The one thing Coach Price didn’t want to happen, happened. This Mock Game was supposed to be a glorified practice, where the Miners’ first team offense and first team defense could work against the scout team, playing as the Stony Brook team. Two hand touch, basically. But, the Miners lost two starters to injuries.
Starting right offensive tackle, James Nelson suffered a high ankle sprain, and those can take quite awhile to get back to being strong enough to really play his position on. Think in terms of weeks. James Martin will probably step in to take his place.
Linebacker, Aubrey Alexius pulled a quad. This may not be as bad an injury. I did see Alexius walking off after the game, and he seemed to be doing alright, as he stretched as he walked along. The linebacking corps is so deep that this can be dealt with fairly easily. Josh Feely will probably step in to take his place, and Feely had been pushing hard to break into the starting lineup for some time before having to take some time off due to a family emergency.
As for making any statements about how well the offense or defense played it must be remembered that this was more like a dress rehearsal for a play than a football game. There were some miscues, and again, as had been said before, this is when you make the mistakes, so that they can be corrected before the actual games begin. Whistles blew plays dead when running backs were tagged. That doesn’t reflect what actually happens. Running backs break tackles, and keep going.
This was not a scrimmage, and it damned sure wasn’t a game. It was a scripted practice under the lights, in the Sun Bowl, with officials, smoking entrance from the Mine Shaft, and loudspeakers.
Eloy Atkinson sat this one out, and that gave Kyle Brown much needed snaps at the center position. He started out doing pretty well, but there were still some muffed center-quarterback exchanges.
Two other offensive linemen may be back next week, and that will sure help. Jerel Watkins and James Robinson should be back in time to play if needed against Stony Brook.
Joe Banyard says even he is amazed at his increased speed this year. I have been saying this ever since spring drills.
The players will have Sunday and Monday off. Then, the team will put the finishing touches on the preparation for the first game of the season.