During the week of practice leading up to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, we witnessed contrasting styles of preparation by the two squads. The East roster experienced a lot of live, 11-on-11 contact and very little individual instruction. The West squad, meanwhile, focused more on drills and a lot of 1-on-1, 7-on-7 and teaching. With the benefit of a better offensive line and quarterback group, the West dominated the game Saturday in a 24-7 win.
The West, led by quarterbacks Jimmy Clausen (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) and Ryan Mallett (Texarkana, Texas/Texas), was sharp, organized and very efficient considering this was an all-star game setting and the teams had very little time to prepare. The East simply could never get into rhythm and was out of sync all game long. The big problem was a mismatched offensive line, which made it tough for the East quarterbacks to move the chains.
West team analysis
As is the norm in all-star games, the team with better quarterbacks and pass protection won. Michigan-bound Mallett shined, displaying tremendous arm strength, surprising mobility and terrific accuracy. Notre Dame-bound Clausen had his moments and looked efficient but was not asked to do too much, as the majority of his snaps came alongside RB Joe McKnight (River Ridge, La./John Curtis), who was as good as advertised, displaying electrifying quickness and speed. QB Nick Fanuzzi (San Antonio, Texas/ Churchill) played much better in the game than he looked in practice and may be a "gamer." He is green but has some nice tools to work with.