Quick Lane Bowl Recap
By Jeff Risdon
Photo by Jeff Risdon
I was fortunate enough to attend the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field. Minnesota knocked off Central Michigan 21-14 in front of a spirited crowd of over 34,000 thanks to a pair of late defensive stands.
Central Michigan took a 14-13 lead thanks to a fantastic effort by Romello Ross, who dragged a pile several yards and sneaked in for the Chippewa TD.
But Minnesota countered as game MVP Mitch Leidner earned his trophy. The dual-threat QB carved up the Chippewas defense with an impressive drive, leading to a TD and a thrilling two-point conversion.
My scouting eyes focused on a few players with NFL aspirations…
Briean Boddy-Calhoun, CB Minnesota: he would have earned my MVP vote for his stellar play all night long. “BBC” matched up well with the Chips strong passing attack. He showed quick feet, fluid hips and a tenacious attitude playing both in the slot and as the boundary corner. The 5’11” senior played the ball in the air exceptionally well, including an INT on CMU’s penultimate drive which essentially ended the game. His feisty demeanor clearly annoyed the Chips receivers, too.
Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota: Murray is the more heralded cover man for the Gophers, a Senior Bowl invitee to BBC’s Shrine Game acceptance. In this game, he didn’t have as much to do. He proved quite sticky in coverage, able to anticipate moves but doing so with a great deal of what would get flagged as illegal contact or holding at the next level. When he played off in zone, he was not very impressive. Thumbs up for a couple of nice hits and run fills though, and he has a closing burst to the point of attack that will please NFL scouts.
Devondre Campbell, LB, Minnesota: the hirsture Campbell looks straight out of central casting as a 4-3 Will backer, but then you watch him play. Folks will point to him ending the game with a sack on Cooper Rush and say he impressed. They did not watch the game. Campbell is utterly devoid of football instincts. Everything is see it and then react, no anticipation. That leads him to have to charge at plays late, often out of control and unable to gather himself to finish the deal. He did show some juice on the blitz; perhaps a package rush OLB and special teams stalwart at the next level, nothing more.
Kavon Frazier, S, Central Michigan: Frazier played an unusually (for him) passive role in the back end of the Chippewa D. He was clearly assigned to not let anyone get behind his center field position. He unfortunately failed at that a handful of times. Because he was so deep he couldn’t make the impact in the run game I expected after seeing him earlier this year. The closing burst wasn’t close to either BBC or Murray, and he plays a position where it’s arguably more important. My takeaway is he’s an average athlete who is probably one of those very good collegians that just can’t make it at the next level.
Ben McCord, TE, Central Michigan: two things I noted quickly are that he does a very good job presenting himself as a big target and he really needs to work on his ability to sustain blocks. Faster and lither than advertised by the prominent draft media, McCord has a chance as a move TE if he can ratchet up the blocking technique even a little bit. There was a bad drop in the mix.