Spring Reports

Clemson
Our first in a series of looks at spring scrimmages across the country.

Atlantic Coast

Clemson: There were 18 punts. One of them was fumbled. The number of standout plays could be counted on one hand, and the teams combined for 358 yards of offense. Reported attendance: 21,000.

Duke: David Cutcliffe has emphasized improving team speed since his arrival three years ago, and although the efforts are beginning to pay off, the team is young, with 54 of 82 scholarship players either sophomore or freshmen.

Florida State: Quarterback Christian Ponder was in midseason form, throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns. Attendance: 51,300.

North Carolina: The Tar Heels have nine starters returning on defense, and coach Butch Davis used the spring game to give younger players a chance to shine. Attendance: 29,500.

Virginia: Coach Mike London's spring debut went as expected, with the defense overwhelming a sputtering offense, an issue that plagued Al Groh in his final two years as coach.

Big 12

Baylor: Quarterback Nick Florence, the backup to Robert Griffin, passed for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Griffin, who sat out spring drills after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last fall, will be back in the fall.

Colorado: If the season were to start today, Tyler Hansen would be the starting quarterback over Cody Hawkins.

Texas: Garrett Gilbert played like a veteran at quarterback, but Mack Brown was not encouraged by the play of No. 2 Sherrod Harris. Attendance: 44,250.

Conference USA

Southern Mississippi: The offense was sharp, but the play of the defense
was disappointing
. Chris Campbell completed 24 of 32 passes for 207
yards. Attendance: 4,860

Independent

Army: Rich Ellerson declared spring drills "a success," but the coach
wasn't ready to predict that the Black Knights will end a streak of 13
consecutive losing seasons
.

Mid-American

Miami: Quarterback Zac Dysert completed
23 of 25 passes
for 137 yards and tailback Thomas Merriweather
rushed 23 times for 106 yards.

Mountain West

Air Force: The Falcons concentrated on developing
their offensive line
, which lost all five starters.

Brigham Young: James Lark, Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps will continue
their competition to become starting
quarterback
into the fall. Attendance: 7,000.

San Diego State: The offense gained only
eight rushing yards
in 46 carries in addition to committing four
turnovers.

Texas Christian: The nearly 140-play scrimmage was highlighted by a couple
of long pass plays
by Andy Dalton, including one to Antoine Hicks
on a busted play for 30 yards. Attendance: 7,500.

Pacific 10

Arizona: The Wildcats leave spring training with the look of a Pac-10
first-division team
that could beat any other on the schedule. "If
we get our offensive line solidified, we should be able to score
points in bunches
," coach Mike Stoops said. Attendance: 6,000.

Southeastern

Florida: John Brantley was sharp at quarterback in the Gators' first
spring game without Tim Tebow in five years. Tebow was in the crowd, giving
an impassioned speech
about playing for Florida to several dozen
recruits. Attendance: 51,500.

Georgia: Zach Mettenberger was impressive, but the quarterback won't
start the Sept. 4 opener against Louisiana Lafayette because he is
suspended for at
least the first game
after his alcohol-related arrest last month.
Attendance: 38,742.

South Carolina: Steve Spurrier called off the game after three
quarters, but questions surrounding his starting quarterback will
linger into the summer
.

Vanderbilt: The Commodores had had one of college football's worst
offenses in 2009, and from the looks of it, 2010
may not be much better
.

Sun Belt

Florida International: Players and coaches took time time to remember Kendall Berry, the running back who was killed in an on-campus stabbing in March.

Middle Tennessee: Coach Rick Stockstill, who is coming off a 10-win season, is breaking in new offensive and defensive coordinators. Attendance: 3,110.

North Texas: Nothing was settled between Derek Thompson and Nathan Tune, who are battling to become the starting quarterback. Riley Dodge, last season's starter, was moved to receiver because a series of injuries sapped his arm strength.

Troy: Quarterbacks Jamie Hampton and Corey Robinson will continue their competition for the starting job into the fall.

Western Athletic

Louisiana Tech: Seventeen players caught passes in new coach Sonny Dykes' offense. Attendance: 2,500.

Nevada: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick struggled throwing the ball and had
three
passes intercepted
. Running backs Vai Taua and Courtney Randall
combined for only 24 yards. Attendance: 1,500.



Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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