Blue Raider Football Camp Notebook for Friday

August 15, 2003 · MT Media Relations


(Practice No. 16)


MCCOLLUM ON TODAY'S PRACTICE: "I saw some guys step up out there this morning, and I also saw some guys let the heat get to them. You have to overcome that because in a game you will not be able to just stop."


"Defensively we came to play with an attitude today. We were attacking the ball, playing physical, and making things happen. Offensively, we struggled with consistency and had a couple of turnovers. We have to take better care of the football because we are not good enough to win games when we give the ball up."


11-on-11 RECAP: The Blue Raiders used their last four periods of practice this morning to scrimmage and following are some of the highlights: Eugene Gross rushed seven times for 31 yards, while Kevin Davis tallied seven carries for 37 yards ... WR Sam Williams hauled in two receptions for 30 yards ... DE Bobby Payne registered a sack ... DB Chris Johnson intercepted a Josh Harris pass ... DE Jonathan Callahan stripped the ball from Davis and Demetrios Walker picked it up and returned it for a score ... The scrimmage consisted of 26 plays.


STEPHENS HONORED ... AGAIN: The af2 office announced today that the Tennessee Valley Vipers offensive/defensive lineman, Wes Stephens, has been named Lineman of the Year. Stephens is a former Blue Raider defensive end who played from 1998 - 2001. "I owe this to Coach (John) Kirk for putting us in position to make plays," Stephens said. "This is a group award for all the linemen. They opened it up for me to be able to put pressure on the quarterback and it is my job to open it up for them. It is also special to be a part of an offensive line that only gave up three sacks. We all worked extremely hard on the offensive side of the ball all season." Stephens set a Vipers record by recording 11.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles this season. He also added 22.5 tackles, 2.0 tackles for a loss of five yards, two pass break ups and a team-high 39 quarterback hits. He also caught four passes for 33 yards and one touchdown. Two sacks resulted in safeties and another forced a fumble that was recovered by the Vipers for a touchdown.


GOBLUERAIDERS.COM PRACTICE REPORT: Soundbites from Head Coach Andy McCollum and running back Eugene Gross following today's practice is available on GoBlueRaiders.com. There is also sound from quarterbacks coach Alex Robins about the development of his signal callers, and linebackers coach Kevin Fouquier talked about the progress of his unit.


TIDBITS: The Daily News Journal's Tony Stinnett interviewed running back Eugene Gross, defensive end Devarick Scandrett, defensive lineman Jeff Littlejohn, safety Justin Rainey, and Andy McCollum ... Tim Hardeman from News 2 interviewed offensive line coach Ronnie Vinklarek and McCollum.


FAN DAY: Middle Tennessee's annual fan day is set for August 16 at Noon in Floyd Stadium. Fans will be able to gain autographs from all the players and coaches, while also having the opportunity to take a picture with their favorite Blue Raider. There will be free cokes and hot dogs, a rock climbing wall, a football toss game, and 102.9 The Buzz will be doing a live remote from the event. Fan day is free and open to the public.




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