Scrimmage Report: A Little Bit of Both

Saturday's scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium featured a steady diet of runs as the team emphasized the run game. Most of the starters on both offense and on defense were held out of the full-contact practice session. Some new faces shone in their fist time playing in the stadium, while players and coaches noted some good things and some bad things out on the field.

"I thought the defense did really well defending the run," said defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen, who spent the entire scrimmage as an observer. "Obviously the offense didn't have Harvey [Unga] out there, which helps a lot, but J.J. [DiLuigi] looked good. I was happy to see him get some good yards, but of course I want my guys out there to defend him a bit better, so that's a little bit good and bad."

Indeed, DiLuigi served notice immediately when he scampered through the line for a 14-yard gain on the second play of the scrimmage. The first series saw Hall's only pass fall incomplete as the defense held strong. On the first play David Tafuna jumped a Wayne Latu run in the backfield for a 1-yard loss. Brock Richardson ended the series with a sack.

"Brock played great, I thought," noted Jorgensen. "We were physical out there, which is what you always want."

During the second series Bryan Kariya was the featured running back rushing four times for a total of 12 yards, with two of his runs going for no gain. Defensive standouts during the series included Tevita Hola, Masi Tuitama and Iona Pritchard all recording tackles for no gain. The long play was made by Landon Jaussi, who hauled in a pass from Brenden Gaskins for 11 yards.

"Our timing was good, but could have been better," said wide receiver Michael Reed. "That's why we're out here, to get our timing better. We had some good moments, but there is definitely room for improvement."

During the third series Hall started out on fire, hitting tight end Andrew George for 33 and then 26 yards to get the offense moving. Hall completed a flare pass to O'Neill Chambers for 5 yards, and then hit Kaneakua Friel for an 11-yard pass. All in all, Hall went 5-of-7 for 68 yards during the set. The drive ended with safety Steven Thomas knocking down a pass in the end zone.

"We need to score more," noted Reed. "When we get down there we need to complete drives and get in into the end zone. I thought we could have done that better today."

The next series saw the defense put together perhaps its best overall work of the day. The offense was able to make 11 yards on a Kurt McEuen pass to B.J. Peterson, but the series was highlighted with big tackles for losses made by Coleby Clawson and Matt Ah You. Brandon Howard capped off the series quite nicely with a pick that he took into the end zone from about 40 yards out.

"That's what it's going to be this year," said a confident Howard. "I fully intend on getting at least one of those these years during games. We're playing well and we're confident and that's what this defense is going to do, that's what we're capable of. It's for real this year."

The next set saw the offense get into the end zone as Hall went 5-of-5 for 78 yards. Hall hit Kelly Bills in the end zone from 10 yards out for the score. O'Neill Chambers stood out, catching passes of 40 and 8 yards. Chambers' long pass came by virtue of G Pittman going for a run fake while Hall hit Chambers down the sideline for 40 yards. Chambers barely let his foot get out of bounds as he tried to maintain his balance and would have scored easily had he not stepped on the sideline.

"I'm just trying to show well every day," said Chambers. "I've been fortunate to get some work with the first team and now I just need to show every day that they can keep me there. I'm thankful to my teammates who are helping me out a ton and I'm very happy with how things have gone so far."

The next five series saw the third team and fourth team get most of the work. Hall got one final series with the 1s, but was held to a three-and-out. Solomone Kafu showed well, making a tackle for a loss in the backfield.

Overall it was considered a good day in which the emphasis was on the running game and getting new players a lot of work.

"It was a good day and I feel we accomplished a lot," said Reed. "We'll have to look at film and I'm sure there's a lot we have to work on, but it felt good out there and I feel both sides did some good things."

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