It didn't take long for some excitement at Saturday's jersey scrimmage as senior tailback Lydell Ross broke an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play.
"Oh, it was an adrenaline rush," Ross said. "You know, first play from scrimmage, the first play of the whole scrimmage, it felt great. Offensive line got out really fast, I felt like they got off the ball and I went from there."
Improving the running game is one of the focal points of the spring and Ross' run was a nice exclamation point for the offense.
"That was it - that's the way we have to come out," Ross said. "But, obviously we've got to get better. We've got to get better day-by-day and we've got to be consistent."
Ross admitted he is more of an intense player this spring.
"I think maybe the biggest thing different about me this year is my attitude," he said. "I'm more determined than ever because this is the most important time of my life, and I have to make good decisions to reach my goals this year."
With the 72-53 victory, the offense won the scarlet jerseys until fall camp when there will be another jersey scrimmage. Ross likes that his offense has bragging rights for the time being, but doesn't put too much stock in it.
"That's about all it does for you is bragging rights," he said. "But we're still a team. We're still one and we can't let that get in the way of what we want to accomplish this year. We got the jerseys, but let's all get together - offense and defense - and have a successful season."
Ross looked a little quicker on Saturday, as opposed to the 2003 season. He weighed about 210 pounds as a freshman in 2001, then added about 20 pounds. This year, he has finally found his ideal playing weight.
"I feel like I'm leaner," Ross said. "I did shave off a couple pounds from last year. I was probably averaging around 228, 230 last year. I'm about 220 right now and I have less body fat."
Ross likes the quickness he saw from the offensive line in the scrimmage.
"I think they did some good things out there," he said. "We still have to improve on some things, but for the most part, I think they were getting off of the ball real quick. That's one thing about this offensive line: they're lighter than the guys from last year, but they're just as strong and they get off quick."