Spring football games are like our current presidential primaries: Lots of hype, vague details and more questions than answers.
Here's a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of Tulsa's spring game:
No Injuries: A head coach's biggest fear is losing a key player before the season even begins. Mission accomplished for Phil Montgomery and his staff as the Hurricane's came away virtually unscathed and injury-free minus a few nicks and bruises. It should be noted the offense was without their top two wideouts Keevan Lucas and Josh Atkinson due to pre-existing injuries, but both are expected back soon.
The Good - Pt II
The Running Game: A great Phil Montgomery offense is predicated on a good Phil Montgomery running game. A backfield coach at heart as evident during his days at Houston and Baylor, Montgomery understands no matter how intricate your spread offense is, you still need to run the ball to efficiently march up and down the field. Montgomery did it in Houston with Jackie Battle and Anthony Aldridge and again at Baylor with Jay Finley and RGIII. He intends to do it again in Tulsa with running backs Ramadi Warren and D’Angelo Brewer who combined for 299 yards and two exciting touchdown runs of 66-yards.
The Receiving Game: The offensive coaches knew there were some pretty big shoes to fill in place of the NFL-bound Keyarris Garrett. They just didn't think the void would be this big. Although eager to fill the void, no one stepped up to demand the attention Garret managed last year as youth and jitters prevailed over the young crew. Nigel Carter, Justin Hobbs and Brodrick Umblance caught a combined 11 catches for under 150 yards.....(That was an average day at the office for Keyarris Garrett in 2015). QB Dane Evans was forced to play the "Check Down Charlie" role for most of the game as all three receivers failed to produce anything downfield.
The Run Defense: On one hand, Phil Montgomery had to love the fact his backs patiently exposed holes on the line as they continuously broke free on medium to long range runs. On the other hand, he's scratching his head on why his run defense has yet to make any progression from last year's tumultuous season. Statistically one of the worst run defenses in all of FBS in 2015, they should be farther ahead than where they are now. Defensive coordinators Bill Young and Brian Norwood have the next four months to find a way to bridge the gap if they want to improve on last year's 6-6 record.