[Vandal] Idaho Summons Up Big Plays

robiegruss at aol.com robiegruss at aol.com
Mon Aug 23 09:33:24 PDT 2021

>From The Lewiston TribuneLewiston, IdahoSunday, August 22, 2021
Idaho Summons Up Big Plays

Jordan, Whitney connect on 3 TDs during scrimmage
By Stephan Wiebe
MOSCOW — Idaho’s second football scrimmage brought plenty of opportunities for youngsters to make a splash in game-like scenarios, and several did that Saturday at the Kibbie Dome.
A freshman safety from Coeur d’Alene grabbed a pair of interceptions, a freshman quarterback rebounded from an early error by developing a snazzy connection with a veteran tight end and a freshman running back exploded for several lengthy runs.
The Vandals attempted to mimic an actual game by bringing in officials, conducting actual drives from all around the field and alternating personnel packages for various situations.
But they did not keep stats or a score, and at times the offense reset from the same down and distance after a big offensive or defensive play.
Coach Paul Petrino rotated four quarterbacks throughout the day with most of the reps going to senior Mike Beaudry and freshman CJ Jordan.
The two quarterbacks were haunted by interceptions by freshman safety Colbey Nosworth, who blossomed into the breakout performer of the scrimmage. The Coeur d’Alene High School product ended Jordan’s first drive with an interception and later picked off Beaudry in the end zone. Nosworth also was a menace on run defense, making tackles at every level.
“Nosworth made some good plays,” Petrino said. “He ran around and did some good things, had some good tackles, played hard.”
Aside from the two picks, Beaudry and Jordan had solid performances under center, despite Idaho’s top two receivers — Cutrell Haywood and Hayden Hatten — sitting out. The quarterbacks mixed up passes to a plethora of wideouts, running backs and tight ends.
Jordan and junior tight end Connor Whitney connected in the end zone three times — a theme that became the highlight of the scrimmage.
“They had a couple (big plays), and that’s good to see,” Petrino said. “It’s always good for a young guy to have a tight end that he can go to that’s kind of a good safety valve or someone you can lean on.”
The duo’s best play was a 65-yard touchdown up the middle of the field in which Jordan floated a pass to Whitney in stride, and the 6-foot-3, 233-pound tight end showed a burst of speed to do the rest.
After their third touchdown, Jordan did a slow run toward Whitney with both hands in the air before celebrating with the veteran near the end zone.
Whitney said he enjoys the mix of styles the different quarterbacks bring.
Strong-armed Beaudry mostly stayed poised in the pocket, and Jordan showed a knack for rolling out and hitting targets on the run. Converted running back Zach Borisch also received several opportunities to showcase his shiftiness at quarterback with a couple of big runs.
“It’s cool ’cause each one has their own type of skill set,” Whitney said. “So when one is in, it’s going to be a different batch of plays, when another is in, it’s going to be a different batch and coach (Petrino) is going to call it suited to their certain specialties.”
Beaudry didn’t have any plays as flashy as Jordan’s 65-yarder, but he orchestrated multiple slow and steady drives that resulted in scores.
Freshman quarterback Gevani McCoy also commandeered some drives. His best play was a cross-body touchdown pass to fellow freshman tight end Jake Cox. The play was a nice cap for McCoy, who largely struggled with defensive pressure.
Sophomore quarterback Nikhil Nayar showed up on crutches and a walking boot and is out for the foreseeable future.
In the run game, the standout was far-and-away 5-8, 170-pound freshman Elisha Cummings. The Waco, Texas, product racked up a pair of long touchdown runs, including a 39-yarder up the left sideline.
Sophomore Nick Romano and junior Roshaun Johnson added some bruising 10-plus-yard runs for first downs. Sophomore running back Aundre Carter did not see the field.
There were a handful of drops by the receiving corp, but the standout of the bunch was 6-4 freshman Terez Traynor. Traynor easily had the most receptions of the group, including a difficult corner back-shoulder touchdown catch from Jordan.
“I thought there were some good things,” Petrino said. “You see some of the same guys — you see (Cummings) making a bunch of big runs again, you see (Traynor), No. 14, making a lot of plays catching the ball. So I thought there were some good things.”
As for items to work on in practice next week, Petrino pointed to red-zone turnovers by the offense and big plays allowed by the defense.
Some other notable Vandals who didn’t participate in the scrimmage included linebacker Tre Walker and defensive linemen Rufai Kayode and Kim Jonah.
Petrino said the decision for most players was to proceed with an abundance and that none of the absences were COVID-19 related. The only player he said is out with a serious injury aside from Nayar is freshman offensive lineman Nate Azzopardi.
“There’s a couple guys we kept out just to keep them fresh and get them in the games,” Petrino said. “There’s a couple guys that just got little nicks and nacks, nothing that we think will be serious.”

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