Troy gets back to work after ground game dominates scrimmage

Published 6:09 pm Monday, August 12, 2013

Troy hit the practice field once again on Monday after pounding the ball on the ground for most of the team’s first scrimmage on Saturday.

Offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield said keeping the ball on the ground was by design in hopes that the group of offensive linemen and running backs would separate themselves.

“We wanted to really cram it in there and force our young linemen and young backs to get used to that,” Edenfield said.

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“We had a couple of wide receivers that we held out of the scrimmage, some of our older guys, so we really wanted to test out line and our backs. I wanted to throw the ball a little more in the second half but I think we were a little dead. We really wanted to concentrate on running the ball early.”

Edenfield said at the end of last week that he is hoping that some of the backs would begin to set themselves apart. He noted that several running backs would be needed in Troy’s system but would like to see one or two take the reigns at the position.

Brandon Burks, Michael Lindsey, Daron White and Khary Franklin are the frontrunners at the position thus far in fall camp though freshman Jordan Chunn and Josh Anderson have impressed coaches in their short time on campus.

Burks, a true sophomore who saw action in 10 of Troy’s 12 games last season, rushed for nearly 100 yards in Saturday’s scrimmage including 80 yards on just three carries on the opening drive.

“Franklin and Burks are getting the majority of the reps with the first team due mostly to the fact that they are the oldest and most mature,” Edenfield said.

Tim Longmire has also seen some time at running back and is a player that Troy may look to shift between back and receiver.

White has missed some time with nagging injuries but expects to be ready when the Trojans take the field against UAB on Aug. 31.

On the opposite side of the ball, defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt says he wasn’t completely discouraged by the defense’s inability to slow down the run.

“We’ve got some seniors up front that we really like, that we feel good about,” Bolt said. “I thought we started out slow but progressed. The No. 1 thing we talk about is effort, I thought we saw a lot of effort out there. We’ll get better, you only get so many tackling opportunities and (Saturday) was just the first.”