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Published: Monday, 10/22/2007

Aftermath of the Ohio win

Sorry for the blogging hiatus. I was wrapped up in the Indians, and, well, now I m free.

I got some questions about why Aaron Opelt was chosen to start on Saturday after D.J. Lenehan had back-to-back good performances.

Coach Tom Amstutz was asked about this in the postgame, and this is what he said:

"We basically watched his progress as the last two weeks went on, looked at his health. He gained momentum and we decided to go with him on Friday morning."

In other words, it was all about whether Opelt was healthy. He won the job in camp and was not going to lose it because of what turned out to be a minor injury.

We saw both sides of Opelt in the game. He made some dangerous throws. But some of the blame for the first-half offensive troubles had to go to the play-calling; at least one pass should have been mixed in on the first series. And the screen pass should be put on the shelf for the rest of the season because teams are eating it alive.

Opelt avoided the big mistake and avoided getting sacked, two big plusses. As he said afterward, I didn t get sacked once and that s a great stat to have when you re a quarterback.

As for working with the receivers, Opelt doesn t have near the connection with Andrew Hawkins that Lenehan did, often overthrowing him. But it seems Stephen Williams can make plays with him just as well as with Lenehan. Having Nick Moore back was a big help for Opelt as well.

Other stuff:

*Thirty-eight carries might have been a few too many for Jalen Parmele. He dropped the ball on kickoffs once or twice and of course fumbled at the end, likely from sheer exhaustion. There s only so much you can ask a player to do. Of course, he had a tremendous performance and I can see why it would be tempting to give him so many touches.

*Greg Hay played well in his return to linebacker. He s been a big part of the defense this year, both in his versatility and his leadership. If UT gets a few more wins down the stretch it will be because guys like Hay have too much pride to give in.

*I have never seen a play such as the blocked punt that UT got back. Seems like some of that Glass Bowl magic came up big again on that play.

Basketball update:

I can t remember if I wrote this before, but two guys from this year s class who went to prep schools are expected to re-sign with the Rockets next month. James Davis and Dante Harvey will be in the 2008 class along with Larry Bastfield and Zac Taylor. UT might get one more guy.

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