Bumped to the front page - Jon
I'm not going to recap the game for you, as there is already a wonderful article on this site that revisits the game here. I am, however, going to analyze the best player from each team, the most disappointing from each team, as well as the biggest surprise, and how I feel about this team going forward. Also, there will be a poll at the bottom and I welcome, nay, encourage comments and discussion about this game. The open thread didn't get much love, so hopefully we can talk more now. Off we go!
Most Outstanding Performers
Black Team- Bryce Bobo
The black team pulled off a come-from behind win after being behind by ten in the 3rd quarter. They got key stops, and explosive offensive plays helped them march into the endzone. Many of these explosive plays were made my Bryce Bobo, redshirt freshman and alliteration extraordinaire. He stretched the defense and had the longest play during the game, a 67 yard touchdown on an underthrown ball. However, the most impressive catch he made in my mind was in the 2nd quarter. It was third and 10, and Gehrke overthrew him in the middle of the field. He splayed out to catch it, got nailed by Crawley, and held on for the 1st. Those are the type of plays this program needs.
Honorable Mention: Ahkello Witherspoon
Gold Team- Nelson Spruce
For those worried about replacing P-Rich, I would be more worried about trench play than the skill positions. The best performers on both teams today were the wide receivers. Nelson Spruce did what Nelson Spruce does: make plays. Sefo consistently found him for first downs and large gains, and the patented "Spruce Curl" (10 yards, turn around, catch the ball) was a huge factor today. He is a steadying presence in the locker room and on the field.
Honorable Mention- Sefo Liufau
Most Disappointing Performers
Black Team- Stephane Nembot
I really hope Stephane does well. I do. He has the body to excel, and the work ethic, but he just isn't playing well right now. His kick to counter speed rushers seems fine, and he plants to counter bull rushes very well, he just can't play consistently. There was a screen in the 1st half that was completely neutralized because of his inability to block in space. If he was mentally engaged every play, I'd imagine we're talking about all-conference talent right now instead of a disappointment. He has time. It's only spring. But, please, get it together Stephane. We need an O-line.
Dishonorable Mention- Deaysean Rippy
Gold Team- Derek McCartney
This was a much easier decision than the black team. Derek McCartney came in with rave reviews. He was filling up the scrimmage stat-sheets. He was physically improved. He had Coach Mac in a tizzy (finally worked that into a writing). When it came to the spring game, he failed to deliver. His partner in crime, Tyler Henington, had a much more consistent pass rush and got a sack to go along with it. However, Derek was shut down by CU's decidedly below average offensive line. He is very young, like the rest of the team, but one would hope that with the praise lavished onto him, he would perform sooner rather than later.
Dishonorable Mention: Michael Adkins
Black Team- Ahkello Witherspoon
Witherspoon showed he was worthy of his scholarship today. The lanky corner, all 6-3 of him, had 3 pass breakups in the last four plays of the game, including a touchdown-saving one. While he was beaten at times, and he shouldn't hit people out of bounds, the sophmore showed promise and proved that CU's secondary is at least average, a big improvement from soul-crushingly bad. He has all the physical tools, and from the sound of it, the leadership. He will be a star.
Honorable Mention- Phillip Lindsay (and his truck of Tedric Thompson)
Gold Team- Tony Jones
I expected Michael Adkins to be the one with 13 carries for 88 yards. And it should've been Michael. But Tony Jones refused to be taken off the field. He made some nice runs for 16 or 17 yards, found the open hole, and made people miss in open space. He also showed up in pass protection, a key component of Lindgren's scheme. He'll be hard to keep off the field in the fall if he shows like he did today.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Henington
Final Thoughts/ Poll!
This team looks much more like a Division 1 team than at this point last year. The one area that this is the most noticeable is the speed on the field. The defense is reaching the ball faster, and the skill players are running away faster. They seem ready to compete in the lower half of the PAC-12. It was a good showing for the recruits, with an exciting game as well as the reveal of the new facilities, which are gorgeous. Two things of note: Spencer Dinwiddie is amazing as a play-by-play announcer, and Ralphie is back on her game, that was an awesome sight today. GO BUFFS!
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