Colorado Mesa stretched the adage of “if you have more than one quarterback, you don’t have a quarterback” a bit too far Saturday.
In their spring game at Stocker Stadium, the Mavericks had one quarterback. Total.
Logan Bollinger took all 50 snaps in the game that turned into a controlled scrimmage after Gavin Herberg broke his right collarbone in practice Wednesday. Herberg, who started the final two games of the three-game fall season as a freshman, was on the sideline with his arm in a sling.
“It was so unfortunate, but you know, there’s nothing you can do about it, you can’t (hang) your head,” said Bollinger, a redshirt freshman. “You just kind of keep on going forward and take what you’ve got.
“It really helped me, really woke me up, like, my time can come at any moment, you’ve got to be ready no matter what.”
Linebacker Remington Green, a graduate transfer from Liberty University, was part of that pressure that “sacked” Bollinger a handful of times. The secondary was also credited with a couple of coverage sacks, blanketing receivers.
“The defense isn’t afraid to bring pressure,” Bollinger said. “That’s what I saw today. And, you know, and that goes into going inside the playbook and learning what to do with the line and learning protection, stuff like that.”
After warming up, Bollinger peeled off his white game jersey and put on his black practice jersey — a sign that he was not to be touched by the defense, which still put plenty of pressure on him.
“We like to have fun, fly around, play fast, you know, but at the end of the day, we’ve got a job to do,” Green said.
Bollinger threw a touchdown to Jacob Whitmer in the back of the end zone — Whitmer came out limping and didn’t return. Chris Brown made some nice catches and both Isaac Maestas and Jesse Rodriquez had some good runs, but it was clear the defense was well ahead of the offense.
That’s to be expected with a new offensive coordinator, Brayle Brown, joining the staff this winter after Nick Fulton left to pursue a career outside of coaching. Brown has installed a new offense, which is more up-tempo and looks to take advantage of Mesa’s speedy receivers.
For the veteran players, it’s their third offense under a third offensive coordinator in three seasons.
Tight end Dagan Rienks caught a touchdown when the Mavericks worked on their goal-line sets, and after that score, head coach Tremaine Jackson called it a day.
With the Mavs’ first spring camp under Jackson in the books, the onus is on the players to continue to work out the rest of the semester, and more importantly, over the summer, when they’re on their own. Bollinger will stay in town and get more reps with his receivers, and Herberg should be good to go at some point this summer and when fall camp begins in August.
“We’ve been making it clear that you know, we have to be here in the summer,” Green said. “By June, we need to have all of our guys here if we want to make that big playoff run.”