Nothing like the first scrimmage of fall practice to get the juices flowing for the upcoming season. We are just a couple of weeks away now from the start of the season. Let's check the elevator progress.
Nate Costa: 159 yards on 12-of-15 attempts for 3 touchdowns. He also carried seven times for 45 yards. Coach Kelly says it all. "I feel 100 hundred percent better about our quarterback position than a year ago at this time." Remember that Costa was competing for the starting job last year before he got injured right before the season opener. So far, he seems to be slamming the door on the number two QB position. Could we see a quarterback controversy in the future? Elevator: Up 2 floors
Jeremiah Masoli: Not a great outing for the darkhouse Heisman candidate going 5-13 with two touchdowns. There were some drops but also some poor decisions on reads. When comparing numbers between him and Costa, remember that Masoli is playing with the first team and Costa the second. Elevator: Still in the Penthouse but the rent check is due
LaMichael James: playing in the slot, hanging out in the backfield at running back, James had 4 carries for 21 yards and caught 2 passes for 54 yards, including a 49-yard pass from Nate Costa. Oh, one more thing about that touchdown catch...James characterized as "streaking" for that pass at only about 75 percent. He's making a statement and then some. Elevator: Up 2 floors
Morgan Flint: Tough day in the kicking department all around but Flint had an especially tough outing. He missed all three of his attempts (53, 38, and 45) and also clanked an extra point try. Given that barely anyone could make field goals, Flint has some company in his elevator. Elevator (for all the field goal kickers): Down 1 floor
Jackson Rice: The punting game may not be as bad off as we thought. Rice had 5 punts, averaging 44.8 yards per kick with some real boomers that had no return. Form is good, he just needs to have consistent snaps and build up that confidence. He appears to be the real deal and should get some immediate playing time if this effort holds up. Elevator: Up 1 floor
LeGarrette Blount: Rattling off a 34-yard rush to open the scrimmage was a reminder of that talent level we get with Blount in the backfield. He's had some off-the-field distractions and he's still a bit over his playing weight at 240, but he's getting quicker and should be more than ready and motivated for the opener against Boise State. I was a little worried about his attitude on the field but he's practicing hard and looks to be ready for the season. Elevator: Knocking on the penthouse door
Jordan Holmes: Blew two shotgun snaps in a row. He has some huge shoes to fill with Max Unger leaving but he's got 19 days to get some consistency. He's on the cover of SI with Masoli. Let's hope there isn't a jynx at center. Elevator: Down 1 floor