Blue Raiders inconsistent in second scrimmage

QBs combine for 378 yards, defense has 18 TFLs, Gendreau nails 61 yarder

April 2, 2010 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee held its second scrimmage of the spring on Friday and Head Coach Rick Stockstill was left saying his team has to get a lot better. The Blue Raiders went 113 plays and both sides of the ball played inconsistently the entire day.

"I thought we had an average day," said Stockstill. "Offensively, we went with three starters out on the offensive line which resulted in us giving up a few sacks, and then we had some missed assignments by some younger players. On top of that, we did not catch the ball very well either.

"Defensively, we came out with a lot of enthusiasm and high energy but the longer the scrimmage went the more big plays were given up. We just have to get a lot better because we are not a very good team right now on either side of the ball."

The defense set the tone early with two interceptions, three sacks, and two pass breakups in the first 12 plays. Quarterback Dwight Dasher had a batted ball by Jamari Lattimore on the first play of the scrimmage and linebacker Stephen Roberts came up with the interception. A few plays later, Lattimore picked off a Dasher pass and returned it for a score.

The defense did not allow a score until the 62nd play and finished the day with 18 TFLs, 11 sacks, and two interceptions. Individually, Lattimore had a monster day with two TFLs, two sacks, a pass breakup, an interception for a score, and a forced fumble, while linebacker Darin Davis and defensive end Omar McLendon both had three TFLs and a sack. Defensive end Jarrett Crittenton added a sack and two pass breakups, while fellow end Emmanuel Perez recorded a sack and two TFLs.

"All week we worked on getting our hands up on three-step drops and it came into play today as we batted a lot of balls," said Darin Davis. "It is the same up-tempo, aggressive, attacking defense we had last year except we might have a little more speed."

Offensively, quarterback Logan Kilgore enjoyed another solid day by going 14-for-25 for 158 yards and three touchdowns, while redshirt freshman Jamal Ramsey completed 12 of 19 passes for 133 yards, 2 touchdowns and two more rushing scores. Dasher did not play as many snaps but ended the day 10 of 16 for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Senior Garrett Andrews led the receiving corps with six catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns, while Tavarres Jefferson added five receptions for 63 yards and two scores. Arthur Williams, Harold Turner, and Richard Drake all collected three passes.

"They gave me a lot of opportunities today and I made some plays but wish I could have made more," said Andrews. "I still need to work on my timing with the quarterbacks but I think we were pretty productive today."

The ground game saw a number of players receive carries with sophomore Benjamin Cunningham leading the way with 33 yards on four attempts. D.D. Kyles had just two carries but they covered 10 yards.

Maybe the brightest part of the scrimmage came at the end as junior place-kicker Alan Gendrea put on a show. The first team All-SBC pick and Lou Groza candidate from a year ago went a perfect 10-for-10. He hit three from 36 yards, three more from 40 yards, then made good on all three from 51 yards. His final attempt was from 61 yards that would have been good from 65.

"I hit a 57 yarder in high school so the 61 yarder would have been my longest ever if it was a real game," added Gendreau. "I just tried to blast the last one and it was sweet."

The Blue Raiders will take the Easter weekend off before returning to drills on Monday. The annual Blue-White game is schedule for April 10 at 1 PM in Floyd Stadium.

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