Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 9, 2000
Troy State White’s Deiric Jackson (No. 27) breaks up a pass intended for TSU Cardinal’s Chris Day (No. 84) during T-Day on Satuday. Jackson picked off two passes and recovered a fumble, helping the White to a 31-26 win.
White wins annual T-day game over Cardinal, 31-26
By KEVIN PEARCEY
TSU head football coach Larry Blakeney spent most of Saturday’s annual T-Day spring scrimmage game from inside Memorial Stadium’s Douglas R. Hawkins Press Box. And for the most part, Blakeney was pleased with the overall performance of his team.
TSU White won the game 31-26 over TSU Cardinal.
Trojans’ defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt called the defensive plays for both squads, while new offensive coordinator John Shannon called the offense, an entirely new system from last year, commonly referred to as the "spread" formation.
"We’ve had to learn this new offense and that’s sort of like learning a foreign language," said Blakeney. "Hopefully, it’s the right thing for us. It’s more wide open and we’re going to look to throw the ball 35 to 50 times a game."
Returning senior quarterback Brock Nutter led the Trojans’ Cardinal team, going 26-of-49 on Saturday for 267 yards and three touchdowns. The game pitted the first-team offense against the White’s first-team defense.
For the better part of the game, the first-team defensive line pushed their counterparts on the offensive line out of the way, constantly getting pressure on the Nutter and forcing three picks out of the senior.
Defensive back Deiric Jackson was recipient of two of those interceptions. Following one of Jackson’s picks in the second half, defensive lineman Shelton Felton and Nutter exchanged words at midfield.
"Coach (Tracy) Rocker and the defense they do a good job about getting the defense after the quarterbacks every time we throw a pick," said Nutter. "Shelton was having a little too much fun, so I let him know, ‘hey, I’m on your team too, pal.’"
White led 28-7 at the half on three touchdown passes, two by freshman Hansell Bearden and one by Derek Bynum, and 2-yard touchdown run by Dewhitt Betterson.
The offensive line is something that still concerns Blakeney.
"It’s something that can be expected when you lost as much as we did on the line," Blakeney said. The Trojans lost four offensive lineman to graduation. "I think this new offense is going to be good for Brock, but we’ve just got to find the guys to protect him."
In the second half, the Cardinal offensive line asserted themselves more, allowing Nutter a little more time to find his receivers.
"We’re a little bit inexperience up front," said Nutter about his offensive line. "Communication is a key in the trenches. They’ve got to know how to help out each other in the different schemes. But once they get that down they’re going to do great."
Nutter passed to Heyward Skipper for two straight touchdowns, once for 11-yards and following with a 70-yard catch and run. Cardinal cut the lead to 28-20, but the PAT failed.
"In the second half we got a little more momentum and started playing better," said Nutter. "We ran some out routes, got a couple of scores and made a game out of it."
Thomas Venisse hauled in a catch from 26-yard’s out with 12:01 left in the fourth quarter, but Nutter was sacked in the backfield on the 2-point conversion attempt.
White’s Eric Pollock kicked a 26-yard field goal to finish out the scoring.
Betterson led all rushers on the day with 67 yards on 17 carries. Bearden, splitting second team quarterback duties with Bynum for the game, finished with 156 yards and 9-of-21 passing. Bynum was 5-of-10 for 42 yards.
Skipper caught six passes for 111 yards and three touchdowns to lead TSU Cardinal. Calvin Colquitt, Chad Lucas and Jonathan Tomlin had TD catches for the White team.