Scrimmage Report 8/26

Fall camp concluded Wednesday with an abbreviated practice session at LaVell Edwards Stadium. With the team being beat down from two-a-days, coaches felt they would benefit from an abbreviated session Wednesday followed by a day off on Thursday. The team used Wednesday to focus on blue-zone execution and special teams.

"I'm always glad when two-a-days are over, everyone is," commented linebacker Matt Bauman after practice. "We love football, but when two-a-days end it means to us that we get to play against another team and not just beat up on each other, which is why we play."

Coaches will now work to firm up the depth chart while preparing for the opener against Oklahoma. According to Coach Mendenhall, only three positions remain open: the two corner positions and the Buck linebacker position.

Shawn Doman will battle with Terrance Hooks for reps at Buck linebacker, as Hooks was able to join a full practice regimen this week. Meanwhile, the field corner position is virtually wide open and the boundary position appears to be all but locked down by the return of Brandon Bradley to the practice field.

"I felt great, real good out there, 100 percent," said Brandon Bradley following Wednesday's session. "I'm just glad that I took the time I did to make it 100 percent. I'm grateful that the coaches have been patient with me and didn't push me back until I felt good enough to go. I don't feel anything now. It feels great being out there and being healthy again."

Bradley will continue to compete with Lee Aguirre, who has had a very good fall camp. While Bradley is the assumed starter, he'll have to earn the role next week in practice as the team gets ready for the Sooners.

"I have to show coaches that I'm the best guy for the job," said Bradley. "Now that I'm healthy I'll be working my hardest every day to prove that I'm the guy and I'm excited about that opportunity."

Corby Eason was the player that got first-team reps at field corner Wednesday after Garett Nicholson and Brian Logan had been getting most of the work since Robbie Buckner's injury. While Buckner felt that he'd be able to go on Wednesday, he opted to wait until Friday to try and pick up where he left off.

Where Buckner left off was at the field cornerback position getting all the reps with the first-team defense. When he comes back he'll have to work his way up and prove to be the guy again, but he's confident that he'll be able to do that.

"Coaches will do what's best," said Buckner about his situation. "If they feel I'm ready to start, then I'll start. If not, then I'll be fine helping back up the position. Whatever is best for us is what I want."

Buckner has battled through a hamstring injury that he said had been bothering him for most of the summer. Since he sustained the injury again early in fall camp, he's been going through a rigorous rehab program that starts early in the morning at 6:30.

"I get treated on it sometimes four-to-five hours a day," he said. "Right now I feel that I'm okay to go and can move like I want, but it's important to rest it up to make sure that I don't hurt it again. Once it gets healed that's that, so I won't have to worry about it anymore."

Coaches were impressed enough with Buckner while he was in to not rush him back. Throughout his rehab coaches have encouraged him to not rush it and make sure he's healed before practicing again.

"It's been real frustrating," commented Buckner. "It's something in life that happens, but you just have to keep your head up and if you get down it will never get better. All you can do is stay positive and think that it's going to get better and that I'll be fine."

Coach Mendenhall talked about both Bradley and Buckner as well the team as a whole and where it stands following Wednesday's scrimmage.

Scrimmage Notes

-The team focused on blue-zone execution with Dennis Pitta catching the lone touchdown pass from three yards out. Tucker Lamb accounted for the other touchdown on a run from three yards out.

-Quarterback Max Hall threw an interception to Andrew Rich during the first series while Craig Bills picked off a pass from Riley Nelson.

-Other defensive highlights included Terrance Hooks recovering a fumble, Tevita Hola busting through the line for a tackle-for-a-loss and Romney Fuga doing likewise on another play.

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