Mike Hague trotted out with the first-team defense ready to go, and it didn’t take long for the senior defensive back to make his presence known. Hague was all over the field, primarily from his safety position.
“It was good to be out here today,” Hague said. “I think there was some good execution going on from a defensive standpoint. I also think that we had a pretty sound day overall.
“It was good to get out there and hit a little bit because we didn’t get too many chances to do that during spring. Execution was there, and overall it was a good, but there is still some improvements to be made.”
There was one mistake by the defensive secondary during the pass skeli portion of Saturday that led to the only touchdown of the day. Although Hague had a good showing during the team scrimmage, he placed the blame for the offensive touchdown during the skeli period on his own shoulders.
“We had some good execution, but there is still some room for improvement,” Hague admitted. “We missed one call during skeli that led to a touchdown, which was unfortunate. I was the free safety at the time and so it was my fault. Even if I made the call, it’s still my fault even if they didn’t get it.”
Skeli favors the offense, but full-contact scrimmaging favors the defense. While the defense was able to keep the offense from scoring during the team scrimmage, there were some noticeable improvements by the offense.
“Over the past week or so, we basically went skeli and seven-on-sevens with the offense because they’ve been so banged up,” Hague said. “Over that time the offense was doing a lot of reps and running play after play to get as many in as they could. Today, we kind of saw of that format kind of helped them a little. It was good to see the offense do some things, even though I’m on defense, because you want your offense to be good.”
Coach Doman wanted to see how the offense would react to a less vanilla offense than what they had been running all week. The attrition due to all the injuries caused some scaling back, but it also strengthened the notion that by doing a lot of simple things, much can be gained.
“I think the timing in the offense was a little off at times, but I thought they did a lot of things much better today than before when we were just running skeli,” Hague said. “In skeli they got it going against us last Thursday, and so it was good to see them get things rolling in full pads. Overall it was a good physical day on both sides of the field.”
During the scrimmage, Hague picked off an Alex Kuresa pass to end that series after only one play.
“Yeah that pass came over the middle and I just read it,” said Hague. “I was in the right place at the right time and made the play on the ball.”
Safety Jray Galea’i almost hauled in another interception for a secondary that played well in the passing game, as well as physical in run support.
“There were a couple of times where I thought we might get a pick back there, but we were only able to get the one,” said Hague. “I also thought our secondary played really well physically. We had a few guys really come up in run support to lay the hat on a few guys. Like I said, it was a good day for some contact and I think we made the most of it.”