2007 Preseason Lookaheads -
– All-ACC quarterback Matt Ryan was just as productive in the annual Jay
McGillis Memorial Spring game as he had been throughout a stellar 2006
season completing 19 of his 33 throws for 233 yards and a 59 yard
touchdown heave. New offensive coordinator Steve Logan, famous for
coaching Jeff Blake and David Garrard at East Carolina, has meshed well
with the Eagle star.
– 20,000 fans showed up in Death Valley to see junior Cullen Harper step
to the forefront of the QB race throwing three touchdown passes for the
Orange in a 35-16 victory over the Purple. Five-star recruit Willy Korn,
who entered Clemson early in January, played well in front of the home
folks, completing 13 of 25 for 135 yards and a touchdown for the Purple
team in a losing effort. While the starting job is Harper’s to lose,
head coach Tommy Bowden has hinted that Korn will play throughout the
The Blue Devil defense defeated the offense in a 47-46 nailbiter that
featured the debut of new offensive coordinator Peter Vaas. All ACC
linebacker candidate Michael Tauiliili returned a fumble for a touchdown
to give the defense a win over Vaas’s offense.
– Quarterbacks Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee completed 26 of 49 passes
and three touchdowns at Doak Campbell in the annual Garnet and Gold
game. Under the guidance of new offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, the
two QBs led the offense to a win over the defense 29-25, but also threw
four interceptions to keep the defense in the game. Basically, FSU
hasn’t decided on a starting quarterback yet.
– The running back duo of Tashard Choice and Rashaun Grant racked up 120
yards on the ground to highlight the team’s final scrimmage against the
Tech defense this spring. Defensive end Darrell Robertson and defensive
tackle Vance Walker led the defense with a pair of sacks for the Yellow
Jacket defense. New QB Taylor Bennett didn’t exactly go lights out this
spring, but wasn’t lousy and started to shine late.
– Quarterback Chris Turner completed 11 of 15 passes, while running back
Morgan Green ran for 92 yards to lead the White to a 27-10 victory in
the annual Red-White Spring game. Although Turner was instrumental in
the White’s victory, most in attendance watched counterparts Jordan
Steffy and Josh Portis struggle throughout the day to complete 50% of
their passes. Each accounted for a big touchdown throw, but neither one
emerged as the clear cut starter.
The Orange beat the White in a defensive slugfest 7-0 in front of 7,000
fans in Randy Shannon’s debut as head coach in the OB. Consequently,
not much was settled in the quarterback battle as Kyle Wright completed
seven of 14 for 60 yards and a TD, while Kirby Freeman was eight of 19
for 117 yards and one pick. Of bigger concern was the health of RB
Javarris James, who hurt his knee in the spring game. It was just a
sprain and didn’t turn out to be a big deal.
North Carolina – 10,000 fans showed up in Kenan Stadium to see
the Butch Davis era begin in earnest, as the offense took on the defense
in a 90 minute scrimmage. Quarterback T.J Yates completed ten of 15
passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns, while up-and-coming star wide
receiver Hakeem Nicks caught three passes for 82 yards and a touchdown.
– The Red knocked off the White 35-31 as starting quarterback Daniel
Evans led the Red on a game winning 65 yard touchdown drive. But, the
brightest spot of the day was the trio of running backs, Toney Baker,
Andre Brown and Jamelle Eugene, that ran for a combined 443 yards on 49
carries. Evans is expected to be the starter, but Nebraska transfer
Harrison Beck is still in the hunt for the job.
– Quarterback Scott Deke threw a 24 yard touchdown to Simon Manka for
the only score of the day as the Blue beat the White 7-0 in the annual
Cavalier spring football game. With starting QB Jameel Sewell on the
sidelines and receiver Kevin Ogletree out for the year with an ACL tear,
the defenses on both teams dominated the action, led by linebackers
Antonio Appleby and Jermaine Dias.
– Head coach Frank Beamer cancelled the remainder of spring football
after the tragedy.
– The defending ACC champions concluded spring practice with an
intrasquad scrimmage that featured the passing acumen of quarterback
Riley Skinner. In typical Skinner style, the ACC rookie of the year
completed 12 of 14 passes, including 11 of in a row at one point. On
defense, defensive end Matt Robinson led the way with two sacks, making
a triumphant return after missing all of last year with an injury.