From HRS to The Reck

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Efforting to be in two places at one time ...

Since I'm not in the business of telling others what to believe, I'll present two facts regarding Owls So. QB Nick Fanuzzi and will let you determine his playing status for this weekend:

1. After taking reps with the 2s on Monday night, Fanuzzi took the majority of reps with the 1s Tuesday afternoon. And, he looked completely fine doing so save for a couple of sailing balls.

2. David Bailiff said he will determine Fanuzzi's status for the Navy game on Wednesday morning after Fanuzzi checks in with the trainers to gauge his pain following these workouts.

Having Fanuzzi back in the fold enables the Owls to add some wrinkles to the offense. With some players seeing increased playing time, others switching positions in recent weeks, and others armed with the versatility to play multiple positions, the possibility would exist for an expansion of the playbook if the Owls weren't playing two linemen (Scott Mitchell and Tyler Parish) out of position and sending another (Kody Emmert) out for just his second career start.

"It's not really the quarterbacks, it's the offensive line," Bailiff said of scaling back the offense in order to improve pass protection. "What people don't realize is those (linemen) have got to work together."

Bailiff bolstered the depleted interior of his defensive line by moving end Kramer Lucio to tackle. Chance Talbert (back) and Brian Stacey (knee) are unavailable, and with Lucio sliding down expect freshman end Cody Bauer to see more playing time in the four-man end rotation.

After one quick dash across the expanse of concrete separating the grass practice fields at HRS and The Reck, the news from Day 2 of fall ball was Fr. RHP Chase McDowell touching 90 on the gun a dozen times. McDowell also displayed a good curve, a positive development considering he arrived on campus with a mechanical flaw that David Pierce flushed out. Sr. RHP Jared Rogers also touched 90 several times, a drastic turn of events relative to last fall when he didn't hit 90 once. As long as Rogers sits between 87-90 and pitches with movement, he'll be OK. He is a four-pitch pitcher, and that arsenal makes 90 mph more that sufficient.

So. C/DH Craig Manuel continues to show good plate discipline and bat control. In fact, several hitters in need of improvement in the plate discipline category showed well against Matthew Reckling, who unleashed a handful of tough curves just south of the strike zone. Steven Sultzbaugh enjoyed another multi-hit day at the plate, and one day after producing a fabulous sliding catch on a dead run to second base, he delivered a fantastic grab with his back to the plate. One can imagine what will magic will unfold when Sultz puts it all together.  

Defensively, the Owls recorded a half-dozen 'very good' plays, a surprising total considering it was a split-squad affair. By Week 3 the defense will deteriorate as the focus wanes, but watching the Owls perform at their peak inspires promise for their defensive potential in 2010.

Now, if I could get Bailiff and The OG to adjust their practice schedules so I can attend both ...

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I assume the coaches considered just moving Emmert to guard, which would have kept Mitchell and Parish in their familiar positions. It might not have been ideal, but could it have been worse than what has happened?

DTs are always prone to injuries. We need to recruit more of them.

Gothic R: The staff felt better keeping Emmert at left tackle because, 1) that's the only place he has worked and, 2) Parish is more capable athletically to play guard. The experiment didn't work well against Tulsa, but they are hopeful another week of practice will smooth out some of the kinks. Also, saw Hicks without his boot on Tuesday, so keep those fingers crossed for a return against East Carolina. As for the DTs, agreed. I was screaming that this staff needs to recruit and sign more. - MK

Thanks for the updates (and legwork). If you could drop by Tudor and check on MBB as well, that would be great, too- !

Huge if we can get Fanuzzi back for Navy. I just hope our D is up to the challenge.

Great to see Rogers hitting 90. We'll need an upperclassmen to solidify the rotation.

Our defense was a pleasure to watch last year. Can't imagine it wouldn't any less spectacular this year.. although we'll have to see what transpires at 1B and 2B.

At Ease: The latest news I stumbled across with men's hoops is that Pflieger (knee) will miss at least the first two weeks of camp. According to an NCAA official, it would be shocking if Fanuzzi isn't cleared by medical personnel later today. - MK

Nick's BACK! At least that's how I'm interpreting your note.

I know it's an incredibly hard road to get to Omaha, but this team seems primed for another trip. Thanks for the updates.

Owl-88: That's how you should interpret the note. He's been upgraded to probable for Saturday after expressing surprisingly little soreness during this morning's exam. - MK

Thank you again for an awesome update, MK. You always see the little "extra" things while trotting between fields. Seems yesterday the pitching crew tighten up the runs.

penja: I plan on flipping locales today and watching fall ball before heading over to HRS. That way, I can actually see some developments with my own eyes. - MK

Woohoo! Thanks for the good news MK. Now, if we could just do something about that pass protection to keep him upright this weekend.

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