Offense steals show in T-Day scrimmage

Published 11:29 pm Monday, April 2, 2012

After two days of review and saturation, Troy head coach Larry Blakeney reached the same conclusion many in attendance of Troy’s T-Day scrimmage reached… the offense looked good.

“If we can keep everybody on board and focused we have a chance to be good offensively,” he said. “Our offensive line is a little banged up but we’ll get those guys back in the mix.”

Despite several linemen sitting out, Troy’s offense didn’t skip a beat. The Trojans scored touchdowns on its first four possessions and tallied 58 points on the day.

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Corey Robinson looked to be in sync, completing 15 of his 22 pass attempts for 185 yards. The junior also showed a little shiftiness as he ran for a 17-yard score in the third quarter.

Though each caught just one pass, the return of Chip Reeves and Jamel Johnson was a welcomed event.

“All you have to do is look and 3-9. Those guys were not here last year,” Blakeney said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “A lot goes into those guys (on the field). It opens up the underneath stuff against the zone.”

The offense did check off twice to plays aimed at hitting Reeves deep. Both were under thrown and incomplete.

Running back D.J. Taylor turned in a strong performance with 110 yards rushing on eight carries, most of which came to plays run to the left side.

“The left side did a great job,” Taylor said after the scrimmage. “I just take my reads and hit it.”

While Blakeney praised the offense, he also admitted the defense has some work to do.

“What we have to do is ID the right guys and get lined up and play hard,” he said. “Our coaches are aware of the issues we’re having and are working to get the right guys in there to make us better.”

On Saturday, the defense allowed scoring plays of 35, 25 and 65 yards before Brynden Trawick stepped in front of a Corey Robinson pass and returned it 35 yards for a score.

Sherman TeArt also recovered a fumble later in the game.

“Those are big plays,” Blakeney said. “Those are plays that can win you a football game.”

In a battle for the backup quarterback position, Dallas Tidwell and Deon Anthony each performed well with Tidwell holding a slight statistical advantage.

Tidwell finished the scrimmage 6-for-7 for 96 yards and a 65-yard scoring connection to Chris Williams in the first quarter. While Anthony attempted fewer passes, he was solid, completing 2 of 3 for 31 yards and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Haynie.

The special teams unit also saw several players competing for a starting position. Troy is looking to replace its kicker, punter and long snapper from last season.

“We got some good work in the special team department on Saturday,” Blakeney said. “I saw some good things and expect those guys to keep getting better.”

Will Scott handled the majority of the punting duties while Scott and Jed Solomon split the kicking reps.

Chandler Worthy also turned in a highlight moment on special teams with a 65-yard kickoff return setting up the second score of the day.

The Trojans will continue spring practice this week in preparation for the team’s second scrimmage to be held in Phenix City on April 7.