Wednesday's football practice update

August 18, 2004 · MT Media Relations
(Practice No. 9)

MCCOLLUM ON TODAY'S PRACTICE: "There were a lot of positives this morning. I thought the offensive line showed a great deal of improvement during the scrimmage and I liked the way Eugene Gross ran the ball downhill today. The offense, however, has to stop hurting themselves with penalties and breakdowns."

"We had a 30-minute scrimmage this morning and we really let the guys play and I liked what I saw. We still have a lot of areas we need to improve on, but I like the progression out there today. Linnie Yarbrough made a nice play for a touchdown and he continues to step up and Lee Baker made a big run in traffic today and keeps showing what he can do. We still have work to do up front, but you can see them coming around."

SCRIMMAGE UPDATE: The Blue Raiders went through a 21-play, 30-minute scrimmage this morning with the No. 1 offense going against the No. 2 defense and the No. 1 defense facing the No. 2 offense. On the very first play from scrimmage, quarterback Josh Harris looked to hook up with Kerry Wright on a deep pass over the middle but cornerback Keon Raymond tipped the pass up in the air and then made a gorgeous juggling catch for the interception. The offense bounced back behind signal-caller Clint Marks as the sophomore connected on his first two attempts before hitting Linnie Yarbrough for a 55-yard score. On the play, cornerback Danny Tolbert gambled, came away empty, and Yarbrough used his excellent speed to reach the endzone. Harris then directed an 11-play, 70-yard drive that was capped off by an 11-yard pass to Eugene Gross for a score. A key play in the drive was a 34-yard strike to Kerry Wright.

SCRIMMAGE STATISTICS: Josh Harris completed 4 of 11 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown, while Clint Marks was a perfect 3-for-3 for 66 yards ... DE Jason Elam recorded a sack and Keon Raymond came away with an interception ... Kerry Wright had two catches for 56 yards ... WR Taron Henry reeled in a 9-yard reception as did Pedro Holiday ... LB Leon Cesar recorded a pass breakup.

7-on-7 STATISTICS: Passing: Harris 6-8, Marks 4-6, Hunt 4-7, Craddock 1-1 ... Receiving: Wright 2 (one was a beautiful leaping grab over Keon Raymond), Baker 2, Holiday 2, Yarbrough 2, and Cleannord Saintil, Walt Bell, Jerrin Holt, Taron Henry, Chris Henry, Stephen Chicola and Terry Jackson all recorded one reception ... LB Alvin Fite registered a pass breakup.

DC BRADLEY DALE PEVETO ON THE DEFENSE: "We have gotten a lot in up to this point and we are executing pretty well, which is very pleasing. We are flying around, swarming to the ball and creating turnovers. One of our biggest things we discuss in camp is creating turnovers because we have not been good in that department the past few years and the guys are really getting the message. We still have to clean up a few things here and there, but overall I like what I have seen and I love the effort."

DC BRADLEY DALE PEVETO ON ALVIN FITE: "Alvin has played really well and has been good against the run. He has had one to two turnovers a day in the passing game. I like his leadership and attitude."

DC BRADLEY DALE PEVETO ON MARCEL HORNE: "Marcel is right on schedule. He can flat out play and is very physical against the run. I am proud of where he is right now."

DC BRADLEY DALE PEVETO ON THE DEFENSIVE FRONT: "Our front as a whole right now is really playing well. They are physical and have been controlling the line of scrimmage. I think Thomas Johnson is the bell cow. He is rushing the passer well, leading, and is enjoying his best camp as a Blue Raider."

MEDIA UPDATE: Adam Sparks of the Daily News Journal interviewed Kevin Copeland, Bradley Dale Peveto and Andy McCollum today, while The Tennessean's Mike Organ conducted interviews with quarterbacks Josh Harris, Clint Marks and Sam Hunt, along with WR Kerry Wright ... Neil Price of the Blue Raider Network interviewed Lee Baker and receivers coach Blake Anderson, along with members of the defensive line and their position coach Kevin Fouquier.

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.

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