Youngsters look to impress during team's second fall scrimmage
Aug 20, 2011
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – “This is a big day for a lot of
you,” head coach Watson Brown told his players just before
Tennessee Tech began its second scrimmage of fall camp Saturday
afternoon in Tucker Stadium.
The scrimmage was the feature of Tech’s annual Gathering of
Eagles, and hundreds of fans sat in the sun-soaked stands to watch
the team as it hit the mid-point of camp in preparation for the
season opener Sept. 3 at Iowa.
Brown wanted to take a good, long look at his second- and
third-string groups during the 80-play session to help his staff
make decisions about the depth chart for the game against the
Too bad the first-string hogged all the early playing time.
Junior quarterback Tre Lamb led the first unit on a pair of
flawless 65-yard scoring drives in the first portion of the
scrimmage, while the ‘two’s‘ and
‘three’s’ went three-and-out a couple times.
Lamb was 8-for-8 for 73 passing yards including a 16-yard
touchdown toss to freshman Steve Wilson to cap off his
group’s second possession. Lamb also rushed twice for 38
“It’s obvious there are a lot of things we need to
sharpen up. There’s just not a smoothness, other than when
Tre was in there. It was very smooth when Tre was in there.
He’s playing really well right now.”
Brown was pleased with the effort, and attributed any rough spots
to two stright weeks of hard work.
“It was a good effort,” Brown said. “Our
players are tired. In my younger years I would leave this scrimmage
every year and say ‘were awful.’ I’ve learned my
lesson. They’re really, really tired and sore. They
don’t have the quickness.
“We had a lot of people out. It was really a younger
scrimmage because we had so many people out. This has been an
unbelievably physical week. We have gone every day, full work, full
pads. We need to start backing off a little now.”
The first unit moved 65 yards in 10 plays on the opening drive of
the afternoon, including four carries for 16 yards by junior Adam
Urbano. The transfer from Georgia Southern, who sat out last
season, crashed into the end zone from the three for the
first score. Senior Charlie Stevens grabbed a couple passes of
eight and nine yards in the drive.
After quarterbacks Ryan Tilghman and Darian Stone both met the
same three-and-out fate, Lamb once again marched his group 65
yards, this time in 11 plays. The drive also had to overcome a pair
of 1-yard holding penalties. Stevens had another catch, while
Demetrous Garrett accounted for 34 yards, including a 14-yard run
and two receptions of 13 and seven yards.
Senior linebacker Matt Moran halted the next drive when he
recovered a fumble, one of two turnovers.
Stone finally got his group moving, marching into the end zone
from mid-field with Zach Salada finishing the possession with a
one-yard touchdown. Two of the big plays were a 10-yard pass to
Wade Plemons and a 21-yard strike to Matt Brown.
The final touchdown of the day came under Tilghman’s
direction when he moved the offense 65 yards in 11 plays. Tilghman
rushed for 35 yards in the drive while Dontey Gay carried it the
final two yards for the score.
Twice Brown stopped potential touchdown drives inside the 10-yard
line and called for the field goal unit.
On the first, Matthew Barker was good from 23 yards after Stone
had moved the team 75 yards in 13 plays, including a 23-yard toss
to Stephen Bush and a 15-yard hook-up with Cody Matthews.
Redshirt freshman James Huguely intercepted a Tilghman pass at the
30 to begin the next possession, but the quarterback was undaunted
and came back to march the team 66 yards in nine plays to the
four-yard line. On the first play, Tilghman broke free for what
looked as though it would be a 70-yard touchdown, but the officials
– asked to stop any play in which a quarterback might be at
risk – whistled his run dead. Instead, Salada carried
the ball for 44 yards in four tries, and the team got to the shadow
of the goal post before Brown summoned the field goal unit. This
time, freshman Zach Sharp connected on a 21-yard field goal and the
scrimmage was finished.
In all, the offenses piled up 439 yards of total offense,
including 44 carries for 243 yards on the ground. Salada was
the top rusher in the scrimmage with seven carries for 52 yards.
Tilghman had 42 yards in four carries and Lamb added 38 on two
totes. Gay finished with seven carries for 22 yards, Urbano
had 16 on four carries, Ron Durbin rushed three times for 20 and
Stephen Bush had three for 12 yards.
Stone was 11-for-19 for 105 yards while Tilghman was 3-for-7 for
18 yards. Stevens was the top receiver with four catches for
28 yards, while Wilson had three catches for 28 yards and Bush had
the same yardage in two catches. Garrett and Matthews each
had two catches for 20 yards. In all, 14 different players
caught passes and 12 different players had carries.
The two kickers were perfect, with both Barker and Sharp going
2-for-2 in PAT kicks and 1-for-1 on field goal tries.
Marty Jones, who left late in the scrimmage with an injury, was
the defensive standout making eight tackles and blocking a punt.
Will Johnson and true freshman Tra’Darius Goff each made five
tackles and Seth McDonald made four stops.
Huguley, a redshirt freshman, had an interception and two
tackles, and Moran also had two tackles along with his fumble
recovery. Senior Travis Adkins and freshmen Cory Webber and
Josh Pleasant had three tackles each, while both Dominick
Baker and freshman Luke Woodason broke up a pass and made two
“The important thing now is all these young ones,
we’ve got to make decisions,” Brown said.
“We’ve got to make a depth chart now. Some freshmen,
some redshirt freshmen, some sophomore are going to be there.
We just have to figure out where everybody is going to fit. We know
the older kids and who’s going to be there. It’s these
younger kids that we’ve got to make good decisions
Season tickets to watch the Golden Eagles in 2011 are on sale at
the Athletic Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931)
372-3940. Tickets may also be purchased online at TTUsports.