In the first public live action play since only completing only 53.9% of his passes, quarterback Taysom Hill completed 19 of his 27 passes for 307 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Not only did Hill complete 66% of his passes, at least two of the incompletions were drops. He looked calm and composed in the pocket and very accurate. Hill completed two passes of over 50 yards, one a 56 yard pass to Terren Houk and the other a 53 yard gain to Michael Davis. The deep ball, one of Taysom's weaknesses last year, was much improved. He did not overthrow his recievers with the ball looking like it was shot out of a cannon, instead he showed an improved touch. Taysom's improved passing, along with his dynamic running, will really open up the offense if this is really showing improvement and is not just an aberration.
I was also impressed by Nick Kurtz. Kurtz showed off his great hands for 5 catches for 47 yards. Nick uses his hands to catch the ball, the only drop happening when he actually tried to catch the ball with his body on a slant from Taysom. He uses long strides to create seperation and runs very good routes. He already has some chemistry with Hill, which should help when the regular season comes. Nine different players caught a pass, showing depth in the receiving corps.
The defense also played well. They forced three turnovers, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Five players recorded a sack. Defensive mainstays Bronson Kaufusi, Alani Fua, and Jordan Johnson did not play. It was nice to see the defensive backfield all together except for Johnson. The coverage was pretty good overall and it was nice to see the pressure and forced turnovers.
Next week the Cougars wrap up spring practices with two practices and Alumni Day. After that, we can catch the Cougars live on August 29 at UConn and then the home opener on September 11 against Houston.