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Spring Games - What Happened (Part 1)?
Florida QB John Brantley
Florida QB John Brantley
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 10, 2011


How did Florida QB John Brantley do in the spring game? Who's LSU's new offensive star (and it isn't a quarterback), and is Garrett Gilbert in trouble at Texas? The BYU offense could be back, Purdue's quarterback situation is still a fight, and Clemson didn't exactly get what it needed out of its new starter. Check out what's happening in spring ball, part one.

Spring Football 2011

What's Going On? ... Part 1

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2011 Spring Preview
 
The start of the Muschamp era at Florida
So what did the new Florida coaching staff show after spring ball? The offense isn't quite there yet, The Blue beat the Orange 13-10 in a defensive battle, that was a disaster for QB John Brantley, who completed 4-of-14 throws for 45 yards. However, he was reportedly decent throughout spring ball and is the No. 1 man. It's still going to be a work in progress to change from the Urban Meyer spread to what Charlie Weis wants to do, but it didn't help that the first big showcase for the passing attack was a dud. There were several injured players and Brantley didn't have his full attack to work with, but still, it wasn't a plus on a day when the school unveiled statues of Tim Tebow, Danny Wuerffel, and Steve Spurrier.

LSU's offensive star
Just when it seemed like all the focus was going to be on the fight between Jordan Jefferson and Zach Mettenberger for the starting quarterback job, it was running back Spencer Ware who stole the show. Jefferson was awful completing 4-of-14 throws for 102 yards with a pick, but the ground game looked great as Ware tore off 94 rushing yards and two scores showing the flash and dash in the swampy, 90+ degree heat. Fast, tough, and always making the right play, Ware served notice that he and banged up RB Michael Ford might carry the attack. Jefferson, who's expected to be the starter - at least according to new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe - and was better throughout spring ball in the more simplified offense than he was in the scrimmage, struggled throwing the ball but he ran well. Mettenberger completed 5-of-8 passes for 86 yards and Jarrett Lee completed 9-of-14 throws for 63 yards and a pick.

Is Tajh Boyd ready to star for Clemson?
2010 wasn't a down year for the Tigers, but it was a bit of a disappointment after a program-turning 2009. One of the big problems was the inconsistent play at quarterback from Kyle Parker, meaning all eyes were on Tajh Boyd in the spring game. There's no question who the No. 1 man is, and it's going to be sink-or-swim time with the big, talented prospect, but he struggled way too much in the spring game completing just 8-of-24 passes for 114 yards and a score as he took his Orange team to a 25-13 win. Mobile, Boyd ran for a score, but the concern wasn't his inaccuracy, it was his inability to find the right receiver. In a new offensive system under coordinator Chad Morris. Boyd will be the talk of the game, but the excitement came from running backs Roderick McDowell and Demont Buice, who each ran for over 100 yards and showed that Boyd isn't going to have to carry the attack.

Oh yeah, Luck is pretty good
Instead of looking for the right house in a Charlotte suburb, Andrew Luck is still at Stanford and still looks like the type of player the Carolina Panthers wished they could be drafting in a few weeks. New head coach David Shaw put all the first team offensive stars on one side and the Cardinal crushed the White 42-3. Luck was razor sharp throwing three touchdown passes to tight end Zach Ertz, while backup Josh Nunes showed he could step in if needed and produce completing 16-of-22 passes for 165 yards. Okay, so Luck wasn't going to be touched and he could do whatever he wanted with five days to throw, it was still a nice sign that the offense was business as usual with Jim Harbaugh across town with the Niners.

The BYU offense might be back
Even though the BYU offense was starting to work late last year, it wasn't enough for head coach Bronco Mendenhall as he all but kicked out all the assistants. Some left, some stayed, and quarterback coach Brandon Doman was moved to offensive to coordinator. So how did the attack look in spring ball? If the quarterback play in the game is any indication, things are getting back to normal. Mendenhall let the Blue and White teams go to overtime with Riley Nelson connecting on a fourth down play before running for a touchdown to pull his White team within one. Nelson connected with Bryan Sampson for two and the 18-17 win, but of more importance was that Nelson was back and solid after missing half of last year hurt. Nelson completed 8-of-11 passes for 149 yards with a touchdown, while starter Jake Heaps played well completing 16-of-21 passes for 126 yards. There weren't too many big plays, but the quarterbacks were far sharper than they were last year at this time.

Purdue's starting quarterback will be ...
We'll have to wait until fall. Robert Marve is still getting past a knee injury and didn't see time in the spring game, so it was up to Rob Henry and Caleb TerBush, who's back in the mix after being out last year, to battle it out. Henry completed 8-of-12 passes for 76 yards and a six-yard touchdown to cement himself as the starter going into the fall ... for now. TerBush is still going to get his chances to win the job after looking great completing 16-of-27 passes for 172 yards and a score, but it's Marve who's the wild card with his repaired ACL appearing to be healthy enough to allow him to go full go in a few months.

The Texas quarterback situation
Is Case McCoy going to challenge Garrett Gilbert for the starting job? The brother of legend, Colt, completed 9-of-11 throws for 124 yards and a score, and he moved the ball without much of a problem against the first teamers. Gilbert wasn't awful, but he was off completing 8-of-15 passes for 76 yards with a poorly read pick during his inconsistent day - even though he went against the twos most of the time - and was shaky enough to open things up for a real, live quarterback fight later this summer. The bigger news for the Longhorns was the play of the defense, and more specifically, Alex Okafor, who spent the scrimmage sitting on the quarterbacks' heads registering four sacks. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has made it known he plans to ramp up the aggressiveness into the backfield, and it showed. The pressure had something to do with it, but the passing game sputtered whenever McCoy wasn't under center. Freshman David Ash and redshirt freshman Connor Wood didn't get too much work, and are supposedly still in the hunt for the job, but come August it'll be McCoy vs. Gilbert.