Monday's Camp Notebook

August 16, 2004 · MT Media Relations
(Practice No. 6)

MCCOLLUM ON TODAY'S PRACTICE: "There is great competition (at quarterback), which is a blessing. I expect the competition to go into game week. Josh (Harris) is taking the first snaps right now, but Clint (Marks) is right there. With Sam (Hunt), it's not physical ability, it's decision making and he's getting there. He's making better decisions each day."

"The defense played with an attitude (Monday morning). They have a chance. Defense is ahead of the offense right now, physically, which is a good thing. We have guys who are holding each other accountable and making sure they are doing their jobs. I see a lot of intensity."

"We still have to find the right group up front on offense, they are trying but they are not ready." "I thought Kelvin German brought the ball downhill this morning (Monday), and Lee Baker showed us some things, as did Terry Jackson."

LINEBACKER ALVIN FITE ON THE DEFENSE: "We are trying to establish ourselves up front. We are putting a lot of pressure on the front seven so we don't have to bring that eighth guy in the box. We know our secondary is young so we are really putting pressure on ourselves, more than anything, to help take some of the pressure off them." "I thought it was a good morning, a very physical morning, but that's the way it's going to be around here. We have to bring it every day."

QUARTERBACK JOSH HARRIS ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE: "I don't worry about our offensive line protecting ... We've brought in some young guys and we have some guys back who played last year and they all are progressing. I feel good about the direction of our offensive line and the progress they are making to this point."

DEFENSE TURNS UP THE HEAT: The defense stepped it up this morning during the team passing period. In 12 plays, the defense collected two interceptions, one fumble recovery, two pass breakups and two tackles for loss. The remaining five plays resulted in three incompletions and three completions by quarterback Sam Hunt. On the first interception by Keon Raymond, Jeff Littlejohn leveled offensive lineman Willie Hall on a block to free Raymond down the sidelines.

TODAY'S STATISTICS: During this mornings pass skeleton drill Josh Harris completed 4-of-5 passes, Clint Marks connected on 2-of-3, while Sam Hunt went 3-for-5 ... Also during the pass skeleton, LB Darren Mustin and LB Alvin Fite both recorded pass breakups ... Punter Colby Smith punted 12 times during the team punt drill for an average of 35.1. Smith's top booms were a 45, 41 and 41-yarder.

TIDBITS: Former players Dwone Hicks, Kevin Pascoe and Sam Smith attended Sunday evenings practice ... Adam Sparks of the Daily News Journal and NewsChannel 5s Brian McKeegan attended today's morning workout.

FAN DAY: Middle Tennessee's annual fan day is set for August 21 at 1 PM in Floyd Stadium and Blake Fulton of WTN 99.7 will be conducting a live remote. 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, free posters and schedule cards, and fans can purchase this year's media guides. Lightning's Locker Room will also be open. Fan day is free and open to the public.

NEW RADIO SHOW: Monte Hale of the Daily News Journal is preparing to delve into the radio world beginning on Monday, August 16. Hale will host a one-hour call-in talk show from 4:00 to 5:00 PM Monday-Friday on WGNS 1450 AM. The show, which has not been named yet but will next week through a contest, centers on Blue Raider athletics. The first guest on Monday will be track coach Dean Hayes, who will talk about the upcoming Olympics, while the second guest will be Athletic Director Boots Donnelly on Tuesday. The number to call into the show is 893-1450.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.