#DayByDay Fall Camp Notebook: No. 12
This and That
After shaking off a "disappointing" practice on Thursday morning, the team returned to Memorial Stadium for what was their 16th practice of fall camp and head coach Bubba Schweigert was happy with the effort and how the team bounced back.
"I thought we had pretty good life. We practiced a few new situations on special teams and the focus was good. We practiced a few new situations on offense. The focus was good there too," Schweigert said. "We need to work on the execution, but I thought our guys were really locked in on what we are trying to teach them. We are trying to throw in more things each and every day to get more ready game-like situations."
Most teams focus on the two-minute offense to close out the game, but the coaching staff today worked on the defense needing to get a stop and get the ball back to the offense in the close team drills on Friday. Each defensive unit was able to get a stop when needed and Coach Schweigert was also pleased with the decision making of the offense, which included Joe Mollberg taking a sack instead of throwing the ball away and the ball carriers staying in bounds to keep the clock running.
New defensive line coach Jordan Gigli provided an update on his position following Friday's practice. He inherited a defensive front that returned one starter in defensive end Spencer Cummings and saw another, Ben Henson, switch over to the offensive line after starting 11 games at nose guard in 2013.
Despite the lack of experience, Gigli has been pleased with he has seen from his unit so far.
"Overall, the group has been improving each day and our effort has been great, especially here in the past week. We have had some young guys really step up that may end up helping us out early in the season and that is encouraging," he said.
"We are starting to figure out how we want to do things, how we want to practice, how we want to practice in shells, how we practice in full pads because those are important things. We want to stay healthy."
As mentioned before, Cummings has the most experience of the bunch, starting all 11 games in 2013 and playing in 33 consecutive contests for the Green and White. He has 40 career tackles, including seven for a loss.
"Spenecer is the only guy we have that has played meaningful reps, so we are counting on these guys to treat practice like game situations because they are all young," Gigli said. "Carrothers and Cheatom, those two guys have not played a lot, so we have a lot of new faces that need to approach practice and each opportunity like it's a game."
A pair of true freshmen defensive ends have also caught Gigli's eye in fall camp and are making a push to have their redshirts pulled.
"It's definitely a possibility. Drew Greely is fighting to break into the two-deep and Brandon Dranka is not too far behind," he added.
Minnesota transfer Jordan Hinojosa is running with the ones right now at nose guard and Gigli said he has really shown what type of force he can be inside for the defense.
Head coach Bubba Schweigert gave his squad the afternoon off from the practice field, but there was still a competitive activity for his squad as he sent them to Red Ray Lanes for an afternoon of bowling.
"We got them away from the practice field to get around each other. I think those things are important to get these guys to hang around each other and have some fun away from this game. I just felt like it was the right thing to do to take care of our team. We are always going to do what we think is best for the team at any given moment and that is what we thought was the best thing to do yesterday. I think it was a good change of pace and I thought our guys came out today and responded in a good way."
Check back to UNDSports.com later to watch a video recap from the afternoon of bowling. Veterans Ben Peters and Casey Young have showing their bowling prowess in the past, but the duo might be getting pushed by a new wave of bowling newcomers.
After bowling concluded and dinner was served, the team had a guest speaker come in and give them a different voice to hear from at their evening meetings. UND women's basketball head coach Travis Brewster talked to the team about several different topics with an added emphasis on the importance of being a UND student-athlete. Brewster's squad won the Big Sky Championship last season and became UND's first Division I team to play in the NCAA Tournament.
"We had a guest speaker come in last night and the team got to listen to someone else tell them what is important," Schweigert added. "I thought Coach Brewster did a great job of that."
Saturday's Practice Plan
Last Saturday, there were referees, head sets and yard sticks out at Memorial Stadium, but as of right now there is no plan to reenact a game-like situation for Saturday's full-padded practice in the morning starting at 8:30 a.m.
"We're going to take a look at where we are health wise right now, but we do not have a scrimmage scheduled," Schweigert said. "I don't think that is right for the team, but we'll probably sprinkle in some situations where we need to get a 'live' look, but it will be on a limited basis tomorrow. Our number one priority is taking care of the team."
The team will return to the field in the afternoon for a half-padded practice before taking Sunday off.
ESPN3.com Broadcast Team
The ESPN3.com broadcast team for UND's season opener at San Jose State will have a Fresno State flair to it. Both gentlemen were on hand in 2011 when UND narrowly pulled off the upset of the Bulldogs in Fresno, falling 27-22. The head coach for the Bulldogs that day was Pat Hill and he will be the color commentator after spending the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the Atlanta Falcons. Fresno State's lead football and men's basketball play-by-play voice Paul Loeffler will call the action from Spartan Stadium.
Check out UNDFootball on Instagram or follow @UNDFootball on Twitter to see a few pictures from the practices.
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