There’s been a lot written about Saturday in Berkeley, so a full report would be redundant. Instead, lets look back to my post on Friday’s practice which nobody read (what, you guys aren’t refreshing our blog at 1AM?) for some insight:
Best is still wearing the red jersey, but you owe it to yourself to come out and watch Bryan Anger punt. He hit a low flying plane today.
I. Told. You. So. Riley may have received the loudest applause (has anyone else noticed he’s become a bit of a fan favorite?), but nobody got oohs and aahs until Anger got ahold of one. I remember watching Best last spring; seeing him turn the corner and destroy pursuers’ angles made me into a believer, instantly. Anger is this year’s Best (I know, he’s a redshirt freshman, but we had Larson last year and he was pretty good in his own right). Until you saw Best in person, and until you see Anger punt, you can’t appreciate how good they are.
We have the best long-snapper in the country (Sundberg), the best guner in the country (Best), and while his consistency isn’t there yet, Anger has one of the biggest legs I’ve ever seen. I hope we don’t get to see them too often during the season, but this punting unit is going to be awesome! I know this is kind of like being excited about your double play combination up the middle when your offense is averaging 3 runs again (having a fun season, Giants fans?), but they’re just that good.
A few final notes on the scrimmage:
- Mansion continues to struggle. He looks like a freshman quarterback using the entire play book for the first time (he ran the scout team offense in the fall). We know he can make all of the throws, but he looks a little overwhelmed right now. Mansion did hit Ross in stride on a little crossing route over the middle, and Ross showed a nice burst getting upfield for a 25 yard gain.
- Riley had a pretty nice game but on an early 4th down, he threw it behind Calvin, who dropped it.
- Slocum had a nice game with 2 TDs and a number of solid runs. I thought he again showed nice patience and vision. Meanwhile, for a skinny guy who should be going to prom in a month, Covaughn is a tough runner. Maybe he does end up playing this year after all.
- Syd had two nice punt returns, including a TD that got called back for clipping away from the play. He was very comfortable finding seems and looked fluid shaking defenders. He might be the most valuable player on the team (if not, Mack?), so I wonder if Tedford will hesitate to make him the punt returner and leave him susceptible to taking big hits. We’ll see what Best and Vereen can do once they get healthy, but Syd looks like a natural.