Great finish to practice

Practice ended with a tiny dose of controversy. The offense and defense squared off in a two-minute drill scrimmage. With the clock winding down, one would almost have to go to instant replay to determine the winner.

The coaches gave the offense 2:00 to march down field and try to get a score. With Nic Costa at the helm, and a new offensive set in place, the Wildcat offense failed to move the ball. The defense overwhelmed the redshirt freshman quarterback and sacked him on three straight downs to end the drive.

"That was the first time we put in our no-back offense today," said John Mackovic. "It wasn't very good to say the least. They kept saying, 'give us another shot, give us another shot,' so we did."

The second drill saw Jason Johnson at the helm with less than a minute on the clock. Despite playing the reserve defensive backs, the defense continued it's pressure on first down. After a fourth straight sack, the offense started to move the ball. Facing a third and 18, Johnson found Ricky Williams for a 20-yard gain. Johnson continued to find his receivers for a series of short gains.

Johnson found Bobby Wade for a seven-yard gain and a first down inside the 20 with twelve seconds left. The defense responded by bringing in all of the first stringers. Johnson looked for Wade on two straight plays but overthrew him on one play and had a pass broken up by David Hinton on the other. That gave the offense one last chance with six-seconds to play. Johnson sat back in the rapidly collapsing pocket and let go of the ball just as the whistles blew to signify a sack (the scrimmage was no tackling). With whistles blaring Lance Relford made a great grab three yards deep in the end zone. All eyes quickly turned to Mackovic who was officiating the drill. After a moment's hesitation, Mackovic signaled touchdown. The offense celebrated, but the defense didn't complain. Both units shook hands to close the day's practice.

"They did a real nice job," Mackovic said of the offense. "The receivers did a great job catching the ball and getting out of bounds."

NOTES:

*DB Danny Perry told the coaches that he was leaving the team. Mackovic said that it had nothing to do with the fight Perry and two teammates were involved in. Mackovic said Perry wanted, "to do other things."

*Mackovic also said that the team has heard nothing from DT Matt Lam. The team has tried to contact Lam with no luck. He said they no longer consider Lam on the team.

*Beau Carr is now practicing after missing the early part of camp while undergoing medical tests.

*The team will be in full pads Wednesday morning and back to just wearing helmets and shoulder pads in the afternoon. The full contact morning practice should feature more of the running game and inside drills.

*Darren Safranek hurt his knee and Chris Johnson took his place with the first team. For more on the injury, see the INJURY REPORT.

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E-mail Brad Allis at Heymtymte@cs.com


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