DBs outplay WRs in scrimmage

You know it's a bad day for your passing attack when the receivers have more trouble catching the ball than the defensive backs. That was the story Saturday as Tennessee held its second full-scale scrimmage of the spring.

The wideouts dropped at least a half-dozen catchable passes in the 132-play workout at Neyland Stadium. Meanwhile, the defensive backs were intercepting four passes – three by safety Jarod Parrish and one by cornerback Roshaun Fellows.

Receivers coach Trooper Taylor conceded that his guys had their worst day of the spring "by far" in terms of hanging onto the football. The start was particularly brutal.

After two handoffs to open the scrimmage, Jonathan Crompton made a super throw on an out route only to see Lucas Taylor's drop nullify what should've been a 15-yard gain. Two snaps later, Josh Briscoe dropped a short pass from Nick Stephens.

Two plays later Quintin Hancock made a nice catch, broke a tackle and raced 35 yards. Five plays after that, however, a Crompton toss over the middle skipped off the fingers of Austin Rogers. Taylor assembled all of the receivers at this point and made them do several punitive up/downs (jog in place, drop into a pushup, then jump back to your feet).

Tennessee's receivers did a better job catching the ball thereafter. Hancock had an excellent day and Briscoe bounced back from a sloppy start to finish well. Still, Taylor meted out more punishment at the end of the workout, ordering all of his receivers to run the stadium steps.

In addition to Hancock's 35-yard catch/run, here are the other noteworthy plays from the scrimmage:

Redshirt freshman Daniel Lincoln hit a 45-yard field goal.

Arian Foster gathered in a swing pass from Crompton and picked his way upfield for a 13-yard gain.

Showcasing UT's new direct-snap package, Lucas Taylor took a shotgun snap and fired an 11-yard strike to Rogers.

Most of a 22-yard completion from Crompton to tight end Chris Brown was nullified by an illegal-block penalty.

Holder Casey Woods did some nifty scrambling before completing a 12-yard pass to tight end Luke Stocker on a fake-field goal play.

Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Victor Thomas leaped high to bat down a pass by Stephens.

Crompton hit tight end Jeff Cottam for a gain of 12 yards.

Antonio Reynolds sacked Crompton for a loss of four.

Linebacker Ellix Wilson made a great break on a pass over the middle but dropped the pass, which hit him right in the hands.

Outside linebacker Ryan Karl sacked Crompton for a five-yard loss.

A nifty 10-yard scramble by Crompton was nullified by a holding call.

Rogers made a nice diving grab of a 15-yard pass from Crompton on a third-and-14 play.

Britton Colquitt hit a 26-yard field goal.

A big hit by redshirt freshman linebacker LaMarcus Thompson broke up a pass intended for Jeff Cottam.

Lincoln connected on a 42-yard field goal.

Reynolds sacked Crompton for a seven-yard loss.

Crompton hit Hancock for gains of 16, 6 and 7 yards in a four-play stretch.

Defensive tackle Jonathan Mapu sacked Crompton for a five-yard loss.

Colquitt's 49-yard field goal attempt drifted just left of the upright.

Wes Brown sacked Stephens for an eight-yard loss.

Briscoe made a nice diving catch of a 13-yard pass from Stephens.

Lincoln missed a 49-yard field goal, wide right.

Stephens hit Slick Shelley for a 15-yard gain.

Foster burst through a nice hole at right guard for a gain of 14 yards.

Freshman Art Evans made a touchdown-saving breakup of a pass intended for Rogers.

Foster rambled for a 13-yard gain to the 6-yard line and scored standing up from the 2 two plays later. The only offensive touchdown of the workout came nearly 90 minutes into the scrimmage.

Roy Olasimbo caught a flat pass from Stephens and was hammered for a four-yard loss by Ryan Karl.

Jerod Parrish made his first interception of the day, picking off a Stephens throw.

Three plays later, Roshaun Fellows made a nice break on the ball to pick off a pass by Crompton.

Montario Hardesty showed a nice burst on back-to-back runs of 9 and 7 yards.

Crompton hit Hancock for a 10-yard gain.

Linebacker-turned-defensive end Andre Mathis sacked Crompton for a loss of 7.

Colquitt missed a 44-yard field goal to the right.

Defensive tackle Demonte Bolden made a wicked hit on Olasimbo for a two-yard loss.

Stephens found Briscoe for a gain of 11.

Stephens telegraphed a pass over the middle that Parrish intercepted and would've taken 60 yards for a touchdown if not for a quick whistle by head coach Phillip Fulmer.

Crompton connected with Lucas Taylor for consecutive gains of 11 and 9 yards, picked up six on a scramble, then found Rogers for 11 yards.

Wes Brown sacked Crompton for a six-yard loss.

Redshirt freshman guard Darius Myers got into a brief fight with a defensive lineman, then got a stern lecture from Fulmer. Myers also got into a fight with a Vol defender during a pre-scrimmage Tennessee drill two weeks ago.

Parrish recorded his third interception of the day.


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