Not good news coming out of practice this week in regards to our DB’s. Injuries are mounting, a pretty discouraging sign heading into the conference opener…..
Wally Dada has a sprained knee he hurt in practice a few days ago. He’s been noticably limping the last couple of days and has been very limited in practice. That’s a BIG concern as many rank him right there with Teems as best cover guy on the team.
Don Turner, the backup at both corner spots, was nursing a sore hammy he strained against Grambling. He finally practiced on Monday, but Tuesday his back flared up during practice, so bad were the spasms that he had to be carted off the field. He didn’t practice yesterday, so no idea if he will even play Saturday.
It’s getting so thin already that they have moved Lorenzo Bursey, the JC running back/WR they brought in to return kicks, to corner. He’s reportedly done OK, but he hasn’t faced Pac-10 competition yet obviously and he might be in for a very rude beginning on Saturday! Bursey has been taking the majority of the reps with the first team this week, so the odds are good he’ll start on Saturday. I’d expect a lot of safety help over the top, and/or a lot of cover-2 zone to help him out.
It gets worse, though – Ian Bell had a big camp and was expected to play a lot this year, but he’s been injured since week one and is struggling on the 3rd team. Tyrone Brackenridge of course is out for the year with grade issues, and that could turn out to be a gigantic loss as the year goes on. Small, skinny white kid named Ryan Kensok, a walk-on from Gonzaga Prep, is moving up the depth chart by default. Finally, linebacker/safety superfrosh Courtney Williams has even been moved to corner this week!
As Cougfan said in the story this week, this isn’t good news. Combined with the match-up against Oregon State, a team that passes first, second and third, well, it makes ANY Cougs pretty nervous right about now!
How will Akey compensate? Will we adopt the new Notre Dame, bend-but-don’t-break approach by keeping everything in front of them, let them rack up 450 passing yards and several field goals? Or will Akey keep the same approach as always and attack from all angles, forcing Moore into sacks and pressure him into mistakes while stuffing the running game? It’s a good question, and frankly I’m glad I’m not the DC this week! You have to figure one way or another, they must absolutely find a pass rush, or else Moore and Hass will completely destroy our secondary, and confidence in the process.