Up and Down Scrimmage Completes Next To Last Week

The final scrimmage of the season before next Saturday's Gold-Blue game featured a bit of a different format.

In most of their scrimmage sessions so far, the offense has been given the ball at a spot on the field in a first and ten situation. Scrimmage play then continued until the offense socres or the defense stops them.

In today's scrimmage, situations were the driving force. The offense worked on third and long situations, coming out from their own endzone, third and short and red zone series during the practice, which was conducted in the Stadium.

The offense worked a good deal on the option during several of those series. Work on the passing game was hampered due to the absence of Miquelle Henderson and Travis Garvin. Walkon Pat McClintic took a number of snaps with the second team in their absences.

The situation at center seems to have stabilized a bit, with Ben Timmons again taking the majority of the first team snaps at that position.

On defense, Brian King again flip flopped between safety and cornerback. He and Adam Jones were the first players returning kickoffs.

A pair of outstanding catches highlighted the scrimmages. Hikee Johnson maed a great leaping catch of 32 yard pass over the middle from Rasheed Marshall, and John Pennington made a diving catch for a touchdown on third and goal from the eight yard line.

On the defensive side, Jerry White's big hit on Hikee Johnson was the attention getter of the afternoon.

The coaches again used a modified scoring system to keep track of the action, and the offense made a late rally to tie the score at 33 on a five yard touchdown run by Erick Phillips. However, given a one play overtime to decide the contest, the offense failed to score and thus were relegated to pushups at the conclusion of drills.

Jeff Berk and Travis Garrett remained in red injury shirts, while Fred Blueford was in a green shirt, which signifies limited contact only.

Miquelle Henderson was added to the injury list when he injured an ankle and had to be taken from the field. Due to privacy regulations under the HIPAA act, WVU can no longer disucss the status of injuries, so no official word was forthcoming on Henderson's status.

The team has suffered a horribly ugly strethc of personal tragedies. In addition to the death of Adam Lehnortt's father, Todd James's grandfather passed away last week, and Travis Garvin had a cousin who was shot yesterday.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez was displeased with the intensity early in the scrimmage, but felt that it got better toward the end. He was disappointed that the offense was unable to work as much on the passing game with the first team receiving corps missing half of the starters. He was also unhappy with a number of offsides penalties that gave the offense first downs.

Practice takes a break for Easter weekend before resuming next Monday.

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