Trojans host first scrimmage of fall camp

Published 8:30 am Monday, August 14, 2023

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The Troy Trojans were back to work at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 12, for the first scrimmage of fall camp.

Troy coach Jon Sumrall said going into the scrimmage that many of the established Trojan starters would only play between 10-12 snaps, so others would get a chance to turn some heads.

“I thought there was a lot of back and forth, good on both sides at times and not so good on both sides at times, some good things in the kicking game and some bad things in the kicking game,” Sumrall said. “It looked like scrimmage one. We kept certain guys on pitch counts, Kimani (Vidal), Dell (Pettus), Grant Betts and some of those guys. I’ve seen them play a lot of football, so I want to try and get them to the (first) game (healthy), but they still need some work, so everybody got some (plays) today.”

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During the scrimmage, the Trojan starting offense managed to find the end zone in three of its five drives.

“In five drives, we had three offensive touchdowns, which is a big deal. Last year, in five drives in 1s vs. 1s, I don’t know how many touchdowns we scored all training camp, so it’s a big deal for our offense,” Sumrall said. “Defensively, we still have a ways to go; we also limited some guys who are going to play a lot of snaps.”

Coming into the scrimmage, Sumrall said he was interested in seeing who would step up on the offensive line.

“When you see that one group in totality, they did some good things together,” Sumrall said of the offensive line. “It’s going to be about who is the number six, seven eight; how do you piece it all together? I’ve talked a lot about how we’ve got more able, capable bodies; I don’t know if we have as many proven guys, though.”

Sumrall also liked what he saw from the running backs.

“Jordan Lovett, man, all training camp when the ball gets in his hand, he seems to be making plays,” he said. “Damien Taylor has made some good plays in the run game; all the running backs have been doing a nice job. They jumped out a little bit today.

“That’s a position that is going to take some wear and tear; Kimani didn’t play the first part of the year last year healthy, so you have to be ready for who is your next guy; at least need two ready to go every game who can play at a winning level. We’ve all see Kimani play a lot of football, Asa (Martin) has played a decent amount of football, not just here, and we feel good about what he’s doing. And then, it’s about which of those next guys gives us strengths in certain packages or situations.”

While the Troy offense has received plenty of attention during fall camp, Sumrall also pointed to his linebackers – a position group that is replacing some key starters – as having a good scrimmage.

“I think we’ve got good depth at that group,” Sumrall said of the linebackers. “Last year, I didn’t feel as good about our depth there, similar to how we are on the offensive line; I feel much better that we have a deeper group that we can play more people. I saw those guys make some plays and do some good things, they need to continue to hone in on the details of the job. I did think they made some positive plays and do think we missed some tackles there, as well.”

Troy will close out fall camp this Saturday, Aug. 19, with the second – and final – scrimmage of the season. That will be followed by Troy’s Annual Fan Day at Veterans Memorial Stadium at 1 p.m. and the Football Kickoff Party at Trojan Arena at 7 p.m.