Scrimmage Notes

Wednesday afternoon's full contact scrimmage was filled with situational work, with the offense getting off to a good start.

The scrimmage began with two periods of special teams work devoted to the field goal and punt tema, and then after a brief session of individual work, proceded to the live scrimmage.

The first set of downs began with the offense at their own thirty yard line. Quincy Wilson powered most of the drive and capped it off with an 11 yard touchdown run, but Aaron Neal showed his improvement was not a fluke with a 16 yard reception.

After that strong start, it appeared as though the offense would dominate but the defense took over after that point. While there were some strong offensive plays, the defense retained the upper hand they have shown for much of the fall.

The first, second and third teams all got a lot of work, with more than 100 plays being run during the scrimmage. The emphasis, of course, was on the first two squads, but the third teamers did get some snaps.

Wilson also did a great job on the coming out drills. He ran strongly and gained 15 yards on one carry from the three.

Head coach Rich Rodriguez thought the scrimmage was an up and down affair.

"There was a lot good and a lot bad but it was good to see some heat. I though the heat may effect us and it did. It was a great lesson because it could be warmer than this when we play Wisconsin. We have to continue to get better because we are not nearly there now.

"The first defensive group played physical but the second group was a little soft. Rasheed was off on his timing on a couple of passes and made an uncharacteristic pitch on an option. He knows what we are doing well but needs to pick up what the defense is doing a little quicker.

"Charles Hales has a good grasp of what we are doing but has a brain cramp every six or seven plays."


Tight end Ryan Thomas made the most of his increased playing time with a couple of big catches, but Tory Johnson made perhaps the two best catches of the day. Johsnon snared two touchdown passes of 24 and 15 yards, with the second being a jump ball situation where he outleaped the defender for the score. Rodriguez commented that he has had a great camp, is in good shape, and should be a big weapon.

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Chris Henry ran with first and second teams and did a nice job getting yards after the catch on a couple of catches. He, along with Aaron Neal, have been the most effective at getting the ball upfield after catches.

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Kay Jay Harris continued to struggle, totalling no yards on six carries and one fumble. Rodriguez said the fumble was caused when he got hit in the arm, which has been bothering him. Harris has been running somewhat tentatively, which is likely a combination of getting comfortable with the offense and his gothersome arm.

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Adam Lehnortt, Fred Blueford, and Vince Beamer were all held out of the scrimmage. Travis Garrett was again helped off the field with hydration problems. Rodriguez said he is having problems with hydration and he just shuts down. Doctors have run tests, but found no major problems.

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L.J. Montinar made the biggest hit of the day when Adam Bednarik hung Adam Serena out on a pass. Montinar, Serena and the ball all arrived at the same time, with Serena getting the worst of the collision.

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Erick Phillips ran the ball really well against the third team and scored a couple of touchdowns.

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The defense did a great job staying at home on trick plays and reverses, which were a problem in the Continental Tire Bowl last season.

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