Scrimmage Report

The Rebs' first scrimmage this morning was a physical affair where the number one defense and number two offense gained the edge. The following is a highlight/play-by-play of the two-hour workout and some side "notes."

The scrimmage began with a bang as Slot Korvic Neat ran a reverse and OT Emmanuel McCray took out LB Denzel Nkemdiche on the edge with a big hit for a 6-yard gain. Note: Neat was used a lot in short-yardage situations and on reverses. Denzel was not "taken out" the rest of the day and made numerous tackles in the open field for little or no gain.

Neat took a bubble screen for 14 yards, but then FS Cody Prewitt stopped RB Jeff Scott for a 3-yard loss. Scott gained six on a 4th-and-2 followed by RB Jaylen Walton gaining 12 on a cutback move. QB Barry Brunetti picked up 7 on a 4th-and 5.

From the 4, the offense proceeded to go backwards. Husky Mike Hilton bottled up Scott for a 2-yard loss, DE Cameron Whigham pressure Brunetti into an incompletion and then Whigham sacked Barry for a 9-yard loss. Andrew Ritter's 32-yard field goal was good, but the one defense had made a convincing stand. Note: Carlos Thompson was running with the number one defense at DE.)

The two offense got stuffed on their first try of the day and that was followed by the one offense going nowhere thanks to DT Bryon Bennett knocking down a pass on 3rd-and-10. The two offense garnered one first down on their next try on a 10-yard run by RB I'tavius Mathers, but that was all they could muster. Note: For about 10 minutes, both the one and two defenses dominated.

The one offense then put together a short drive of three first downs behind the running of Scott, who had gains of 5, 13 and 7 yards, but later in the march, on 4th-and-8, a Brunetti to WR Cody Core completion was stopped after a 6-yard gain by a good open field tackle by Nkemdiche. Note: Denzel was getting a rhythm and wherever the ball was, so was No. 4.

RB Nick Parker then put the two offense on his wide shoulders with gains of 9, 11 and 15, but CB Cliff Coleman killed the drive with a sack of QB Maihkail Miller. Note: At the end of Parker's 15-yard run, Chief Brown lowered the boom on Parker. Big hit, which Chief has been doing regularly.

I'tavius Mathers
Cain Madden

The one defense did a three-and-out on the one offense, and then the two defense got in on the act when WR Josh Pinkston caught a short pass, was nailed by CB Carlos Davis, fumbled and Chief scooped and scored from 40 yards out.

The one offense seemed to have something going after a Neat reverse for 11, but back-to-back tackles for no gain by Nkemdiche and MLB Mike Marry stalled the drive.

The two offense then got another gear, scoring from 17 yards out on RB Mark Dodson's outside run. It was set up by a 21-yard run by RB Darryan Ragsdale and a 25-yard reception by Slot Q. Mireles. Mireles also had a 6-yard catch-and-run on the drive. Note: On the 25-yarder by Mireles, the pass was only about 5 yards. He got the other 20 on his own with some quick moves to evade two defenders. . . Dodson was sprung by RT Robert Conyers' block that gave him the edge and clear sailing.

Again, the one defense stuffed the one offense. Again, the two offense went on a scoring drive capped by a 3-yard run by RB Jaylen Walton. Again, Q. Mireles was instrumental in the march with a 35-yard reception from Miller.

Miller got a shot directing the one offense, but after a 12-yard pass to Mathers, the one defense shut them down.

The threes then went after each other, but not for long. CB LaKedrick King picked off a Robert Ratliff pass and that was all she wrote.

On the last possession of the day, the one offense got a little something going with runs of 10 and 7 from Scott and a 10-yard Brunetti-to-Neat toss, but then on a Neat reverse, Nkemdiche ended the scrimmage with a tackle for a 3-yard loss.

Random Notes:

* While all the RBs seem to be making a case for playing time here and there, the dynamic one is Jeff Scott. His speed, quickness, vision and experience are surfacing daily and he is definitely the leader of the pack right now.

* There is no question the Rebels are more physical this spring than they were in the fall from top to bottom. There are two reasons - S&C Coach Paul Jackson and his staff have them stronger and they are playing faster due to their knowledge/experience. Those factors equal a more physical team.

* When Parker wants to be physical, he is hard to bring down. The issue: some days he is very physical, other days, he simply is not. In other words, he does not bring that physical nature to practice every day.

* A couple of times today, the offense had receivers behind the secondary, but the QBs could not connect, both times overthrowing the target. They have to make those throws.

* DT Woody Hamilton, it calls for repeating, is quickly turning into an animal in the middle. This could be his year to really make some noise.

* DT Issac Gross is still not 100%, incase you are wondering why he was not mentioned in the highlights. He did not participate today as a precaution. He's getting there, but the groin is still a little tight.

* The Rebs will resume practice Monday morning at 8 after the Easter break.

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