MOSCOW, Idaho – It is possible for a football coach to be happy after watching his team scrimmage. That was true for Idaho’s Robb Akey after Friday night’s spring finale with the Silver and Gold Scrimmage at the Kibbie Dome.
“I thought it was a good scrimmage,” Akey said. “I wanted to see some guys make plays. I think we did tonight.”
He was able to be happy because it was both sides of the ball making the plays. Senior receiver Daniel Micheletti hooked up with Dominique Blackman for a 69-yard TD for an offensive highlight. On the flipside, Quinton Bradley and Solomon Dixon nabbed interceptions to find their way onto the highlight reel and Su`a Tuala was a one-men wrecking crew with nine tackles, which includes three sacks.
After a three-and-out on the first offensive possession, the offense hit paydirt with a three-play drive that led to the Blackman-to-Micheletti TD. The offense continued to make headway on future drives but didn’t find its way into the endzone again. Instead, it relied on the reliable Trey Farquhar, who was good on field goals of 17, 27, 28, 39 and 44 yards.
“I’m happy with the progress our offense is making,” Akey said. “We have a lot of work to do, no doubt about it but I’m excited about what we can be.”
One of the questions yet to be answered is who will start at center this fall. The sure thing is the battle between Taylor Davis and Blackman will continue into fall camp.
“There were some nice throws out there but, on the other hand,” said Akey referencing the interceptions – one by each of the quarterbacks. “Those are some of the things that are happening. Sometimes when you’re competing, you try to take a bigger bite out of what you got. Part of winning the job is taking what’s there; making what’s there good for you.”
Cue the defense, which provided a steady stream of solid play with a veteran group blended with players breaking into the lineup. Tuala was one who drew praise from Akey for his intensity and effectiveness. So, too, did Bradley – a steady menace all spring, as well as the deep corps of linebackers and the developing defensive front.
“Our defense is making some good things happen,” Akey said. “Our defense has been having a real strong spring so to see them step up and make things happen was great.”
Micheletti led the receivers with four catches for 105 yards with Ryan Bass’ six carries for 42 a high for the running backs. Backing Tuala’s defensive effort was cornerback Dion Bass, who had five stops – including one where he caught up with big brother Ryan.
Blackman, Davis and Logan Bushnell combined for 21 of 40 passing for 265 yards with Blackman’s 13-of-22 for 176 the best of the three.
Idaho opens the 2012 season at home against Eastern Washington Aug. 30.