Well, we know as much about Costa as we did yesterday. The MRI results are back, but won't be released until the orthopedist gets back on Sunday. Everyone is keeping a pretty tight lip, but apparently the injury is "different" than it was last year. I'm not really sure what this means, but because of how its been handled, I'm leaning away an ACL tear. Now, it could be something just as harmful, but it's more wait and see.
And that shouldn't be a huge problem. Roper has been stepping up. In the scrimmage yesterday, he was 3/4 for 61 yards and had a 25 yard touchdown run. Granted, this was with most defensive starters out, but seeing 2 good performances in a row is very encouraging. And Roper is saying all the right things as well. He's been preparing to be the starter since Day 1, and he's ready to make the most of his chances, even under unfortunate circumstances.
One added problem to Costa's injury, which Rickert brings up, is that our depth takes a shot. Yes, there is a ton of talent, but these are players with weeks in the system, not years. I think with the talent around, we'll be better off than last year were we to lose a bunch of QBs, but if Costa is unavailable, that is quite a shot to the depth of the QBs.
In the rest of the scrimmage, Blount and the offense were "dominant". Blount had 87 yards on 4 carries, which was against the mostly 2nd string defense, but still quite impressive. The rest of the QBs played solidly as well, and Remene Alston drew praise for his 27 yards on 6 carries.
The only bright spot on defense was a Scott Grady 100 yard interception return for a touchdown off Darron Thomas.
However, despite the praises, there were also some criticisms. From the RG:
On the negative side, Bellotti ticked off a number of things that needed improvement.
“We had too many procedure penalties, too many snaps on the ground and too many missed tackles,” he said. “Our tempo needs to improve and overall, our kickers and punters did not have a very good day. I was disappointed in their performance and it hurt our ability to evaluate some of our return people.”
Defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti was even sharper in his criticism of the overall performance of his players.
“We played a lot of younger kids, but that’s no excuse,” he said. “I didn’t see a thing I liked ... we didn’t give a great effort, we didn’t give great focus, we didn’t pay attention to detail, we didn’t tackle, we weren’t mentally tough. We didn’t do anything that a great defensive team would do to win football games. The only good news is, we didn’t play a real game today. It was brutal, as bad as I’ve ever seen it.”
So there is definitely a lot of room for improvement. But with many of the top players on the sidelines today, that shouldn't be too difficult.
In other news, one of the things I am most excited for this year is the return of Jeremiah's stiff arm. With how much the team went through after he went down last year, it's easy to forget just how awesome it is. Ted Miller did a feature on him yesterday, and he sounds confident and ready, a great combination. I really like Jeremiah, and am excited to see what he will do as a team leader.
Bleacher Report has some good info on Jairus Byrd. The dude can play, and I am excited to see the secondary in action.
Well, we'll a mere 7 days away from season kickoff, and only 5 days away from college football in general. It's game week everyone!