A much needed tune-up came on Saturday as the Canes dominated Savannah State, and got many of their Freshmen involved.
The offense sputtered at first, with Travis Homer fumbling on the first possession, and Malik Rosier overthrowing an open receiver early in the first; but the Canes eventually found their rhythm against the heavily overmatched Tigers.
The defense surged after getting their first turnover of the season, and the new-and-improved turnover chain finally made its debut. The chain would end up coming out 5 times by the end of the night, but getting the first one was electrifying. However, the fans also let the team know of their discontent at first, as boos followed Malik’s overthrow, and also a weak, 33-yard punt by Zach Feagles.
More importantly, N’Kosi Perry, Cade Weldon, Jarren Williams, Lorenzo Lingard, Brevin Jordan, and Will Mallory all scored their first touchdowns as Canes. The promise of the future was shown on the field, as some sets included Ezzard, Wiggins, and Hightower at receiver, Jordan at tight end, Lingard at running back, and Perry at quarterback.
Perry’s future in particular seems extremely bright, despite him also throwing the first interception of his career. Besides the interception though, he delivered laser-like passes to other young players, and made a good case for being Malik Rosier’s successor.
Seeing all the young players receive valuable playing time was assuring to watch, and quite enjoyable, as most of them saw the playing field for the very first time.
One area that remains concerning is the offensive line, and although they protected decently, and opened up some holes, they still didn’t look dominant over the inferior defensive line of Savannah State. The second string unit also received some useful snaps, and made a great push to get Lorenzo Lingard into the endzone. On the road at Toledo next Saturday will be a good challenge for the offensive line, and we can only hope that they’ll show their improvement since week 1.
All in all, the win itself may not be worth much on paper, but the playing time that the developing players received is incredibly important. It was everything we hoped for in terms of the youth seeing action, as the staff took full advantage of the new redshirt rule, and the Canes cruised to a 77-0 victory.