Hear from SMU HC Chad Morris:
SMU Scrimmage Notebook
The depth chart is coming together and the staff expects that some moves will be made soon to really solidify things. On August 20, we'll have a real idea of where everyone stands on the roster.
Defense won the day, according to Morris, but it was fairly noticeable. Morris added that it was good to see improvement from the defense, but at the same time, the offense should have been better with all of their returning players.
Yellow jerseys: Mason Gentry, Michael Clark, Braylon Hyder, Brandon Benson, Keaton Bates and Delontae Scott. (There were more but I couldn't recognize them all). Included in that would likely be Chad Pursley and Kyran Mitchell (two unnoticed, but didn't play).
Young running backs impressive
It's no secret that Ke'Mon Freeman is a bit of a freak of nature, but Freeman worked at running back with the 2's and 3's. It appears he's pushing to get a look as the big running back, but there's another young back that's making noise. Aphonso Thomas looks real good in just about everything. He's quick, is agile while running the ball and is explosive. Jordan Carmouche saw some reps with the 2's near the goal line. For now, he's at running back.
Offensive Line coming together
With Nick Natour, Daniel McCarty, Evan Brown, Jerry Saena and Chauncey Briggs operating with the first unit, not much has really changed outside of Pursley being replaced by Natour. Natour will likely get an extended look at left tackle here if Pursley can't return, but some shuffling could occur if he can't come back.
Running with the second group was Kadarius Smith, Harrison Barton, Rex Printz, Travis Fister and Bryce Wilds with Braxton Webb getting some time with that second group at left tackle. Smith is proving to be versatile early in his SMU career as the staff has already been experimenting with him at left tackle.
Coach Morris said there were too many false starts and TFLs, which was on the offensive line. They also need to do a better job of getting up to the line quicker and playing with sense of urgency.
Can Corey Rau unseat Jeremiah Gaines?
Jeremiah Gaines started with ones, but Corey Rau also saw time with the first team today. Gaines is one that Morris singled out as someone that the team needs more out of. If he's not producing in camp, Rau could unseat him. This is a position battle that will be fun to watch as the season nears and we see the second scrimmage in a couple weeks.
Ryan Becker also saw time with the 2's and caught a touchdown in a very run oriented scrimmage.
Defensive Line featuring plenty of competition
The first group was similar to the spring with Zelt Minor and Deon Green inside whiel Justin Lawler and Jarvis Pruitt were at defensive end. After that, the group rotated heavily. Michael Scott, Chris Biggurs, Keyfer Roberts, Myles McCormack, Demerick Gary and Patrick Jones all rotated in to work at multiple positions.
Overall, group showed good endurance with the amount of running they faced from offense. You can tell the athleticism of the group has improved with a number of balls getting batted down and the group got good penetration.
Linebackers see familiar names in place
Jackson Mitchell and Anthony Rhone were back at linebacker not to the surprise of many, but at the Star, Jordon Williams took the first team reps with Kyran Mitchell out (who will be back) so he's now got an opportunity to take that spot if he performs well. It was a solid overall showing from this unit with Mitchell and Rhone leading the way.
Michael Badejo, Carlos Carroll and Matt McNew all rotated in with the second group, then RC Cox, Noah Spears, and Blake Carlisle also rotated. Badejo and Spears looked good and got extended time because of it.
Working with the first unit was Jordan Wyatt and William Jeanlys and cornerback, while Darrion Millines and Kevin Johnson worked at the safeties. Some of the names rotating in with the second group included Horace Richardson, Eric Sutton, and Jeanlys saw double-duty.
Jeanlys intercepted Ben Hicks while Jordan Wyatt, had two interceptions on Matt Davis, including one in the end zone and one pick-six.
- Xavier Jones and Kevin Thomas returning kick offs.
- Kevin Johnson, Proche, Braeden West returned kicks for the second team.
- Garrett Gilbert was at practice again and actively Worked with the QB's; especially with Hicks.
- Jerry Saena and Corey Rau both had false starts.
- Courtland Sutton and William Jeanlys collided at one point during special teams. Both shook it off and returned to play (more on that in Sutton interview).
- Alex Honey had a great one-handed grab in traffic for a TD. Coach Morris again said he was impressed with him.
- Matt Davis and Kevin Thomas had a costly miscommunication on the goal line that cost the offense a score.
- Transfer wide receiver Trey Quinn had surgery on his ankle from a previous injury. He'll sit out with the transfer anyway so the staff wanted that to get cleaned up. He's poised to do big things for SMU.