The Tiger offense managed another scrimmage victory over the defense today, winning 45-37 in the team's second official scrimmage of the 2009 spring practice season. The receiving corps put on a show for the spectators, coming up with a handful of electrifying long receptions.
Columbia, Mo. native Brandon Gerau, who was recently put on scholarship, began his day with a 25-yard acrobatic grab between defenders in the first team offense's first series. The comparisons are growing between him and former Tiger wide receiver Tommy Saunders, a walk-on who was praised for his toughness and work ethic.
Jerrell Jackson, who had a big day today, had a 47-yard snag down the left sideline to end the first series. It was during the first team's second series, however, that the offense would finally get on the board. Gabbert launched a pass from the 50-yard line to a streaking Wes Kemp, who caught the ball around the five-yard line, put a move on strong safety Hardy Ricks, and scored.
On a later attempt to score from the red zone, the offense needed only three plays. Kemp caught a ball in the left flat for six yards, followed by a Derrick Washington carry off-tackle to the right for a first down. On the next play, Jerrell Jackson reeled in the offense's second touchdown, an eight-yard fully extended snag on the far right side of the end zone. Jackson would finish the day with five receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.
One player who emerged as an offensive threat today was Jonnie Fields. Fields, who will be a junior in the fall, is listed as a wide receiver on the depth chart but has been receiving an increased amount of carries out of the backfield in recent practices.
In one particular series, in which the second tem offense took on the first team defense in the red zone, Fields took over. After a quick Jimmy Costello pass to running back Gilbert Moye on the left sideline, Fields made a catch in the left flat, spun past in-pursuit defensive end Aldon Smith, and scrambled for the first down. On the very next play, Costello found Fields hovering across the middle for a 10-yard touchdown. Fields would finish with four receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown.
Despite the handful of big plays given up by the defense, they actually had a pretty good day in pass coverage. As a unit, they forced five interceptions from the Tiger quarterbacks.
The other Tiger defenders to record interceptions were linebacker Will Ebner and defensive backs Ryan Edwards, Charles Brockway, and Kevin Rutland. Cornerback Munir Prince probably should've pushed the number to six, but dropped an errant Blaine Dalton pass in what was a pretty good day for the Tiger secondary.
Blaine Gabbert had a strong finish to today's scrimmage, leading the offense down the field in nine plays during a 1:30 drill, which was capped by a 27-yard Tanner Mills field goal with 0:02 seconds left. Gabbert completed four of his six passes and had a nice six-yard scramble toward the end of the drive.
He would finish the day 17-for-29 passing for 236 yards and two touchdowns. Costello had more success today than he did in last Saturday's scrimmage, finishing 11-for-19 through the air with one touchdown and one interception.
The Tigers resume practice this coming Tuesday, April 14, and are exactly a week away from the Spring Game, which will be held next Saturday, April 18th, at 1:00 pm. Be sure to check back throughout the week for further practice reports.
Here are the statistical leaders from Saturday's scrimmage at Faurot Field:
SCORING PLAYSScoring Description • Wes Kemp 50-yard TD reception from Blaine Gabbert • Jerrell Jackson 9-yard TD reception from Blaine Gabbert • Jonnie Fields 10-yard TD reception from Jimmy Costello
PASSING STATISTICSTiger Comp. Att. Yds. TD Int. Blaine Gabbert 17 29 236 2 0 Jimmy Costello 11 21 61 1 1 Blaine Dalton 5 15 31 0 1 Ashton Glaser 4 11 19 0 3 TOTALS 37 76 347 3 5
RECEIVING STATISTICSTiger Rec. Yds. TD Jerrell Jackson 5 84 1 Wes Kemp 5 71 1 Jon Gissinger 5 30 0 Jonnie Fields 4 29 1 Brandon Gerau 3 45 0 De'Vion Moore 2 35 0 Beau Brinkley 2 9 0 Derrick Washington 2 8 0 Greg Jacobsen 1 7 0 Terry Dennis 1 6 0 Andrew Jones 1 5 0 Caleb Medley 1 5 0 Gilbert Moye 1 4 0 Matt Davis 1 3 0 Mukai Matsiga 1 3 0 Shawn Scott 1 2 0 Forrest Shock 1 1 0 TOTALS 37 347 3
RUSHING STATISTICSTiger Att. Yds. TD Derrick Washington 7 32 0 Blaine Gabbert 4 10 0 Jared Culver 4 8 0 Shawn Scott 4 7 0 Gilbert Moye 3 8 0 De'Vion Moore 3 3 0 Matt Davis 1 9 0 Jerrell Jackson 1 4 0 Ashton Glaser 1 1 0 TOTALS 28 82 0
INTERCEPTIONSTiger INTs Yds. Robert Steeples 1 25 Will Ebner 1 5 Charles Brockway 1 2 Ryan Evans 1 0 Kevin Rutland 1 0
DEFENSIVE SUPERLATIVESTackles For Loss – Luke Lambert (2); Brian Coulter (1); Aldon Smith (1); George White (1); Andrew Wilson (1)
Fumbles Forced – Jacquies Smith (1)