Leak puts on spectacular passing show in scrimmage

<img src=http://www246.pair.com/autoybkh/albums/albun18/P1010567.thumb.jpg align=right>Remember the old television commercial when some dingbat would say she stopped using a certain detergent to the shock of her neighbor? About the time the neighbor was going into apoplexy, the dingbat would say that's because she was using the new and improved version of the same product. Pictured: Leak hands off to Wynn

Well, remember the old Chris Leak? The one we all thought was so good as a true freshman last year? Well, he's been replaced by the new and improved version of Chris Leak, and Saturday morning's scrimmage was a clear demonstration that he has a full command of the offense and know how to use all his weapons.

Leak put together a spectacular scrimmage against the second team defense, hitting 14 of his 18 pass attempts (one of those was a spike to stop the clock in the two minute drill so it really shouldn't even count) for 224 yards and three touchdowns. He made all the right throws, made all the right decisions and with the exception of one overthrow and the spike, every pass hit someone in the hands.

In the regular phase of the scrimmage, he took the first offense to scoring drives of 70, 52, 80 and 19 yards.

His first drive of the morning took three plays. He found Jemalle Cornelius in the middle of the field for a strike that covered 40 yards, the one play later hit Dallas Baker down the east sideline for a 29 yard scoring pass. Leak's pass to Baker was perfectly timed, arriing a fraction of a second before Dee Webb flashed by going for an interception that wasn't to be. Baker turned upfield and sprinted untouched the final 14 yards into the end zone.

The 52-yard drive took nine plays with Leak completing a 20-yard pass to David Kenner, a 10-yard pass to OJ Small and a 12-yarder to Baker to set up a four-yard scoring run by Skyler Thornton.

Cornelius has a spectacular 35-yard run on a reverse to highlight the 80-yard scoring drive. Led around the left end by Jon Colon and Lance Butler, Cornelius followed his blockers to the eight yard line. When Cornelius was finally downed, Butler was driving a defender into the end zone. Thornton scored one play later on a five yard run.

The final touchdown for Leak and the first offense in the regular phase of the scrimmage came after Terrence Holmes intercepted a Gavin Dickey pass that had been deflected from Kenneth Tookes by Jarvis Herring. Holmes picked the ball off at the 47 and showed speed and moves to return it 28 yards to the 19. It took one play to score. Leak threw a slip screen to Cornelius who simply followed his blockers all the way into the end zone for the touchdown.

Leak finished the scrimmage in the two-minute offense in the second half, taking over at his own 43 with the scoreboard showing the first offense down 28-20.. He had a 21-yard pass to Cornelius, but was sacked by Derrick Harvey. He followed that up with a 30-yard strike to Cornelius then after spiking the ball to kill the clock and a five-yard procedure penalty, he hit a leaping Baker in the middle of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown. On the ensuing two-point conversion, Leak couldn't find a receiver on the left side, so he rolled to his right then sprinted toward the end zone, diving head first across the goal line for what would have been the tying two-pointer.

All in all, it was a brilliant performance by Leak who used a variety of receivers, gunned the ball on short passes, showed nice touch out in the flat and threw with confidence in the middle of the field.

For Gavin Dickey, who ran the second offense against the first defense most of the day, it was tough sledding. Dickey finished the scrimmage 8-15 for 55 yards, but he threw an interception and was sacked five times.

The first team defense, led by Channing Crowder and Earl Everett, gave up only two first downs and 62 total yards in the first half of the scrimmage. In the second half, the first defense gave up only one other first down and only 35 total yards. The first team defense got sacks from Jeremy Mincey (-9), , Ray McDonald (-5) and Joe Cohen (-9).

Justin Midgett had five completions in eight attempts for 21 yards in limited duty with the second and third team offenses. He also threw one interception, a nice pick by Vernell Brown. True freshman Cornelius Ingram had problems once again finding open receivers, but he did connect on a 62-yard scoring pass to Mike McIntosh for his lone completion in three pass attempts.

The top rusher for the day was third team walk-on Dajuan Lawrence of Miami Carol City, who had 56 yards on 12 carries with two 14-yard runs. True freshman Markus Manson gained 47 yards on 13 carries with a 23-yard burst that was electrifying. Ciatrick Fason had 42 yards on nine carries with a 14-yarder, and Thornton had a seven yard run among his seven carries which netted 31 yards and two touchdowns. Cornelius had 35 yards on his lone attempt. Ingram had 24 yards on three scrambles, Dickey scrambled once for three yards and Midgett had one carry for no gain. Excluding sack yardage, the rushing totals for the day were 42 carries for 201 yards. The first unit offensive line was responsible for 108 yards on 17 attempts and gave up only one sack. The first unit offensive line had Colon and Randy Hand at the tackles, Butler and Steve Rissler at the guards and Mike Degory at center.

Cornelius had the best day among the receivers with five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. Baker had two touchdowns among his four catches for 77 yards. McIntosh had four catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.

With the second and third unit defenses, McKenzie Pierre backed up a two-sack performance in last Monday's scrimmage with two more sacks (-15, -10) on Saturday. Clint McMillan had two sacks (-8, -10) including one for a safety and Harvey (-7) and Tranell Morant (-9) each had one.

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