Football

Day 4 observations from football training camp: the quarterbacks compete

Quarterbacks Terrel Hunt, Drew Allen, Charley Loeb, Austin Wilson, Mitch Kimble and Troy Green lined up single-file at midfield. Five equally spaced mats laid in front of them.

The goal: to weave through each mat and throw a 15-yard pass to a team manager downfield.

Hunt went first. He shuffled his feet rapid fire through all five mats and threw a strike.

Allen went next. He did his best Fred Flintstone bowling impersonation, tiptoeing his way around the mats before delivering a tight spiral on target, coolly shifting to the side after his turn was done.

After the four other quarterbacks smoothly completed the same drill, all six of them went back in the opposite direction, toward the left. Again, both Hunt’s and Allen’s passes were spot-on, and all six quarterbacks looked sharp.

Though the quarterback situation is still foggy as ever, this was the most skill-revealing drill the media has seen from the QBs all week, and highlighted Allen’s crisp form.

No hints have been given by head coach Scott Shafer in interviews or practice about which quarterback will get the nod against Penn State, but it’s still early.

“Game time”

As they have the past four days, the first three offensive teams ran a slow-paced drill where they hiked the ball, the quarterback scanned the field and then delivered a straightforward pass.

This time, there was a wee bit more intensity, especially from the first unit.

Hunt ran three plays from the goal line to the 25-yard-line. The first was a completion to tight end Beckett Wales. The second a handoff to Prince-Tyson Gulley for a short gain. And the third another Hunt connection, this time to Ashton Broyld.

Then, on the way back from the 25-yard-line to the goal line, the enthusiasm started to show. On the third and final play of the “drive,” offensive coordinator George McDonald yelled out, “last play from the 5 (-yard line) to win!”

Hunt lofted a high-arching pass in wide receiver Adrian Flemming’s direction.

Flemming floated upward, caught the ball in the end zone and firmly planted himself on the ground.

“I see you, A(drian),” Gulley shouted. “I see you!”

“Game time!” Hunt screamed out, jumping toward the end zone to greet his teammates.

Not quite. Only 23 more days until Penn State.

Daoust pushes the d-line

Defensive line coach Tim Daoust lost his voice on the third day of practice Wednesday.

He’s already in midseason form, and he’s even crafted some creative encouraging remarks.

“I love it!” Daoust hoarsely shouted to freshman Isaiah Johnson on Thursday. “You’re ready to go, 91!”

“All the way from Delaware!” he bellowed. “You can see from side of the state to the other!”

It’s a comment that seems out of place out of context. But not if you’ve been watching Daoust work his mojo all week. The man’s intense.

Out of all the stations during Thursday’s practice, the defensive line workout was by far the most grueling and arguably the most entertaining.

The players moved orange pads and a mini cart with two people on it. They reared down into the ground and pushed forward, swerving from one direction to the other like the initial swivel of a pendulum.

At first, Daoust wasn’t pleased.

“How ‘bout some energy?” he roared, his voice better than it was  Wednesday, but still rather raspy.

The players did the drill again. This time Daoust loved it. His voice was much softer, and he nodded his head.

“That’s better,” he said. “That’s better.”

Soon enough though, he shifted back into machine mode.

“Flip it!”

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