Blue Raiders complete second scrimmage; Spring Game next

Kilgore, Grammer lead offense; Defense gets 13 sacks

April 13, 2013 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO - Middle Tennessee ran 105 plays to complete its second scrimmage of the spring on a beautiful Saturday morning at Floyd Stadium.

Middle Tennessee had strong performances from both quarterbacks. Redshirt freshman Austin Grammer went 17-of-30 for 316 yards and two touchdowns, while veteran Logan Kilgore completed 16-of-24 for 262 yards and one interception.

Christian Collis snatched five passes for 99 yards and junior Chris Perkins grabbed three passes for 32 yards to lead the receivers. On the ground, Reggie Whatley led the running back corps with seven rushes for 39 yards and a touchdown, averaging six yards per carry.

The Blue Raider defense had a strong interior presence picking up 18 tackles for loss and 13 sacks during the scrimmage. Linebacker T.T. Barber led the bruising defense with 10 tackles, three TFLs and a sack, while defensive end Stephen Roberts collected six tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.

"I thought we tackled well," said head coach Rick Stockstill. "We had some turnovers and we had some short yardage stops on third and fourth down. Some guys really stepped up on that side of the ball."

The MT offense was held scoreless on its first four possessions until Cody Clark notched a 44-yard field goal. Kilgore completed passes of 13, 16 and 23 yards to set up a two-yard rushing touchdown for William Pratcher. Midway through the first portion of the scrimmage, Zachary Lopez connected on his first field goal from 44-yards.

Kilgore found his longest pass of the day with a 39-yard strike to Pratcher that landed the MT offense another 42-yard field goal by Clark.

Freshman signal-caller Grammer connected on a 60-yard touchdown strike to Chris Perkins for his first of two scores on Saturday.

"My reads are getting quicker and my feet are getting better every day," said Grammer. "Coach (Buster) Faulkner works with me a lot with having a sense of urgency. He tells me to speed the game up in my mind."

The offensive rhythm picked up for Kilgore as he fired three consecutive passes to set up a rushing touchdown of four yards by Whatley.

Roderic Blunt scored the first of two defensive touchdowns with his fumble recovery at the defense's nine yard-line. The redshirt senior linebacker scampered 91 yards to paydirt. Blunt finished Saturday with two tackles, a fumble recovery and a touchdown.

The Blue Raider defense once again found the end zone when Sammy Seamster intercepted a Kilgore pass and returned it for a 60-yard touchdown. The Ooltewah native finished the day with five tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss.

Later in the game, the Blue Raider offense started redzone drills with Lopez drilling a 40-yard field goal to get things started. With the red jersey off for the later portion of the scrimmage, Grammer found Terry Pettis for an 18-yard pass, setting up a two-yard rushing touchdown by Chukwadi Echetebu.

Once again, Grammer connected with Pettis for a nine-yard touchdown as the Raiders started inside the 10-yard line. Pettis, a redshirt freshman from Fairburn, Ga., caught six passes for 81 yards.

"He is getting better," noted Stockstill on Grammer. "He did a better job protecting the ball today than he has in previous practices. I feel confident with him right now as Logan's backup. I think he is better at improvising plays than just sitting in the pocket. I just think that is more his game. He does a nice job extending the play."

Middle Tennessee returns to the practice field on Tuesday for its final preparations toward the Blue-White Spring Game next Saturday, April 20. The contest is set to kick off at 1 p.m. inside Floyd Stadium and fans are encouraged to take part in the human C-USA logo at halftime on the field.

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