Moving day: Trojans wrap up their third scrimmage of fall camp Saturday, Trojan defense win the day
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Just two weeks before kicking off the 2015 season on the road against North Carolina State, head coach Neal Brown and the Trojans held their final intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday.
The first two scrimmages helped implement the playbook of first year coach Brown, with this scrimmage named “Moving Day.”
Players, especially the offense were put into situations and a lot of younger players got significant playing time.
“We worked a lot of situations. We were really focused on the passing game,” Brown said. “We needed to put our quarterbacks into some pressure situations and we needed to access our secondary.”
As in the first two scrimmages, the defense seemed to be ahead of the offense.
Other than the quarterback play by Brand Silvers and Dallas Tidwell, the offense was inconsistent during the scrimmage.
“I thought Brandon (Silvers) was really sharp early, I think we had four drops that ended drops that ended drives,” Brown said. “Dallas has to take better care of the ball.”
In other highlights, Jarvis Bentley made a leaping grab in the back corner of the end zone out-reaching the defenders to score an impressive touchdown for the Trojan offense.
Later in the game Jalen Rountree made a good play on a go route in the team’s red zone session of the scrimmage, scoring another touchdown for the Trojans.
Although there were plays to marvel at Saturday morning, for the most part Brown thought the team looked sluggish and a little distracted.
“Overall I was disappointed on both sides of the ball,” Brown said. “I think we are tired, which we shouldn’t be since we had a day off yesterday (Friday). I thought our energy was as low as it’s ever been during these three scrimmages. When the defense made plays I think it was a little more of the offense not doing their job. And when the offense made plays it was the same thing for the defense.”
Brown said films would provide more insight into what appeared to be the defensive dominance in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“One thing we will have to see on film is was just it because they were being lazy and not rushing, or did they have a good feel of when to put their hands up?” Brown said. “ I think you have to be careful especially when these scrimmages get going, because it could be either. We do have some length up there that can disrupt some people. That was encouraging, we haven’t seen a lot of that.”
The receivers also struggled to perform in the scrimmage. “It was a lack of concentration by our receivers. We dropped three or four during warm ups. We have caught the ball about 89 to 90 percent of the time during practice which is about what you want,” Brown said. “Today is the highest amount of drops that we have had. We had four of them just in the first few drives.”
Brown said the team would have to focus on fundamentals before facing North Caroline State. “We have to grow up, we have a lot of guys that haven’t played before,” Brown said. “As we move into game prep we have to start teaching them how to prepare and that should energize them a little bit. We have to focus everyday and im not sure on any phase that we have had focus.”
Kickoff against the Wolfpack is set for 5 p.m. Sept. 5. Troy’s home opener is 6 p.m. the following week against Charleston Southern.