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Spring Game Notebook: New turf will be reality

April 8, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - One of the biggest cheers of the day came in the Blue Raider locker room before the Blue-White Spring Game kicked off at Floyd Stadium.

Prior to his team taking the field, Head Coach Rick Stockstill told his players this would be the last time they would run onto the artificial turf in its current state, adding the Blue Raiders would be playing on a new synthetic surface beginning this fall.

"In our pregame talk, I told our team about the check presentation that would occur before the start of the game and the players started cheering and just would not stop," said Stockstill. "That tells you how important this is to them and how appreciative they are to our donors and administration for helping make this happen."

Two donors joined President Sidney McPhee and Director of Athletics Chris Massaro prior to kickoff to make a sizable contribution to help offset the cost of the new playing surface that will be installed in time for the season opener against Florida International on August 31. Mark and Anita Pirtle and Joey and Debbie Jacobs contributed $100,000 each toward the project.

"This will be the last game played on this turf," said Massaro, igniting a unison roar of support amongst the Blue Raider faithful in attendance.

Details regarding the start date of the installation and when the project would be completed will be forthcoming.

SPRING AWARDS: During halftime of Saturday's game, Stockstill announced the spring awards to the crowd of 1,806 and spoke of how pleased he was with his team's work ethic during the past few months. Following are the list of awards:
Most Dependable Quarterback: Clint Marks
Most Dependable Running back: Eugene Gross
Most Dependable Wide Receiver: Pierre Ingram
Most Dependable Tight End: Clint Corder
Most Dependable Offensive Line: Germayle Franklin, Brandon Nix
Most Dependable Defensive Line: Tavares Jones
Most Dependable Linebacker: Justin Rainey
Most Dependable Safety: Jonathan Harris
Most Dependable Corner: Roy Polite
Most Dependable Kicker: Colby Smith
Blue Raider Quarterback: Clint Marks
Blue Raider Running back: Albert Webb
Blue Raider Wide Receiver: Pierre Ingram
Blue Raider Tight End: Clint Corder
Blue Raider Offensive Line: Cade Becher
Blue Raider Defensive Line: Trevor Jenkins
Blue Raider Linebacker: Chance Dunleavy
Blue Raider Safety: Damon Nickson
Blue Raider Corner: Bradley Robinson
Blue Raider Kicker: Colby Smith
Dr. Sidney McPhee Senior Academic Award: Cade Becher
Dr. James E. Walker Junior Academic Award: Erik Walden
Jeanne Massaquoi Sophomore Academic Award: John Marc Stephens
Don Craig Freshman Academic Award: Trevor Jenkins

JACKSON HAS BIG DAY: Quarterback Patrick Jackson, a rising junior, capped a strong spring a sterling effort as he helped lead his White squad to a 14-7 win in the spring game. Jackson was 16-of-23 for 200 yards and two interceptions. Four of his seven incompletions were the result of dropped passes.

GRIGSBY PACES RECEIVERS: Jonathan Grisgby turned in a huge day for the Blue Raider receiving corps. Grigsby, who has moved to the top of the depth chart, hauled in five catches for a game-high 85 yards to lead all receivers. Grigsby also had five receptions in last year's spring scrimmage.

BIG PLAYS: There were several big plays turned in among the receiving corps in Saturday's spring game, as evidenced by 10 pass plays of 20 yards or more. Former Murfreesboro Riverdale standout Taron Henry led the way with four catches for an eye-popping 112 yards. He hauled in one pass for 50 yards, another for 36 yards and one for 23 yards. Receivers on the Blue squad had six of the 10 big plays.

DEFENSIVE STALWARTS: Defensive end Sean Mosley turned in a monster day with three sacks for minus 26 yards. If it had been an official game, Mosley's three sacks would have tied the school record for single-game takedowns. Not to be outdone, rising senior linebacker J.K. Sabb finished with seven tackles, including two for loss, as well as one pass break-up and one sack. In all, Blue Raider defenders came up with seven tackles for loss, including five sacks, in addition to five interceptions.

A RARE PROBLEM: Middle Tennessee quarterbacks went through three spring scrimmages with no turnovers; however, they were guilty of five turnovers during Saturday's "Blue-White Spring Game." Starters Clint Marks and Patrick Jackson were responsible for two interceptions each, while walk-on John Heard threw one.

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