The Senior Bowl down in Mobile, Alabama resulted in a 21-16 victory for the South that belied how abysmal the game was. Game Most Oustanding Player EJ Manuel (Florida State) led two first quarter scoring drives, highlighted by a beautiful 20 yard touchdown pass to Alabama’s Michael Williams and then the offenses went to sleep for almost two quarters. Neither team scored until the North got a 20 yard touchdown run from UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin in the third quarter.
To put it bluntly, outside of EJ Manuel, the quarterbacks looked putrid. Landry Jones (Oklahoma) one-hopped multiple passes, and Miami (OH) quarterback Zac Dysert had a forgettable series where he missed a receiver, had a sack-fumble, and then threw an interception.
The skill positions suffered due to poor quarterback play. Michael Williams had thirty-nine yards in the first quarter. He led all receivers in receiving yards until the end of the third quarter even though he did not get another target after his touchdown.
Anytime an offense showed signs of getting itself out of neutral, the defenses came roaring in and bodyslammed the offense back down. BYU DL Ezekial Ansah won the South MVP and was a constant terror. He posted 7 tackles, 3.5 for loss, a strip sack, and multiple QB hurries. Any play he was on the field for, you could find him near the ball. Purdue DL Kawann Short was just as disruptive and earned North MVP honors for his effort.
One player that who stepped up that Alabama fans will be familiar with is BJ Scott. Scott, a member of the Tide 2008 recruiting class, transferred to South Alabama and earned a spot on the Senior Bowl roster as a late addition. While Scott played safety for the Jaguars, he was a corner for the South team. He had easily the best game of any corner. Quarterbacks challenged him on mid-to-long passes all afternoon, and he was always right there in the receiver’s hip pocket.