Watching film of Saturday’s scrimmage didn’t change the perception that the Alabama State defense dominated the workout, but head coach Reggie Barlow did see some encouraging things from his overmatched offense.
“Obviously, I was real impressed with our defense,” he said. “When I watched the film, they were just as impressive. We did have some solid play out of some of our (offensive) guys. We had a freshman, Andre Hammon, who stepped up (and) there were some positive runs (particularly by Jahaad Coleman). I thought we had some improvement. Obviously, we want to continue to show improvement on the concepts.”
Among the quarterbacks, it was hard to judge the performance of Daniel Duhart, who continues to work on overcoming a hamstring injury, but Barlow was happy with the tempo set by Quinteris Toppings.
“Duhart only played the first series, but the time he was in there he did OK,” Barlow said. “Toppings, I liked the way he manned the offense and he had the guys moving around fast. His urgency was good. He missed on some throws he should be able to complete, but getting the ball out fast on the perimeter throws, he did a good job with that.
“(Walk-on Dashawn) Blow was pretty accurate and had some reps. All in all, it was a ‘C’ average.”
The Hornets will hold their final spring workout today before holding the Black and Gold Game on Saturday.
“We’ll try to do some specific stuff, probably ‘backed up’ (situations with the offense on its 3-yard line),” Barlow said. “We didn’t fare too well on that in the scrimmage and that’s an area we want to clean up. We didn’t do well in the scrimmage and a couple of weeks ago didn’t do well in practice.
“That’s a huge situation for both sides. Defensively, if you get three and out, you have great field position. Offensively, you at least want to get a first down.”
Eighty-eight players were listed on the roster for the second scrimmage and a little more than a dozen of those players will have to be cut from the roster to make way for the incoming freshmen who report in early August.
“The Black and Gold Game will be for family and friends, but for some of them it’ll be their last opportunity to make a mark, that I deserve to be with the ‘ones’ and the ‘twos,’” Barlow said. “And for some of those kids that are bottom tier, they’ll be trying to make the 95-man roster for (August) camp. We’ve got 20-something guys (signed in February) that we have to make room for.”