The UND Football team has officially completed 10 of their scheduled 29 practices before the home opener with Valpo. Now would be a good time to relay what we have seen and heard so far. There was a “live” short yardage session on Saturday that showed some things that need to be improved on, but also had many positives:
- An area of concern for us was the offensive line. They did not get anywhere near the push that is needed to convert those crucial short yardage plays. UND needs to be able to get three yards on 3rd and two. They are not going to be able to rely exclusively on the big passing play this year with such young QB’s. Methodical drives are going to be needed and will directly help the defense by keeping them off the field.
- Will Lewis filled the hole nicely and stopped RB Jer Garman short of a first down. Nice form tackle to stone the ball carrier – need more of that this year. One-on-One tackling is at the top of the list of “things that need to improve in 2013″.
- QB Joe Mollberg connected nicely with WR Kenny Golladay on a long TD pass. Mollberg threw a simple fade route to Golladay, who ran by corner Daryl Brown to make the play. Lets hope we see more of this during the season, a lot more. We have always been fans of taking what the defense gives you, even if it is not the call in the huddle. If they are going to leave Golladay or Hardin isolated one-one-one, check out of the play and audible to the post, fade or slant with a simple hand signal. Those two receivers will be able to beat a good percentage of defenders in an isolated situation and UND needs to recognize and take it.
- Overall, the defense did a fairly nice job making plays but we are going to temper our enthusiasm as its still early in camp. The offensive line needs to get a better push in the running game this season and we will be watching for reports on that as camp progresses.
- Safeties Chavon Mackey (converted corner) and Javen Butler appear to be making a run at the starting jobs and at the very least being in the rotation, along with dime roles.
- Our early guess as to which true freshman could get his redshirt pulled: NG Marcus Cheatom. He is a big man and shows very quick feet to go with that 6’1″-290lb frame. Defensive line is a position of need, also.