Garden City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-It was definitely a sight for sore eyes to see sophomore Tyreek Hill back with the first team on Saturday. Joining him was freshman quarterback Akeem Jones.
Hill missed the first week of practice because of some cramping issues; Jones was out Friday because of a stomach bug. Asked about both players’ performance on Saturday:
“He (Hill) looked fantastic as always,” Miller said. “Outside of a few bad snaps, I thought Akeem looked pretty good. He threw a couple of picks in 7 on 7, but those are easily correctable. You can see the young man has big-play ability, and he made some plays today.”
Jones took all the first-team reps in 7-on-7 and team drills, while sophomore Jake Curran stood on the sideline with a heavy ice pack over his throwing shoulder (precautionary). That just happened to be Miller’s plan all along.
“I told the players in the meeting that freak (Jones) would take all the snaps today, he said.”
The freshman didn’t look too rusty either, making several nice reads during 7-on-7. His first mistake however came on a deep ball over the middle that safety Mikail Grace intercepted. Jones’ second pick: a lob into the end zone that trickled of his receiver’s fingertips.
Team drills was a bit of a different story. Jones and center Jason Carreon struggled with the quarterback-center exchange. In fact, the first four plays were not something Miller will be dialing up during the regular season.
“If we can’t simply snap the ball, we’re not going to win a lot of games,” Miller said. “Plain and simple.”
Once they did get the snap back, Jones was right on target. On one play, he hit Tyreek Hill on a slant route that the sophomore took 50 yards to the house. That could combination could be scary thing to watch this season.
“Tyreek Hill is Tyreek Hill,” Miller said. “I don’t expect anything less. He took a 3-yard pass 50 yards for a touchdown. Then he had another one on a screen pass that he could have scored on as well.”
Other news and notes
The offensive line looked very shaky during team drills. Some of that can be attributed to all-world left tackle Dontavious Blair being out with an eye injury.
“We’re just playing it safe,” Miller said. “He had something in his eye; we weren’t taking any chances.”