Defense dominates Saturday's scrimmage
Unit forces 3 turnovers, 9 tackles for lossApril 5, 2008 · MT Media Relations
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.
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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