A productive day for Air Force.
The Falcons scrimmaged – “live” blocking and tackling with refs – for much of the session. They didn’t keep score, instead putting the offense in specific situations – third-and-1, third-and-5, third-and-8, starting from the one-inch line, two-minute offense, etc.
“We just got to cover a ton of situations,” Falcons coach Troy Calhoun said.
Most notable in my opinion was the offense – for the first time in these scrimmage situations – held its own. More than held its own.
Who Stood Out: TB Kyle Lumpkin.
The sophomore ran hard between the tackles but also busted a few big plays. He broke outside and went about 60 yards with a handoff before being chased down by Anthony Wright (who made a great play to get Lumpkin), and he also took a pair of screen passes 20 and 23 yards.
Lasting Image: The Falcons’ offense practicing its end-of-game knee-down play.
I might have written about this last year as a “Lasting Image,” but it just stood out to me again. As I said above, Air Force put its offense in a bunch of different situations on Wednesday, including “Running out the last four minutes of the game with a lead.” In this situation, the offense needs one first down (at least) and has to run out the clock. That includes putting the knee down to finish the game
Seems pretty simple, right? Quarterback takes the snaps and puts his knee to the turf. But this goes back to Calhoun’s attention to every detail involved in the game – no matter how small.
“You’ve just got to do it,” he said. “I just think you’ve got to cover all those things. It’s not that they’re a huge deal, but you’ve got to put them through it.”
QB Corner: Both senior Shea Smith and junior Eric Herbort played very well.
Smith’s highlights: He avoided the rush and made a nice pass to Luke Hyder for a first down; He threw a strike to Sean Quintana for a 13-yard gain; He moved out of the pocket and hit Spencer Armstrong for 23 yards; And he made a pair of good runs.
Herbort’s highlights: He took back-to-back quarterback draws 31 and 34 yards during a two-minute drill situation; He stayed in the pocket and – just before absorbing a hit – delivered a pass on the money to tight end Chaz Demerath for a 12-yard gain.
“They both executed pretty decently today,” Calhoun said. “Just poise-wise, being aware of the clock in a four-minute situation, when you don’t want to snap the ball until there’s two seconds left on the (play) clock. The two-minute drill, knowing what they needed to do to get us in a position to kick the field goal. They both did some good things.”
And they’re both going to play in games this season. Calhoun isn’t going to anoint one starter. Check out tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette for more on Calhoun’s plans to use a platoon at quarterback.
Quote to Note: “We need to have somebody emerge as a backup kicker.” – Calhoun. The candidates, Calhoun said, are sophomore Zack Bell, freshman Erik Soderberg and freshman Garrett Jack.
One More Thing: A reader of the blog asked for some information about Caleb Konemann, a freshman who was added to the most recent two-deep chart as a backup outside linebacker. I asked Calhoun about the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Konemann after practice.
“He’s just been very active,” Calhoun said. “He’s been physical, and right now he’s been one of our four best outside linebackers. Now, every kid’s got to know that that never holds static. But he’s got a decent-sized body and I think he’s going to be a pretty good player.”
Another One More Thing: Congrats to tight ends coach Ben Miller and his wife Meghan on the birth of daughter Quinn Kearney Miller.