The history of the East-West Shrine Game tends to move in cycles. From 2009-11 the East dominated, only to have the West surge back with wins in each of the last two years. This pattern may be breaking with the East winning 23-13 Saturday on the back of its quarterback and kicker.
Most fans care about the players more than the game itself and there were a few intriguing performances on Saturday.
Teams will be intrigued by Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who looked like an early second-day selection following a solid game. He was near-perfect in the Shrine Game, finishing 9-for-14 for 100 passing yards and a touchdown. He showed excellent accuracy, as well as an ability to run an effective red zone offense. Garoppolo was added to the Senior Bowl roster as a late addition and has another chance to impress before the combine.
Eyes were on linebacker Max Bullough out of Michigan State, who some believed should have been on the Senior Bowl roster. He didn't do much to stand out in the Shrine Game. He was raved about in practices during the week, but didn't make a big impact on the field.
Andre Hal of Vanderbilt was highly touted and didn't stand out. He showed excellent ball skills on a fourth quarter interception, but it was called back due to a questionable pass interference call. Hal remains an intriguing player and someone who could stand out at the combine. Another defensive back who looked quite good was Ross Cockrell out of Duke, showing excellent ball skills.
Kicking determined the winner, with 18 of the game's 36 points coming from the legs of Zach Hocker and Anthony Fera. Entering the game, Fera was seen as the more draftable prospect and, while one game wont likely change their stock, it will be interesting to see if Hocker gave himself a chance to be drafted following a perfect 3/3 outing for the East that saw him kick a game-long 56 yard field goal.