The South defeated the North 27-16 on Saturday at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Here are a few thoughts on the 67th annual all-star game that featured more than 110 draft-eligible prospects.
As expected, the coaches for both divided playing time to a quarter for each of the four quarterbacks.
Bison QB gets the start: North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, who led the Bison to their fourth and fifth straight NCAA FCS titles, started at quarterback for the North squad coached by Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys staff. Wentz was 6-for-10 for 50 yards, but also suffered from a couple of drops.
Coker leads two scoring drives: Alabama quarterback Jake Coker, who led the Crimson Tide to the FBS title, guided the South on a pair of scoring drives in the first quarter. Coker extended the first scoring drive of the game with a scramble for 8 on third-and-7. Texas Tech running back DeAndre Washington gained 11 on a toss on third-and-1 two plays before TCU’s Aaron Green rushed for a 25-yard touchdown. Green showed patience in waiting for a hole to be created by Arkansas guard Sebastian Tretola and South Carolina tight end Jerell Adams then cut back across the field. Adams had a couple of nice catches on the day as well.
Delivering in clutch: After the North got on the board with a field goal, Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott had the opportunity to guide the South on a two-minute drill at the end of the first half. Prescott accounted for 63 yards of an 80-yard drive. He was 4-for-6 passing for 49 yards, including consecutive completions to Baylor receiver Jay Lee for 32 total yards, a 14-yard completion to Southeast Missouri receiver Paul McRoberts, and a 3-yard touchdown to McRoberts. Prescott also had a pair of 7-yard scrambles on second-and-long downs. Prescott was selected as the Most Outstanding Player of the Game.
Deep D-line: Throughout the game, the broadcast crew of Mike Mayock, Charles Davis, Andrew Siciliano and sideline reporters Alex Flanagan and Daniel Jeremiah touted the depth of the defensive line, and players pressured quarterbacks throughout the game.
Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman, the tallest player at the game at more than 6-foot-7, recorded two sacks for the South. Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed was involved on tackles three plays in a row in the fourth quarter. He chased down Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel after a scramble for 3, then caught up to San Jose State running back Tyler Ervin after a gain of 11 to set up a fourth-and-1. Reed teamed with Georgia linebacker Jake Ganus to tackle Ervin for a loss of 1 on fourth down.
LT player compared to LJ: Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Perry forced a fumble during a sack of Coker and was compared by the broadcast team to Vikings defensive tackle
Gopher vs. Gopher: The game offered an opportunity for former University of Minnesota receiver K.J. Maye and cornerback Eric Murray to play against each other after Maye was moved to the South team. Murray was able to tackle Maye for a loss of 2 on a quick screen, but Maye added a couple of other catches and also showed versatility on a couple of end around run plays.
Murray, meanwhile, delivered a couple of big hits on tackles, recorded a quarterback pressure and a pass breakup. He was flagged once for illegal contact.
Hail Mary finale: Driskel led a scoring drive at the end of the game, capping it with a 29-yard Hail Mary pass that was pulled down by Michigan State’s Aaron Burbridge with no time left on the clock.