April 8, 2006
Coach Walker Post-Scrimmage Quotes
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EVANSTON, Ill. -- On another cold, blustery day at Northwestern's FieldTurf practice facility, the Wildcats got a good look at all three quarterbacks as NU conducted a lengthy scrimmage.
For their eighth spring practice, Northwestern shed some of the drudgery of skill drills and scrimmaged. Though no one can reasonably expect perfection or crisp playmaking from either sides of the ball this early in the season, head coach Randy Walker said he was pleased with the effort he got, especially from his new quarterbacks, who faced windy and cold conditions.
"It was a mixed bag out there, but it usually is two weeks into spring," said Walker. "I like the way our running game is progressing, and especially pleased with the way that Terrell Jordan has come back. He gives us a dimension we didn't have last year.
"I'm also happy with the progress of the quarterbacks, but we're a long way from where we need to be on Aug. 31. Each player got reps with the No. 1 and No. 2 units."
Among the three signal callers, Mike Kafka won the statistical battle, completing 7-of-15 passes for 60 yards. He also ran for 33 yards, which included one TD.
C.J. Bachér started the scrimmage, and completed 3-of-7 passes for 34 yards and an interception while gaining 14 yards on the ground.
Though Bachér, the only QB among the trio who has collegiate game experience, was the player who took Saturday's first snaps, all three quarterbacks got an equal shot at the defense.
They each helmed the offense for a series before units switched. Redshirt freshman Andrew Brewer had a few highlight-reel runs, rushing for 51 yards and a touchdown. He completed 2-of-9 tosses for 23 yards and an interception on the passing front.
Though the Wildcats have gained national attention the last few years with Randy Walker's spread offense, the defense has shown spirit in recent practices, and it carried over into Saturday's scrimmage.
After the offense stormed down the field on their first two drives, the defense began to bottle up the offense. The offense's first drive went 65 yards on 11 plays with only one incompletion en route to a Tyrell Sutton 3-yard touchdown run.
They held the offense to four touchdowns and one field goal in 11 total drives and forced three turnovers. Campbell Black recovered a Bacher fumble, Nick Roach picked off a deflected Bacher pass and Akeem Hunter, the running back turned safety, ended the scrimmage with a 45-yard interception return off an Andrew Brewer pass.
Offensively, senior Shaun Herbert, last season's standout at wide receiver, continued his solid play by leading all receivers with 36 yards on a pair of receptions.
Jordan led all rushers, running for 53 yards on seven carries.
When asked to point out some emerging spring performers, Walker pointed out the contributions from the young players on the offensive and defensive lines. He, of course, also mentioned the running of Terrell Jordan.
Saturday's scrimmage proved to be a good benchmark for players and coaches alike.
PASSING -- Kafka - 7-15-60; Bachér - 3-7-34, INT; Brewer - 2-9-23, INT
RUSHING -- T. Jordan - 7-53; Brewer - 7-51, TD; Roberson - 7-38, TD; Conteh - 5-34; Kafka - 4-33, TD; Sutton - 6-32, TD; Bacher - 3-14
RECEIVING -- Herbert - 2-36; Ward - 2-21; Thompson - 2-18; O. Conteh 2-15; Jones - 1-10; Abernathy - 1-8; Sutton - 1-5; Roberson - 1-4
A reminder that Tuesdey's (April 11) practice session will run from 7 to 9 p.m., not 4 to 6 p.m. as previously announced.