POCATELLO — There has never been any doubt as to who the Idaho State quarterback will be when the Bengals take the field Aug. 28 in Salt Lake City, senior to be Justin Arias has that job all wrapped up.
But all spring long the Bengals have been trying to figure out who will be catching the passes from Arias in the Bengals pass-happy offense.
Saturday ISU concluded spring practice with their annual spring game and after over two hours on field and two weeks of practice the questions at receiver are still left unanswered.
"I think at the end of 15 practices we have begun the replacement of Luke Austin," ISU head coach Mike Kramer said. "Given all of Roderick's (Rumble) numbers and Josh Hill's numbers, Luke Austin literally was the most valuable player because he could run all of the routes in the middle.The one thing I saw today that I really liked was K.W. Williams roaming in the middle is fearless and is a big body."
Williams is part of a receiving corps that must produce if the Bengals hope to be successful.
Broc Malcolm, Chad Hansen and converted running back Aaron Prier will all look to be the main threats for Arias and the Bengals.
Malcolm made some fantastic deep receptions from Arias for touchdowns in the game as he got much of the reps slated for Prier who was nursing and injury.
Malcolm will be a member of a very young group of receivers, as most, with the exception of Kai Campbell will be sophomores or younger.
"I thought Justin took advantage that the receivers are more and more confident in what they are doing," Kramer said of the offense's performance during the afternoon. "One of the things we said defensively was that we did not want to get the top blown of us, but the offense blew the top off the defense on several long passes today."
the defense struggled during the first half of the scrimmage, but once the team returned to the field after halftime and a scary incident involving tight end Tyler Wright, the had made strides.
Wright had to be taken off the field by ambulance after he was hit trying to catch a ball over the middle. Wright was moving his arms and legs but was placed on a backboard and taken to the hospital as a precaution.
In the second half the Bengals defense recorded five sacks and two interceptions as they seemed to give the Bengals offense fits.
"What we are not yet is a real good sack team," Kramer said. "I wanted to see that better in the second half and I think I saw it."
Kramer was pleased with the teams effort on the afternoon, but mentioned there is still a long way to go before the team hits the field again in August for fall camp.