Shannon Comments on Second Scrimmage

Today's scrimmage at Green Tree field was meant to simulate a televised game. Coach Randy Shannon implemented TV timeouts, had his coaches wear headsets, elevated them to simulate their being in the booth, and even went so far as to implement a referee instant replay.

Coach Shannon spoke to the media after practice.

"It was fine today, we got a lot of work done today," he said about the scrimmage. "We ran the ball pretty decent. We had a couple bad plays during special teams, but that's why we practice special teams. Overall, our offense and defense did a great job on both sides of the football. On special teams we made a bunch of big plays, big runs, but some of those plays we called back because of those fouls that we cannot have if we're going to be successful."

Coach Shannon said that the game-like conditions were not a distraction for the team.

"We had one review (and TV timeouts)," he said. "You have to put is in situations in game time. We didn't have any substitution fouls, which was great. We didn't have to call a timeout because we didn't have the right personnel on the field, which was great. It was good, it's just special teams we have to correct. It's early and in the first scrimmage the special teams did great. If we keep them in situations, we'll be fine."

Shannon also spoke out about the quarterbacks today and their relationship with one another on the field. During the scrimmage, Kirby Freeman threw a touchdown pass to Sam Shields. Wright did not throw a touchdown pass and was intercepted once by freshman safety Jared Campbell.

"They did a good job," he said. "Both of them played on both teams, alternated. It was a good opportunity for those guys to compete. It was funny, because when one of them scored a touchdown, the other would jump up. When one of them had a not so great series, the other one would come out and say ‘keep your head up'. That's what I mean by developing a team and that's what those guys have been."

He also spoke about the running game, specifically about the progress of Javarris James and Graig Cooper.

"They did ok. They made some big plays but also got stuffed a couple times. That's why we scrimmage. It's almost like a preseason game. That was our second preseason game. Next preseason game will be a little bit more different."

Shannon updated the media on Kylan Robinson, who made the switch to linebacker a couple of days ago and completed his first full scrimmage at the position. Robinson, a redshirt freshman, is competing for playing time and got a considerable amount while predicted started Colin McCarthy remains a bit banged up.

"Kylan made some plays out there today," Shannon said. "He looks good out there. He's running around. The one thing is that he's smart. He's not busting anything, so that's promising. The more he can keep figuring it out the more he can help us."

Lastly, Shannon talked about the offensive line and what he's doing to prepare them for the long and grueling season ahead. Shannon mentioned that they were switching positions and moving around to prepare for the possibility of filling in for injured players.

"We moved the offensive line around this time. We played three offensive tackle and played D-Mo (Derrick Morse) at center today. We're getting prepared for the season because you never know what's going to happen. Moving those guys out there will help us a lot. That's the one thing we did different than the last scrimmage."

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