Trojans close fall camp with second scrimmage

Published 12:24 pm Saturday, August 19, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Under the blistering sun at Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Troy Trojans closed out fall camp with a scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 19.

Troy Coach Jon Sumrall threw a number of different situations at his Trojans in the fall camp finale.

“We had a lot of plays today, a lot more plays than last week,” Sumrall said. “I wanted to extend it a little bit, wanted to roll a bunch of different packages and groupings in. We worked three different two-minute situations, which was really good to see us have to execute there.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I think it was a good day all in all, I think we came out pretty healthy from it, too. There’s still a long way to go. We still have two weeks until game one and there is a lot of improvement we need to make to be game ready.”

Senior quarterback Gunnar Watson was open about there being plenty to clean up for the offense.

“I thought it was a little bit of a step back from the last scrimmage,” Watson said. “We have some things to clean up but it wasn’t all bad. It was pretty decent overall and we’ll get things cleaned up.”

Running back Kimani Vidal was in agreement with his quarterback.

“We did a little more situational stuff today with two-minute and being backed up but as an offense we have to do better,” said Vidal. “Overall, it was okay but we still have room to improve.”

Despite a frustrating scrimmage at times for the offense, coaches and players alike have commented on how improved the offense has been during fall camp. Bandit Javon Solomon said that only helps the defense.

Receiver Devonte Ross (7) hauls in a touchdown grab during the scrimmage. (Photos by Josh Boutwell)

“It makes us a lot better,” he said. “It makes us realize what we need to work on. Once you go against an offense that doesn’t have everything clicking you feel like you’re doing great but in all actuality they’re not doing everything to their full capability. So, we can see how the offense is so smooth and rolling right now and that helps us know what we need to work on.”

Sumrall again emphasized that the offensive line is much deeper than last year but he still wants to see more improvement from the starting group, which consists of left tackle Derrick Graham, left guard Grant Betts, center Eli Russ, right guard Daniel King and right tackle Carson Burt with Blake Austin being the first player off the bench.

“I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone show that they are an NFL Draft Pick like Jake Andrews was last year,” Sumrall emphasized. “We have more able bodies that are competing 7-11 on the offensive line, though. I would like to see our ones play a little bit more consistently at a high level. I think we can still improve as a first unit, but I also feel good that we have better depth.”

Troy utilized a Sun Belt Conference officiating crew in Saturday’s scrimmage.

“We had a Sun Belt officiating crew here, which was really nice to be able to get that work in with them, so they can help us with the mechanics,” Sumrall said. “With the clock change this year – the clock not stopping after first downs outside of two minutes – it was nice to have them there. We worked a two-minute situation that was just above two minutes, so our guys could understand that first downs don’t stop the clock yet.”

As fall camp comes to a close, Troy will move into a mock game week to simulate the way practices and preparation will go during the season.

“The flow and rhythm of our meetings and practices look like a game week to some extent,” said Sumrall. “We won’t necessarily be worried about a certain opponent, we’ll still be working on ourselves more than anything, but our new players will get the chance to understand how we do things during a game week. Just so they understand the flow of the week and how the installation schedule works. I think it’s important that they understand what the emphasis of the day is.”