The juices were flowing for the Weber State University football team on the practice field Saturday, but it didn’t start with the scrimmage. Beforehand, a high-energy dance-off with some surprises broke out between the players, and can now be found on WSU football team’s Facebook page. The friendly competition was intended to get the energy of the players up, and to remind them to have fun on the field.
“I thought the intensity and the excitement at the start of the scrimmage was awesome,” said newly hired head coach Jay Hill. “Unfortunately, our offense didn’t handle it well.”
During scrimmage, the offense committed a number of penalties and had two fumbles.
“We jumped offsides a couple of times; we had a couple of fumbled exchanges,” Hill said. “Things started slow for (the offense). I keep mentioning this — when it’s slow for them, obviously the defense is playing well.”
A lot of players on the defensive end took advantage, like defensive lineman Dustin Martin, who recorded a few sacks in the game.
“I think we played well; we were flying around,” Martin said. “Everyone does their job, flying around and having fun. It makes it simple.”
Although the offensive players got off to a rough start, they made improvements midway through the scrimmage during certain situational drills.
“Right in the middle of practice, our offense rebounded when we were doing our red-zone section and our backed-up section,” Hill said. “Offense executed almost flawlessly there for that middle section.”
But the defense jumped right back at it.
“(When) we went into our four-minute drill and our two-minute drill at the end of practice,” Hill said, “the defense ratcheted what they were doing back up, and they played very well at the end.”
Hill commented after a scrimmage earlier this spring on how his offense needs to improve. He said the offense has improved since then.
“The last two practices, I’d say the offense has performed better than the defense, and then today we liven it up and the defense played a little bit better today,” he said. “If they eliminate the dumb penalties that they’re getting and the fumbled exchanges, I think they’re playing well.”
The football team at WSU is no stranger to depth issues. According to Hill, that’s still the case for the time being.
“We’ve got to continue to build that depth, and a lot of that’s going to take place with our recruiting class once those guys get here,” he said. “I foresee some of those guys even taking over some of these two spots, if not battling to be some of the starters.”
Hill’s recruiting efforts have found a lot of in-state talent, with 21 of the 34 new recruits being from Utah.
Another question mark for the revamped team is the quarterback position. The starting position is up for grabs between Jadrian Clark and Austin Chipoletti. Clark saw more action in the scrimmage than Chipoletti did, throwing 6 of 11 for 64 yards, compared to Chipoletti’s 45 yards. A decision has not yet been made, and from what senior receiver Sheydon Kehano had to say on the matter, it’s going to be a tough decision.
“They’re both great quarterbacks — smart as well,” he said. “They both have arm strength as well, so it’s pretty even, honestly. Both quarterbacks are good and it’s going to be a battle, so we’ll see.”
The Wildcats will wrap up spring ball with the annual Purple and White Game on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Stewart Stadium.