Raiders hold first spring scrimmage

Parker, Blunt have big days

April 6, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee held its first scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning inside Floyd Stadium and Coach Rick Stockstill was pleased with what he saw on both sides of the ball, particularly in the effort department.

"The thing we really emphasized coming into this was to play with great effort and toughness and, offensively, we wanted to protect the football. I think we were able to accomplish all three," said Stockstill. "We did have too many penalties offensively that killed some drives and we have to clean those up but that's kind of expected in your first scrimmage."

Starting quarterback Logan Kilgore directed the offense to a touchdown on the first series of the day delivering a 28-yard strike to wide receiver Tavarres Jefferson. Kilgore finished the day 14-of-23 for 116 yards and two touchdowns.

Redshirt freshman Austin Grammar led the number two offense and completed 7-of-16 passes for 73 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown to newcomer Chris Perkins on the last play of the scrimmage. Shaun White took charge of the third team and completed 9-of-11 passes for 76 yards.

Running back Jordan Parker is quickly becoming a dynamic threat in the backfield. Parker finished the day with 13 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown on the ground and caught four passes for 39 yards out of the backfield to finish with 95 all-purpose yards. Parker also noted that the size he's added in the offseason has helped tremendously with pass blocking and having a bigger frame to block the linebackers.

"I felt like I ran well today but I could have done better," said Parker. "Coming into the scrimmage I wanted to run hard and get a feel for where I am and I think I did that."

Reggie Whatley carried the ball 12 times for 34 yards and one touchdown while Jeremiah Bryson ran it 13 times for 31 yards and two touchdowns.

Redshirt freshman Terry Pettis led all receivers with five catches for 72 yards. Pettis hauled in receptions of 23 and 20 yards. Jefferson finished with four receptions for 47 yards and two touchdowns while Perkins added five catches for 32 yards and a touchdown on the final play. Kyle Griswould finished with four grabs for 19 yards.

Defensively, the Blue Raiders registered eight sacks, one interception, and three critical stops on fourth and less than a yard.

During the red zone period, the offense had the ball inside the one on fourth down and the defense was able to stuff the run and keep points off the board.

Linebacker Roderic Blunt led all tacklers with 5.5 stops, while safety Reginald Farmer had four tackles and a pass break up. Walk-on safety Keemem Berry recorded three tackles and the lone interception off a tipped pass.

Redshirt freshman Shaquille Huff recorded three tackles and a sack from his position on the defensive line and safety David Jones came downhill strong from the secondary and made three stops.

The Blue Raiders are now at the halfway point of the spring and Coach Stockstill is pleased with the progression of his team to this point.

"I have been pleased with our overall focus. I think we are getting better at each position and I think each individual is getting better each day. I like where we are from a schematic and fundamental standpoint but we still have a lot of room for improvement," said Stockstill.

The Blue Raiders will get back to a normal practice routine on Tuesday in preparation for their annual Blue and White game Saturday, April 20th inside Floyd Stadium.

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