Defense dominates Saturday's scrimmage

Unit forces 3 turnovers, 9 tackles for loss

April 5, 2008 · MT Media Relations
  • Audio: Scrimmage Report

    MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee's defense felt it should do well in the final tune-up scrimmage before next Saturday's spring game.

    The blue-clad unit did not disappoint head coach Rick Stockstill or defensive coordinator Manny Diaz as it dominated Saturday's scrimmage, forcing three turnovers and limiting the offense to just three scores in 19 possessions.

    "I would say the defense was the clear-cut standout today," said Stockstill. "If you are looking for a winner from today's scrimmage I thought the defense had the upper hand. I think they handed it to the offense pretty much the whole day. I thought the defense did some nice things today in a lot of areas."

    Diaz was much more pleased with the unit this week then he was last Saturday and part of the reason for that was more tackles for loss and sacks. The third-year coordinator said the time was right for the defense to make such a statement.

    "Today is the real spring game for our defense because it is a day we can get (all of our blitz packages in)," said Diaz. "We should look like that and if we didn't then it would be scary because we are coming from everywhere. We have more of our blitz package in now which is causing some confusion for the offensive line and that is normal for spring. They would be ready for it if it was the fall and they were going to play us in an actual game."

    The defensive group tallied nine tackles for loss, three sacks, and went eight straight possessions without allowing a point.

    Linebacker Danny Carmichael led the way with eight stops, while safety Kevin Brown added six tackles and tackle Trevor Jenkins chipped in five tackles to go along with a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery.

    Offensively, the Blue Raiders got on the board early with a 33-yard field goal by David DeFatta. The impressive first drive engineered by Dwight Dasher stalled inside the 15-yard line following a key 37-yard pass to Michael Cannon.

    After eight scoreless possessions, quarterback Joe Craddock directed a nine-play, 55-yard drive that culminated in a 13-yard touchdown pass to walk-on Shane Blissard. A 12-yard run by Phillip Tanner was the key play of the drive.

    The final score of the scrimmage came five possessions later when Dwight Dasher found Michael Cannon in the back of the endzone for an 11-yard scoring play. The drive was six plays and covered 30 yards.

    Craddock led the way through the air by completing 13 of 25 passes for 110 yards, while Dasher made good on 9 of 21 attempts for 97 yards.

    The Blue Raiders will practice Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday before completing spring drills with the Blue-White Game next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 PM.

    FISHER OUT: Sophomore offensive tackle Mark Fisher from Nashville, Tennessee suffered a posterior labrum tear of his left shoulder and will be out of action for six to seven months. "He will not be allowed to resume football activities until October and is likely out for the year," said Stockstill. Fisher played in all 12 games and started 10 as a true freshman in 2007.

    Joe Craddock: 13-for-25, 110 yards, 1 TD
    Dwight Dasher: 9-for-21, 97 yards, 1 TD

    Dwight Dasher: 14-37
    Phillip Tanner: 10-19
    Desmond Gee: 10-16
    Phillip McGee: 7-14
    Aaron Bateman: 1-8
    Marquise Branton: 4-7

    Phillip Tanner: 6-32
    Patrick Honeycutt: 4-22
    Shane Blissard: 3-38, 1 TD
    Michael Cannon: 2-48, 1 TD
    Alvin Ingle: 2-28
    Jeremy Perry: 2-27
    Phillip McGee: 2-3
    Desmond Gee: 1-13
    John Marc Stephens: 1-6
    Chris Johnson: 1-1

    David DeFatta 33 FG
    Blissard 13 pass from Craddock
    Cannon 11 pass from Dasher
    King missed 43 FG

    Penalties: False Start (3 times), Defensive Pass Interference (3 times), Offensive holding

    Danny Carmichael: 8 tackles
    Kevin Brown: 6 tackles
    Trevor Jenkins: 5 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 FR
    Jeremy Kellem: 4 tackles
    Dwight Smith: 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL
    Wes Hofacker: 4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hurry
    Chris McCoy: 3 tackles
    Andrew Harrington: 3 tackles
    Ivon Hickmon: 3 tackles, 1 TFL
    Anthony Glover: 3 tackles, 1 TFL
    Norman Washington: 3 tackles, 1 TFL
    Brandon Perry: 2 tackles
    Alex Suber: 2 tackles, 1 Interception, 1 pass breakup
    Jonathan Presley: 2 tackles, 1 TFL
    Emmanuel Perez: 2 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFL
    Marcus McGee: 2 tackles, 1 pass breakup
    Cam Robinson: 1 tackle
    Terans Goodson: 1 tackle
    Stuart Taylor: 1 Interception
    Ted Riley: 1 pass breakup

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