FOOTBALL: Saturday practice notes

The Toppers added sound to the sights of spring practice Saturday as the noise of clashing pads returned to Feix Field.

Western ran a full-pad practice Friday but scrimmaged full contact for much of Saturday’s workout, working between quarterbacks Kawaun Jakes, Matt Pelasasa and Tyler Bruce. And for another day, Head Coach Willie Taggart said the defense got the better of the offense.

“It kind of frustrates the offense because (the defense is) kicking their butt,” Taggart said.

The Toppers broke more than one big pass play — mostly on throws from Jakes — but Pelasasa and Bruce were given equal opportunities under center.

Throughout the workout, which lasted about three hours, Taggart said he saw a maintained energy from the beginning of spring practice last Tuesday. It’s that excitement from the players and staff that Taggart said keeps his expectations in check.

“I think I feel a lot better because I had to slap myself on the face and say, ‘hey, it’s just the first week. Understand that everyone else’s expectations aren’t where yours are at.'”

But as time passes, Taggart said his expectations aren’t going to change — that Western will win, because that’s the only option he’s given the Toppers.

“It’s going to be a process, but I think we’ve got some guys we can win with,” Taggart said. “It’s going to be hard getting those bad habits out of the picture. Once we get those guys going where we wants and making plays, the guys will see, ‘hey, we can do this.’

“My expectations are not going down. They need to catch up to my expectations.”

Taggart said that since Saturday was a scrimmage day, the coaching staff simply refined what was taught over the first three days of practice rather than put new plays in.

Jonathan Lintner

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