Saturday was one of the busiest offseason Saturdays of the college football offseason. There were spring games going on all over the country, including a few of the biggest programs in the sport. It would have been nearly impossible for you to follow along with all of the action yourself — and, honestly, why would you want to — so we went ahead and kept track of the biggest developments for you.
Of course, the word “biggest” needs some context here. These are spring games, after all, not regular season games. More than anything the goal of spring practice is to prepare for the season and not get hurt. Thankfully, as far as we know, most teams got through the day relatively healthy.
That can’t be said for all the coaches, though. More on that below.
Michigan fan has a message for Jim Harbaugh
Michigan didn’t hold a traditional spring game on Saturday, but rather an open practice. Still, even so, one Michigan fan sent a message to Jim Harbaugh via airplane.
The sign is a bit difficult to read in the photo, but it says, “Hey, Jim, this is God. It’s OK to pass on first down. Let’s try it.”
For those wondering, Michigan ran 396 first down plays last season. It ran the ball on 265 (66.9 percent) of them. I guess there’s at least one fan in Ann Arbor hoping for more balance.
Auburn’s QBs had a big day
If you were hoping for some clarity on the QB competition at Auburn based on how they played in the spring game, sorry, you didn’t get anybody. Everybody played too well. Malik Willis, Joey Gatewood, Bo Nix, Cord Sandberg and Wil Appleton all took snaps for both the Blue and Orange teams on Saturday, and the QB quintet combined to complete 38-of-52 passes (73.1 percent) for 479 yards, five touchdowns and an interception.
Tua may need wider shoulders
If you weren’t aware, Taulia Tagovailoa joined his older brother Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama this year, which means that putting “Tagovailoa” on the back of Tua’s jersey no longer suffices. Now we need first name initials as well, and it is really putting stress on the equipment manager in charge of attaching names to the uniforms.
Tua finished the day having thrown for 265 yards and a touchdown, as well as an interception. Taulia played as well, completing six of his nine passes for 93 yards with a score and interception of his own. The best Alabama QB on the day was Mac Jones, who threw for two touchdowns and 271 yards while leading the White team to a 31-17 win over Crimson.
Like the Tagovailoa brothers, Jones threw an interception as well. In fact, every Alabama QB who threw more than one pass had at least an interception on Saturday, as there were four turnovers in the game, including a pick six by Jaylen Moody.
Nick Saban’s hip is bothering him
Perhaps the biggest news of the day in Tuscaloosa is that Nick Saban has a sore hip and might need to have something done about it.
Defense leads Blue past White in Penn State spring game
Blue beat White 24-7 in Penn State’s spring game, an affair that seemed to feature more defense than most of the games on Saturday. The Blue team defense had a massive game, finishing the day with six sacks and 10 tackles for loss. All six sacks were recorded by different players, and five of them were freshmen or sophomores.
Guarantano sharp for the Vols
White beat Orange 28-10 in Knoxville thanks in large part to Vols QB Jarrett Guarantano. Guarantano threw for only 198 yards, but had four touchdowns and didn’t turn the ball over.
While Guarantano played well, the White defense showed out a bit itself, forcing three turnovers and picking up three sacks. The Orange defense played well too, picking up five sacks of its own.
Franks has monster spring game for the Gators
Feleipe Franks had a good finish to the 2018 season, and he’s off to an even better start this spring. Franks threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Orange team to a 60-35 win over Blue in the Florida spring game. His favorite target was Trevon Grimes, who had four receptions for 195 yards. Just your typical 48.8 yards per catch kind of day for Grimes.
Les Miles took the field for the first time with the Jayhawks
Bit of a different atmosphere than in Baton Rouge.
Nebraska fans love their spring game
Listen, I can’t sit here and tell you that I would be showing up to watch a college football practice on a Saturday afternoon during the spring if I weren’t doing it for work, but different strokes for different folks. Some of those folks are Nebraska fans, who always make a point to show up to Memorial Stadium for the team’s spring game, whether they’re coming off two consecutive 4-8 seasons or not.
How many do you think were watching The Masters on their phone during the game?
Justin Fields somewhat underwhelming
Ohio State played its spring game Saturday, and Justin Fields was the main attraction as the transfer from Georgia is set to take over at quarterback for Dwayne Haskins. Well, the good news is that Fields’ Gray team beat Scarlet 35-17 to win the game. Fields also had this 98-yard touchdown pass to Binimen Victor.
The bad news is, other than that pass, it wasn’t a great performance. Fields finished the game completing only four of his 13 pass attempts for 131 yards, meaning if you remove that TD, he was 3-for-12 passing for 33 yards. Fields did rush for 38 yards and another score, however, and good news or bad news, what’s important to remember is that spring game stats mean nothing.
There was a lot of scoring in Notre Dame
Different teams have different ways of scoring their spring games, so unless you watch every play, it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly what’s happening. For instance, here’s video of Irish running back Jafar Armstrong scoring a touchdown to make it 45-30 Blue. In the first half.
The game would finish with Gold making an impressive second-half comeback to win 58-45, but no matter the winner, it was Armstrong who had the most impressive performance. He finished with 85 yards rushing and 71 yards receiving to go with that score.
Ohio State punter Drue Chrisman gets engaged
Spring games always tend to give us some truly special moments on the field either from players that have moved on or fans. This one, however, came via the special teamer who pulled this off terrifically.
Who wants to tackle a 400-pound ballcarrier?
Highlights from Friday night
Two of the big spring games on Friday night were Oklahoma and Texas A&M. A lot of attention for the Oklahoma game was focused on new Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, and he didn’t disappoint. Hurts completed 11 of his 14 pass attempts for 174 yards and a touchdown, and he also rushed for a second touchdown as Hurts’ Red Team beat the White Team 35-14.
In College Station, Kellen Mond led White to a 17-14 win over Maroon with his two touchdown passes. Still, while Mond is unquestionably the Aggies starter, the bigger story may have been Maroon running back Jacob Kibodi, who rushed for 106 yards and a score.