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Notes and quotes from the spring game


A few quick hitters from today’s Blue/White Spring game, which the offense won 60-25:

–The quarterbacks were solid, but fans who wanted an answer in the three-way arms race will have to wait, as Coach Phillips said the race will continue into the summer. Mike Hartline and Morgan Newton both threw picks, but all three QB’s made plays with their legs that drew praise from Joker. Hartline was 11-of-24 for 124 yards, and likely remains the frontrunner, but both freshmen [edit – they’re not freshmen, really. How about we call them ‘underclassmen’ and pretend this didn’t happen] apparently closed ground over the course of the spring and all three are clearly still in the mix.

–The star of the show was running back Donald Russell, who rushed for a pair of touchdowns including a 70-yarder. He finished with 118 yards on nine carries. Sophomore CoShik Williams added 85 yards on the ground and redshirt freshman Jonathan George tallied 45. The offense rushed for 307 yards in total.

–Defensively, linebacker Danny Trevathan had the most impressive day. His four tackles, sack and interception of Hartline drew high praise from the coaches, leading Joker to say that his play is ‘the kind of leadership we need on defense.’ Mister Cobble applied consistent pressure up the middle and Winston Guy picked off Newton near the end zone to end the first half.

–The attendance for the scrimmage was announced at an estimated 9,000. I can’t tell you whether that’s good or bad but, accounting for the weather, it seems pretty decent.

And some quotes from the parties involved:

Coach Phillips on who the best quarterback is so far…

“Not sure yet. I think this competition is way too close to decide in April. We will continue this competition to August and hopefully we can come up with a decision quickly. We need a guy to get the majority of number one snaps. I am not disappointed because I think we have an opportunity to win with all three of these guys. We might have to help them with some on the line of scrimmage stuff from the sidelines with the two youngest guys, but no I am not disappointed.”

On if he thinks that Newton and Mossakowski caught up more than he came back to them…

“I think they caught up, I really do. The thing I like about Morgan (Newton) and Moss (Ryan Mossakowski) is that they played well in the stadium the last couple of scrimmages. They closed the gap more and I am happy with the progress that these two have made from day one. After day one, there were some concerns with me, but after day fifteen I am pleased with the way that all three of them have played.”

On if Mike Hartline is a Senior SEC type of quarterback…

“He has won games in this league, that’s the bottom line. He is a guy that we can win with.”

Hartline on the starting quarterback position…

“I battle every time, do the things that are expected out of me, then everything will take care of itself. But all I worry about is my teammates around me, their opinion, my coaches’ opinion and my own opinion. That is all I need to focus on.

“It’s my time. I’m not going to let anyone take this away from me. It’s my senior year and I want it more than anybody else. I just want to make everyone aware that I’m putting everything on the line for this team and for us to win football games.”

On his knee injury…

“My knee is 100%. No anything whatsoever. The brace is on as a precaution, a lot of quarterbacks around the country are doing that now. It hasn’t been giving me any problems.”

RB Donald Russell on his performance in the Blue/White Game…

“It boosts my confidence a lot. I’ll go and watch film and see how to get better. Now I know I’m capable of doing it. I showed the coaches and proved to myself that I can do it.”

And on his 35-yard reception…

“I saw the linebacker and he came flat. So, I took it up field I knew that Mike Hartline was looking. So, I looked up, saw the ball and focused on the ball. I knew it was coming, so I just had to catch the ball.”

[Notes from here]

[Quotes from here]

Article written by Hunter Campbell

I used to write here.