Raiders hold first scrimmage Saturday night

Calhoun rushes for 60 yards; McLendon adds 2 sacks

August 11, 2012 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO - Middle Tennessee held its first scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday night in Floyd Stadium and Head Coach Rick Stockstill saw positives on both sides of the ball. The Blue Raiders ran 116 total plays and another five in goal line situations.

"We did a lot of good things on both sides of the ball but we really can not evaluate this until we review the film," said Stockstill. "We had too many drops by our receivers and I thought our running backs ran hard. I was also pleased with our starters along the offensive line.

"Defensively, I thought we played well at times and were physical but we let a few people get behind us and we need to clean that up. Overall, I thought it was a good start considering it is the first scrimmage but we still have a lot of work to do."

Starting quarterback Logan Kilgore directed three touchdown drives while completing 8 of 17 passes for 129 yards. Kilgore, who had a touchdown pass of 40 yards to Vincent Van Horne during the regular part of the scrimmage, also had a touchdown pass during goal line. Backup Jeff Murphy completed 11 of 17 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns.

Newcomer Drayton Calhoun led the rushing attack with 60 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown, while freshman Jordan Parker added 28 yards on seven attempts and junior William Pratcher carried it nine times for 26 yards. Senior Benny Cunningham, who played just one series, had three attempts for 20 yards and a touchdown, while Kyle Griswould recorded a 42-yard run.

"I am not satisfied with my play tonight," said Calhoun. "I know I can improve a lot more but I am just trying to get better every day and stay healthy. I have to complement the line tonight, they really stood out to me. I love those guys."

Van Horne, a redshirt senior, led all receivers with four catches for 63 yards and two touchdowns. He added a third with a scoring grab in the goal line period. Arthur Williams, Reggie Whatley, Parker, and Christian Collis all had two receptions each. Williams had a 30-yard touchdown catch.

Defensively, the Blue Raiders registered six sacks, five pass breakups, an interception for a touchdown, and a fumble recovery.

Linebacker Corey Carmichael led all tacklers with 5.5 stops, while defensive end Omar McLendon added 4.5 tackles and a team-high two sacks. Freshman T.T. Barber had four tackles and an interception he returned 44 yards for a touchdown.

Safety David Jones had 4.5 tackles and linemen J.D. Jones and Jerrold Frazier had four stops each.

"I thought our defense did well, we were physical, but we have to learn from our mistakes," said McLendon. "We are still a young defense and we've just got to keep getting better, week after week. I was impressed with the way our young guys stepped up. T.T. Barber made a play and freshman defensive tackle Darius Bennett made a play. We need our young guys to step up, and they are trying to do that, they are working hard."

In the kicking department, not much was settled between senior Carlos Lopez and freshman Cody Clark. Both went 4-for-5 that included makes from 42, 43, and 47 yards.

The Blue Raiders will not practice Sunday as they will participate in Fan Day at Murphy Center. The event gets underway at 2 PM.

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