Colonial Talk: A first look at the new offense

Luke+Brumbaugh+had+a+solid+outing+Thursday+night%2C+making+a+good+case+for+the+starting+QB+job.+

Photo by Kyle Gorcey

Luke Brumbaugh had a solid outing Thursday night, making a good case for the starting QB job.

By Ian Kidd, Staff Reporter

RMU Football held their final intersquad scrimmage of the 2014 training camp Thursday evening at Joe Walton Stadium. Emotions were high, and a good crowd gathered to get a glimpse of the new spread offense implemented by first-year offensive coordinator Darrin Hicks.

Sophomore Luke Brumbaugh took all the starting reps at quarterback, and made a good impression, completing his first six passes and finishing 8-for-10. Most of his throws were quick reads, connecting with the safe option, but his efficiency was the most notable aspect of the night.

“I was trying to treat it as much as a game situation as possible, because this was obviously our last scrimmage and everything,” said Brumbaugh, noting his hot start. “I’m just trying to prep myself for next week.”

The sophomore did not have a perfect outing however, losing a fumble to the defense after mishandling a shotgun snap.

“I thought he did very well. I think the glaring mistake he made was when the ball popped out of his hand,” said head coach John Banaszak. “We’ve got to have the poise to get back on the football and not give it up at that point.”

Junior quarterback Derik Abbott played mostly with the second string offense and it showed. He had little-to-no time in the pocket, which forced him to make rushed throws and evade sacks from the first-string defensive line. It wasn’t an equal opportunity, and his frustration was evident.

Several running backs were in action last evening, although the most noticeable was who didn’t suit up. Highly touted freshman Rameses Owens sat out of the scrimmage, mostly for precautionary reasons.

With Owens out, Erich Maine received most of the carries. He ran 11 times and scored twice. Senior wide receiver Duane Mitchell carried the ball twice out of a wildcat formation, a package Hicks has been using throughout camp.

At times, the offense was out of sync with each other, most likely because of the new playbook.

“I’ve got total confidence in Coach Hicks that he’ll get this offense to score some points next Thursday,” said Banaszak.“The game plan is already intact for next week. Starting tomorrow, we’re going to start calling the plays we’ll run against Eastern Kentucky.”

Overall, the offense was exciting to watch. Brumbaugh had a great scrimmage and certainly helped his chances for the starting job this season. An official decision has not yet been made yet, but is expected in the next coming days.