Thursday, Aug 25, 2016
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UT won't be 1-dimensional

  • UT-won-t-be-1-dimensional

    Rockets running back Trinity Dawson eludes defenders during the Blue and Gold Spring Game yesterday at the Glass Bowl.

  • UT-won-t-be-1-dimensional-2

    UT QB Marques Council breaks loose for a big gain. Council and Clint Cochran filled in for a rehabbing Bruce Gradkowski.

UT-won-t-be-1-dimensional

Rockets running back Trinity Dawson eludes defenders during the Blue and Gold Spring Game yesterday at the Glass Bowl.

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The game program will tell you that the University of Toledo football team employs a one-back offense.

Don't ask Rockets coach Tom Amstutz to designate just who that one back is, because he is in love with the committee approach right now, and thinks he has the horses to pull it off.

In last night's Blue and Gold Spring Game at the Glass Bowl, Amstutz got a chance to see four of his five running backs perform for a final time before they line up in preseason camp in August.

"I'm excited about all of the talent we have at running back, and I'm looking forward to going into next season with a lot of options at that important position," Amstutz said. "You can never have too many backs, and we're fortunate to have so many quality players at that position."

With last season's starter, Scooter McDougle, sitting out spring ball while he spends time in the pool rehabbing an injured knee, Amstutz still had plenty of other choices.

Trinity Dawson, who started early last season before injuring his hamstring, was healthy and at full speed this spring. Jalen Parmele continued the strong running he displayed near the end of last season. Richard Davis and Quinton Broussard made the most of their opportunities to carry the football.

"Our running back position really improved this spring," Dawson said, "and the competitive environment out there has made each one of us a better player. I think that forces everyone to play even harder."

UT-won-t-be-1-dimensional-2

UT QB Marques Council breaks loose for a big gain. Council and Clint Cochran filled in for a rehabbing Bruce Gradkowski.

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Amstutz said that for now he plans to junk the depth chart and utilize all five running backs in the fall, if they are all healthy.

"I will always play more than one guy, because I like to keep fresh legs in there and keep the defense off-balance," he said.

"They all have the basics we need from our running backs, and they are all multi-talented guys. That depth chart can change at any time, and there's no big fall-off in talent or ability back there. It's exciting as a coach to have so many options."

BLUE 21, GOLD 20: The UT offense beat the Rockets' defense by a point in the hybrid format used for the spring game, which saw the defense get spotted a 20-0 lead.

The UT offense scored on a 65-yard run by Jalen Parmele, a one-yard run by Dawson, and a 26 yard pass from Marques Council to David Washington.

HIGHLIGHT REEL: The two biggest plays in the spring game came from Washington and Parmele, a couple of sophomores-to-be.

The 6-5 Washington made a jump ball catch in the corner of the end zone for a 26-yard TD reception from Council, while Parmele rolled off one defender and burst into daylight before rolling 65 yards for the game's first core.

SPRING REVIEW: "I think we had a really good spring," Amstutz said.

"It was one that allowed us to get a lot of work done and put in some new wrinkles on defense that should make us stronger."

With starter Bruce Gradkowski rehabbing a hand injury, Council and Clint Cochran ran most of the offensive sets.

"We gave a couple of young quarterbacks a lot of reps, and we developed some depth at that position, which is critical," Amstutz said. "You never know how important that is until the season rolls around and you need someone to step in and play at a high level."

Contact Matt Markey at: mmarkey@theblade.com or 419-724-6510.

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