Arizona football and head coach Jedd Fisch completed their first spring football game under this new and exciting regime. Team Gronkowski beat Team Bruschi 17-13 but this game was about everything except the final score. There were trick plays, plenty of Gronk, Fisch and fan festivities
Our full game recap can be found here. Here are some takeaways from Saturday’s spring game.
A well-documented quarterback battle
Neither quarterback made the decision Fisch will have in the fall any easier in my opinion, but Gunner Cruz looked like the better man for the job. All spring, Cruz appeared to be a notch ahead of Will Plummer and that stayed the course today as he threw for 110 yards on 5-7 passing with a touchdown as well.
That touchdown came on a reverse flip pass to a wide-open Stacey Marshall 47 yards down the field. Cruz also had another gorgeous deep pass to for 61 yards. The long ball was definitely something that looked emphasized today and the difference between Cruz and Plummer in that category is large.
Plummer also provided a decent stat day with 141 yards and a touchdown on a swing pass to running back Bam Smith. Plummer was able to navigate the pocket very well and is crisp with his short and intermediate passing. He was only 10-21 passing with 6-7 of those incompletions on passes 20 yards or further down the field.
Spring-standout Stanley Berryhill III continued to impress
Berryhill and all of the wide receivers had another really good day and this position group has stood out all spring. After finishing up the spring game, the case could be made that Arizona’s wide receiver core, from top to bottom, is one of the three best and most complete cores in the Pac-12.
Berryhill will be a certified stud this season and freshman Jalen Johnson was getting targeted all day. Tayvian Cunningham also had two catches for 52 yards, displaying his world-class speed on a 42-yard catch on a crossing pattern.
The core of Berryhill, Cunningham, Johnson, Boobie Curry and Brian Casteel is really good and deep. Tight end Stacey Marshall also adds to this group and should have a great year as well.
There were not that many designed running plays today as it looked like it was more of a pass-heavy attack. Lots of play-action and, most noticeably, a wide receiver jet motion on most plays and plenty resulting in jet sweeps.
The defensive line got to the quarterback
Defensively, it was hard to justify the performance as it seemed like blitzing wasn’t allowed, which was most likely eating defensive coordinator Don Brown’s heart out.
The secondary had a hard time sticking with the wide receivers today but there were four overall sacks on the day for the new defensive line.
The excitement surrounding the football program is back
Fisch’s first spring game couldn’t have been more of a success. The hype and excitement for his team is real heading into the offseason and bringing back many alumni that haven’t been to Tucson since their last snap as a Wildcat is a great step into building the program.
The fans still love Gronk like he is family and today, more than ever, he felt like a part of the Wildcat family.
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