The University of Northern Colorado football team had their first true playing time since November.
Athletes congratulated all the women’s walk participants with a tunnel of high fives before the game.
Following that they headed to the practice field to stretch.
The players warmed up, did some position drills and a brief seven-on-seven session before an hour of full contact scrimmage.
Quarterback Jacob Knipp started out slow with the fundamentals and short gain plays being implemented first.
The first team offense and first team defense matched up well in the first few series.
Only Milo Hall would gain significant yardage in the first quarter.
Later on the receiver core of Willie Fairman, Dontay Warren and Noah Sol started to break away from the Blue defense.
Milo Hall would be the first to score a touchdown with a 3-yard rush into the endzone.
Between quarterback pressure, Jamond DuBose’s interception and pass breakups the blue team was shutout in the first half.
More Energy After Halftime
The second half was much more electric with many of the younger athletes getting good reps in starting positions.
While the stars of the show continued to be the big three receivers, the younger athletes showed a lot of promise on defense.
When Noah Sol was not scoring touchdowns for the gold team, freshman Corey Tate was harrassing the Blue offense.
Tate showed ease at keeping tight defensive coverage and an interception for the gold team in the endzone.
The blue team had plenty of effort, but defensively could not hold third-down efficiency and sputtered out offensively in the endzone.
At the end of the game Gold beat Blue 21-0.
Afterwards, the players and coaching staff took time to connect with friends and family on the field and at cash barbeque following the game.
Highlights of the Game
- Noah Sol scored two touchdowns and broke tackles consistently
- Milo Hall scored one touchdown and led the running attack
- Jamond DuBose got an interception and pass deflections
- Corey Tate sealed the shutout with an endzone interception
- Jacob Knipp seems healthy and the clear leader at quarterback
- Justice Littrel had a clean, but huge hit that excited the crowd
- The offensive tempo is unrecognizably faster
- The defensive pass rush and coverage is solid already
- Few penalties overall and easy ones to clean up: false start/ offsides
- Conditioning decent, but will need to improve as the summer heats up
What Coach Earnest Collins Jr. had to Say
Q: How did the scrimmage go overall?
A: It went well, man. Spring is all about making the most of these 15 practices we get to instill the plays and get the young guys with the vets.
Q: There was a lot of important seniors to replace from last year, do you feel like this roster will do that?
A: All positions are important and I honestly think we added a lot of depth this year. We have a lot of young guys who can step up and help us.
Q: Many big plays and only a few penalties overall, going into fall what still needs to be cleaned up?
A: Conditioning will be an emphasis, along with figuring out where each guy plays best at. We were trying guys at different positions today to see what their strengths are in different situations. Everyone will have an important role in us succeeding as a team.
Q: Out of the young guys on the field have any stood out to you in improvement or overall effort?
A: The young running backs we have showed a lot today along with Jaren Mitchell and Corey Tate proving they can play in the situations we placed them in. There’s a few guys out here that graduated high school early just to be here with us in spring to get started and that means a lot to us.
Q: With the Tribune reporting that UNC President Feinstein is taking a special interest in improving the sports at UNC, football specifically, is there extra pressure or is it business as usual for you and the staff?
A: There’s always going to be outside pressure and it helps keep us focused, but at the end of the day it is about developing these kids, and always has been. I’m glad the president is involved with the sports programs and wants to build up the program, but I am only worried about helping these kids.