Defensive: Trojan defense reigned supreme Saturday morning in team’s first scrimmage of camp
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, August 11, 2015
The Trojans wrapped up week one of their fall camp with their first of three scrimmages Saturday morning at Veterans Memorial Stadium. The scrimmage allowed players the opportunity to show what they have learned in week one of learning a new offensive system under new head coach Neal Brown.
“We had a good day today,” Brown said. “I thought the defense came out with a lot of energy, and I think that is something we have to do. I think that is something we have to do on that side of the ball. I was really encouraged. They had two three-and-outs in the first three series.”
Like it is in most first scrimmages, the defense was further along than the offense Saturday morning, but coach Brown saw some encouraging things from his offense.
“Offensively, I thought we did some good things when we were trying to play with tempo,” Brown said. “We got the defense tired a little bit, which is something our defense needs to work on. I thought in short yardage situations we didn’t handle those very well.”
Brown and the Trojan offense brought three quarterbacks into the game on Saturday. Dallas Tidwell, Brandon Silvers and Dontreal Pruitt all saw time under center.
“I thought Dallas Tidwell did some good things today,” Brown said. “It is important for us to see him take some strides. He made one bad decision, and that was a pic. He has to get his eyes in the right direction, but I thought he did a good job being in control.”
Silvers, who entered camp the favorite to assume the starting role for the Trojans, lacked an offensive punch in scrimmage one.
“I thought Brandon started off a little slow,” Brown said. “He needs to take more of a command of the offense, but I was pleased to see how he responded to some adversity. He played his best football at the end of the day.”
Pruitt entered fall camp without one true position on the football team. Pruitt will see time this season at the quarterback position as well as wide receiver and running back.
Of the three quarterbacks on the field, Pruitt wore a white jersey instead of the green jersey the other two were wearing, signaling to the defense he was not to be touched.
“He is going to play a good bit,” Brown said. “He is a guy that we can play at different positions. He made some really positive runs for us today.”
Pruitt enters this season as a player for the fans to keep an eye on in 2015. Brown believes of all the weapons on the field for the Trojans, Pruitt may be the most athletic.
A weapon like Pruitt gives a team the opportunity to keep the defense on their toes during every snap that they are on the field.
“We need to have guys make plays when their not there, some guys that can make people miss,” Brown said. “Pruitt is a guy that can make people miss. He gives us versatility for sure. He is a guy that defenses are going to have to account for.”
The defense for the Trojans stepped up on Saturday especially early, when they shut down the top two Trojan offenses.
The defense enters 2015 with a young core mixed with some veterans. Vic Koenning, who previously coached at Troy from 2003 to 2004, will once again lead the Trojan defense.
The Trojans featured a lot of young players on the defensive side of the ball Saturday morning.
“I thought the guys tried really hard and gave a great effort,” Koenning said. “We had some missed tackles, but you’re going to have that. We had some young corners get exposed today. Welcome to college football. I thought the enthusiasm was better than it has been.”
Like the offense, the defense will enter 2015 with a new scheme on the defensive side of the ball, something that the Trojans have been working on during week one of fall camp.
“I think we are going to have some positive things happen for them to completely buy into it,” Koenning said. “I think they are buying into the things we are telling them to do as fundamental football players.”
After week one of camp, the Trojans will have two more weeks of practice in the fall camp, which will feature two more scrimmages. Scrimmage two will be Saturday at 7:00 p.m.