By Jonathan Okanes
Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 10:31 pm in Mid-week.
The only real nugget of news today is that Giorgio Tavecchio will continue to kick off. After Tavecchio struggled to kick the ball deep during Saturday’s season-opener against Maryland, Tedford took a look at field goal kicker Vince D’Amato on kickoffs during the week, as well as focused on what ailed Tavecchio. It turns out that Tavecchio had a problem with his mechanics on Saturday, and the team is satisfied that it is now all worked out.
Tavecchio explained that he was too excited for the season-opener and he was rushing to the ball on his approach. That caused him to over-stride and strike the ball too low, causing an upper-cut type of swing that gave the kicks too much altitude and not enough distance.
Coach Jeff Tedford said Tavecchio showed improvement during the week.
“We changed his approach a little bit,” he said. “I think he’ll hit the ball more consistently.”
By all reports, Tavecchio was kicking the ball consistently between the 5-yard line and goal line during practice, but couldn’t get that to translate into the game. Even at halftime Saturday, Tavecchio was kicking the ball deep as he warmed up.
“I definitely underperformed,” Tavecchio said. “I’m happy there’s another game coming up this Saturday. I’m itching to get back out there. I definitely can do much better.
I talked with defensive coordinator Bob Gregory tonight about a couple subjects. He elaborated a little on the improvement of defensive end Ernest Owusu, who came out of nowhere to record two sacks against Maryland.
“Everybody kind of clicks differently, and it certainly clicked for him,” Gregory said. “To be honest, I didn’t really expect that, so it was great to see that. It’s great for him. A guy like that who has been working his fannie off shows up — we’re all really proud of him.”
Gregory explained the situations when Owusu, Tyson Alualu and Cameron Jordan were all on the field together came on pass rushing plays. In those situations, either Jarred Price or Devin Bishop plays rush linebacker to give the front four guys applying pressure.
I also asked Gregory about the decision to redshirt JC transer Ryan Davis. Many thought Davis could contribute right away as a rush linebacker, but Gregoroy said the team felt it was deep enough to allow Davis some extra time to develop.
“You never quite know until you have them,” Gregory said. “I think Ryan Davis is going to be a great player for us. We kind of felt like we had enough depth and we were good enough in all the spots that we could take a year and help develop him. I think that is what’s going to happen and he’s going to be a really good player for us.
Gregory added that Davis could possibly play defensive line as well.