FINAL: Red 24, Blue 23 OT
Kudos to Hugh Freeze. There was going to be a winner in the Grove Bowl. None of this tie stuff.
When regulation ended at 17-all, the announcement came that each team would be allowed one possession from the 25-yard line. Each team scored quickly, the Red on a 23-yard pass from Bo Wallace to Donte Moncrief, the Blue on Randall Mackey's 25-yard pass to Ja-Mes Logan.
The Blue was required to go for two and came up short.
An attendance of approximately 25,000 was announced, a number that probably isn't too far off the mark and not bad considering the cool and overcast weather. For a while there it looked like Eli's apperance in the Grove was going to out-draw the game, but fans turned out.
An interesting day if you were looking for a lot of offense. Bo Wallace had his best day of the spring. He was clearly the best quarterback of the day, though that didn't help him in the big picture. Freeze said afterward that if he had to play today, he would most likely play both Wallace and Barry Brunetti.
Wallace was 16-for-26 for 240 yards, two touchdowns. He also had a pick in the end zone when he was trying to force one in to Donte Moncrief.
Wallace was for the most part accurate in the face of pressure from a defensive line that recorded a combined seven sacks.
Wallace seemed to have good chemistry with Moncrief (3 catches, 68 yards, 2 TD) and Vincent Sanders (5 catches, 89 yards).
Brunetti's production came in the run game. He led all rushers with 14 carries for 109 yards. His 78-yard run late set up the tying touchdown, a 2-yard run by Devin Thomas.
Brunetti was 4-for-10 passing. If that doesn't improve, the job will likely swing to Wallace, unless he suffers a setback. Brunetti's mobility is intriguing, but Wallace isn't a stiff. He scored on a 13-yard run today.
Wallace's day was particularly interesting in light of the fact that the secondary has had the upper hand most days this spring.
There was not much from Wesley Pendleton today. Dehendret Collins had two interceptions, but also gave up a couple of plays.
That should not diminish in any way what those two guys accomplished this spring. Pendleton, in fact, was named the spring's outstanding defensive player pre-game. The offensive honor went to WR Ja-Mes Logan.
The defensive line looked good. There was nothing to speak of given up in the run game aside from Brunetti's big run, and the two defensive units combined for seven sacks, all seven of them by the defensive line.
It's a line playing right now without one of its best players, Uriah Grant. He is coming off shoulder surgery and is expected to be available in August.
When you're playing against yourself you never really know if you have bad offense and good defense or vice versa.
This team has depth concerns at just about every position and academic concerns - most notably with Nick Brassell - that could keep it from being the best it can be.
Generally speaking, Freeze thought the spring was a good learning experience and said he felt like he and the staff got the most they could out of 15 practices.
Eli still draws a crowd, as you can see from this video. Unfortunately, this is the view you get when the barricades and security make it longer to find parking. Didn't arrive early enough today. Anyway, this second video has some Eli audio as he talks about living in Oxford, enjoyable for, among other reasons, it's less congested than New York City.