COLUMN: Things we learned from spring game

Brad Stephens

When judging an intrasquad scrimmage, the key word is “perspective.”

Don’t make a team’s spring game, like the one WKU played on Saturday, anything bigger than what it is, which is one team, split in half, playing against each other.

The most important element of the game is to get out of it with everyone healthy, which the Toppers did.

So strike Saturday’s game as a win for Willie Taggart and Co.

With that said, the spring game provided Topper coaches and fans chances to evaluate some guys they hadn’t seen before, look for differences from last year’s team and see where some improvements need to be made.

Here are some things that stuck out to me from the Red Team’s 16-10 win over the White Team:

Roy puts one through the uprights

Maybe no WKU player did more to help themselves on Saturday than the sophomore kicker from Charlotte.

Jesse Roy hit 2-of-6 field goals as a freshman in 2011, contributing to the Toppers’ Football Bowl Subdivision-worst 5-of-20 field goal rate.

But on Saturday, Roy took advantage of a 49-yard field goal attempt, knocking it straight through the uprights with five yards to spare. On the next play, he booted the kickoff through the end zone for a touchback.

Roy had a chance to win the kicking job last year and replace struggling senior Casey Tinius but never really seized the opportunity. Roy, now a year more experienced, has gotten off to a good start in winning the kicking job.

Impressive performance from Andrews

Antonio Andrews left an emphatic Saturday to the question of who’ll replace Bobby Rainey.

The junior running back tallied 190 total yards, including a nifty 56-yard touchdown catch, while working with an offensive line mixed with starters and backups.

The fact that Andrews was so effective running behind a split-squad line should bode well when he’s running behind the same front five each week this fall.

The former Kentucky Mr. Football should have a breakout year in 2012.

Don’t worry about QBs

Perhaps no student on campus is as scrutinized as senior quarterback Kawaun Jakes, so the fact that he went 12-for-26 for 141 yards and threw two interceptions no doubt stirred some old criticisms.

What the stat sheet won’t show is that Jakes was under pressure all night, playing behind the same patchwork offensive line as Andrews.

If he gets more time, he completes more of those passes.

No, it wasn’t a stellar performance from Jakes, but he’s still WKU’s quarterback.

It’ll take more than a mediocre spring game to change that.