teams out and let this group of receivers go to work.

-- Speaking of his receivers they had an excellent day. Chris Moore caught a TD on a halfback pass from Tion Green, and a 70 yard TD score from Kiel in a two minute drill. He is going to be a monster this year. Shaq Washington is already a monster, albeit a small one. He caught both of Kiel's touchdowns in the scrimmage and has been generally excellent this season.

-- If the first scrimmage is any indication the offense is ahead of the defense. The no. 1 offense scored five straight times on no. 1 defense before that group regrouped and got some stops. In most situtations it is usally the other way around, and the defense tends to have the upper hand in spring. There are some mitigating factors however; the offensive system is the same and the passing game is more or less set. Likewise this is a new defense with a new coordinator. The skeleton of the system Hank Hughes is installing is similar to what UC ran last year, but it is not the same. It's more than likely that the defense ran base stuff against the number 1 offense because that is all that they have installed.

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